This Week In ETFs: October 2nd Edition

by on October 2, 2011

This week saw yet another up and down one as markets have struggled to find a definitive direction. The majority of market swings were dominated by news from overseas as Europe revises their outlook on a daily basis. The majority of investors, however, feel that the debt crisis won’t be ending anytime soon. Gold finished the week out at $1,623/oz., creating an enticing opportunity as it sits at its lowest price in quite some time. Finally, oil topped the week off with a 4.3% slaughter to finish below $79 per barrel, wreaking havoc on a number of energy equities.

The ETF world finished out a solid Q3 with over 230 launches thus far in the year. Below, we outline three of the best ETF stories from around the web this week.

 A Cheaper IAU Gaining Ground On GLD at IndexUniverse:

iShares Gold Trust (IAU) has been making headlines and catching the attention of investors since July 2010 when it slashed the expense ratio. The reduction of the expense ratio has brought about a significant increase in the ETF’s investment flows. Because of its low fees relative to its category, many investors see IAU as one of the best bargains in the world of physical gold ETFs. Many have wondered whether or not iShares should use this cost-cutting strategy on different funds. This article, by Olivier Ludwig, outlines both the advantages and disadvantages of the lowered IAU price.

A Closer Look At The Lithium ETF (LIT) at CommodityHQ:

When you hear about commodity investing, products like crude, gold, and natural gas usually come to mind. But there are a number of viable alternatives, like lithium, that investors often overlook. Lithium is a metal that has shown a strong growth potential for the forseable future as it has heavy ties to a number of growing industries. It is becoming widely used in a number of industries, the most popular being its use in lithium batteries. In this article, author Jared Cummans explains how an investment in lithium – specifically in the Lithium ETF (LIT) -can also be an investment in the growth of technology.

These Aren’t Your Grandfather’s Gold ETFs at ETF Database:

Over the last several years, investors have been impressed by the performance of gold – in particular, gold ETFs. Traditional gold ETFs are simple and straightfoward products that are have a physically-backed structure. Now, investors are seeking to gain greater exposure to this precious metal through alternative means. Innovation has led to the creation of ETFs that allow investors to achieve various types of exposure to gold prices through fluctuations in the dollar, spreads between gold and large cap stocks and through trend-following strategies involving U.S. Treasuries, and more. This article, by Michael Johnston, outlines three ETFs for investors who are seeking new ways to gain exposure to gold.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.