Top 5 Best Precious Metals Mineral Mutual Fund include Gold and Silver

Precious Metals Mutual Fund Logo
Precious Metals Mutual Fund Logo

Intro

Investing in precious metals such as gold, and silver should be part of investor’s investment diversification. With uncertainty of various government action or inaction, precious metals can provide a solid investment asset. Whether it is deflation period as well as inflation period or economic crisis, precious metals such as gold or silver or diamond price have been holding up compare to other assets. There 4 ways to invest in precious metal sector such as:

  1. Buy the precious metals such as gold, silver, diamond, palladium etc, or gems and store it.
  2. Buy or invest in precious metal mining company by buying the company common share stocks.
  3. Invest in precious metal mutual fund or ETF
  4. Invest in operator who purchase and hold gold or other precious metals.

Some of above way may be practical as well as impractical for investor or trader. For example, if you buy the precious metals such as gold bullion coins, you will need storage to store and security to protect your gold bullion coins investment. The cost associated with this is certainly not practical for small investor as well as trader. Investing in individual company stocks may provide too much risk for investor as well.

To provide more diversification in precious metals or gold investment, many investors should consider investing in precious metals mutual fund. This precious metal mutual fund is also considered as specialty sector equity mutual fund. As it was named equity fund, this mutual fund is more volatile than bond fund. The mutual funds hold assets consisting of mining company stocks and gold bullion coins. For investor, please note that investing in this mutual fund may be more volatile than other equity mutual fund. Several reasons are: the price of gold may fluctuate from one day to the other day and the mining company is rather small or medium size, usually the beta of this company stock is higher than 1 (i.e. more volatile).

If you are interested in Precious Metals and Minerals ETF, please check:


Selection Criteria

My top 5 precious metals mutual fund list mainly consists of 3 or more star of Morningstar rating and big asset underlying the equity income mutual funds. As we know, big underlying asset means investor as well constitutional is confident in investing on these funds. With 3 or more star rating, this means the fund should perform just fine in any market conditions whether it is bear or bull market.

Top 5 Best Precious Metals Mutual Funds are:

  1. Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio
  2. Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals A
  3. Franklin Gold and Precious Metals A
  4. First Eagle Gold A
  5. USAA Precious Metals and Minerals
  6. Tocqueville Gold
  7. Van Eck Intl Investors Gold A
  8. Wells Fargo Advantage Precious Metals A

Best Precious Metal Mutual Funds Info

(click column header to sort results)
No  
Mutual Funds Description  
Ticker  
Expense ratio  
Morningstar Rating  
Total Asset  
Min Invest  
1
Fidelity Select Gold
FSAGX
0.94%
3
4.5 Bil
$2,500
2
Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals A
OPGSX
0.94%
3
4.4 Bil
$1,000
3
Franklin Gold and Precious Metals A
FKRCX
0.95%
3
3.9 Bil
$1,000
4
First Eagle Gold A
SGGDX
1.26%
5
3.2 Bil
$2,500
5
USAA Precious Metals and Minerals
USAGX
1.19%
4
2.2 Bil
$3,000
6
Tocqueville Gold
TGLDX
1.50%
4
2.2 Bil
$1,000
7
Van Eck Intl Investors Gold A
INIVX
1.43%
3
1.6 Bil
$1,000
8
Wells Fargo Advantage Precious Metals
EKWAX
1.08%
4
1.5 Bil
$1,000
Table Comparison

1. Fidelity Select Gold - FSAGX

As one of the biggest brokerage in this world, Fidelity investment is well known among investor and trader. Fidelity also provides solid and diverse mutual funds line up. If you have 401k account, you should have known Fidelity as the 401k retirement account administrator. Fidelity Select Gold is among the largest precious metal mutual funds with more than 4 billion net asset.

The fund seeks capital appreciation and invests majority of assets (>80%) in securities of companies principally engaged in gold-related activities, and in gold bullion or coins. Gold-related activities may include mining, exploration, processing, or dealing in gold, or the manufacture or distribution of gold products such as jewelry, watches, and gold foil and leaf. It may invest in up to 25% of assets in gold and other precious metals through a wholly-owned subsidiary. The fund may invest in securities of foreign company stocks. The fund is managed by S. Joseph Wickwire since 2007. The expense ratio of this fund (FSAGX) is 0.94%. There is no 12b1 fee and as well as no sales load (front end sales load & deferred sales load) since it is a no load fund. The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $2,500 for brokerage account and $2,500 for IRA account.

The fund performance is as follows (FSAGX):

  • 1 Year: 38.55% per year
  • 3 Years: 8.27% per year
  • 5 Years: 22.06% per year
  • 10 Years: 24.09% per year

Note: This return is an annualized return

This fund is also offered in most IRA, 401K fund, and 529 account selection. Some asset classes of fund have lower expense ratio fee, and no front end sales charge fee especially for fidelity advisor fund. Other tickers of this fund are: FGDAX, FGDBX, FGDCX, FGDIX, and FGDTX. For FGDIX ticker, the expense ratio is only 0.91% and there is no other fee.

As discussed before, the primary fund portfolio consists of large cap growth stocks with 94.4% asset in Basic Materials sector. The top 6 countries of fund as November 2010 are Canada, USA, Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom and China. Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include Newcrest Mining Ltd, Goldcorp Inc, Barrick Gold Corp, Newmont Mining Corp, Kinross Gold Corp, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd Spon ADR, Agnico-Eagle Mines ltd, Randgold Resources ltd ADR, Eldorado Gold Corp, Gold Fields ltd Spon ADR and Gold Bullion.


2. Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals A – OPGSX

Oppenheimer Funds is one of the biggest and most respected asset management companies in the United States. As part of MassMutual Financial Group and majority owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Oppenheimer Fund is well known by many investors. Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals fund invests in securities that provide exposure to gold and other precious metals and will seeks capital appreciation. Majority of the asset is invested in common stocks of U.S. and foreign companies that are involved in mining, processing or dealing in gold or minerals or other metals. The fund may invest some of the asset in mining securities and metal investments. The fund investing strategy will provide the fund manager combines industry-wide or "top-down" analysis with rigorous company-specific, or "bottom-up," fundamental analysis to find potential investments. The fund is managed by Shanquan Li since 1997. The expense ratio of this fund (FSAGX) is 1.12%. For this OPGSX fund ticker, it has 12b1 fee of 0.24% and a front end sales load of 5.75% since it is part of load fund. The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $1,000 for brokerage account and $500 for IRA account. The fund has returned 26.23% over the past five years and 26.50% over the past decade.

This fund is also offered in most IRA retirement account, 401K account, and 529 account selection. Some asset classes of fund have lower expense ratio fee, and no front end sales charge fee. Other class tickers of this fund are: OGMBX, OGMCX, OGMNX and OGMYX. For OGMYX ticker, there is no sales charge.

The primary fund portfolio consists of large cap growth stocks with 94.4% asset in Basic Materials sector. The top 6 countries of fund as November 2010 are Canada, USA, Australia, Jersey, Channel Islands, South Africa and Peru. Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd, Randgold Resources Ltd. ADR, Kinross Gold Corp, Newcrest Mining, Barrick Gold Corp, Goldcorp Inc, Oppenheimer Institutional Money Market Fund (cash), IAMGOLD Corp, Eldorado Gold Corp, and Companhia de Minas Buenaventura SA ADR.


Franklin Gold Composition
Franklin Gold Composition

3. Franklin Gold and Precious Metals A - FKRCX

As part of Franklin Templeton Investment mutual fund, the Franklin Gold and Precious Metal Fund seeks to invest the majority (>80%) of the its net assets in the securities of companies that mine, process or deal in gold, platinum, palladium and silver. According to Steve Land, the lead manager since 1999, he thinks precious metals are attractive because they are a hard asset that's not tied to a particular country or financial system, potentially providing stability in times of economic uncertainty. The fund also will invest a substantial portion of assets in companies falling within the small-cap (< $1.5 billion market cap) and medium-cap (market cap between $1.5 billion and $8 billion) range. The expense ratio of this class A fund (FKRCX) is 0.95%. It also has 12b1 fee of 0.25% and a front end sales load of 5.75% since it is part of load fund. The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $1,000 for brokerage account and $250 for IRA account.The fund has returned 11.60% over the past three years and 25.58% over the five years.

This fund is also offered in most IRA retirement account, 401K account, and 529 account selection. Some asset classes of fund have lower expense ratio fee, and no front end sales charge fee. Other class tickers of this fund are: FAGPX, FRGOX and FGADX. For FGADX ticker, there is no sales charge and the expense ratio is only 0.70%.

As discussed before, the primary fund portfolio consists of large cap growth stocks with 94.0% asset in Basic Materials sector. The top 6 countries of fund as November 2010 are Canada, Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA (United States of America). Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include Newcrest Mining Ltd, Randgold Resources Ltd, Centerra Gold Inc, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, Nevsun Resources Ltd, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd, Barrick Gold Corp, Osisko Mining Corp, Goldcorp Inc, and Centamin Egypt Ltd. There are total of 120 positions in the fund portfolio.


4. First Eagle Gold A - SGGDX

First Eagle Gold Fund is a non-diversified fund whose investment seeks to provide exposure to the gold investment and some other precious metals. The Fund invests primarily in gold, gold related securities and gold industry issuers. It may invest some of total assets (<20%) in debt securities in any rating grade (investment grade and non investment grade bonds). The fund may also invest directly in precious metals or purchase / sell option contracts for their future delivery (subject to regulatory limitation). The lead manager is Rachel Benepe since 2009. The expense ratio of this class A fund (SGGDX) is 1.26% per year. It also has 12b1 fee of 0.25% and a front end sales load of 5.00% since it is part of load fund. The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $2,500 for brokerage account and $1,000 for IRA account. The fund has returned 10.20% over the past three years and 20.50% over the five years.

Other class tickers of this fund are: FEGOX, and FEGIX. For FEGIX ticker, there is no sales charge and the expense ratio is only 1.01%.

As discussed before, the primary fund portfolio consists of large cap growth stocks with 94.0% asset in Basic Materials sector. The top 6 countries of fund as November 2010 are Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia, and Mexico. Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include Gold Bullion (14.5%), Newcrest Mining Ltd, Lihir Gold Ltd, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd ADR, Goldcorp Inc, Randgold Resources, ltd ADR, Kinross Gold Corp, IAMGOLD Corp, Newmont Mining Corp, Barrick Gold Corp, and Gold Fields Ltd ADR.


5. USAA Precious Metals and Minerals - USAGX

USAA Precious Metals and Minerals Fund seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation and protection against inflation. The fund normally invests at > 80% of assets in the equity securities of domestic and foreign companies principally engaged in gold exploration, mining, or processing and other precious metals and minerals, such as silver, platinum and diamonds. The lead manager is Rachel Benepe since 2009. The expense ratio of this class A fund (USAGX) is 1.19% per year. There is no 12b1 fee and front end sales load since it is part of no load fund. The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $3,000 for brokerage account and $250 for IRA account.The fund has returned 13.29% over the past three years and 29.38% over the five years. Another class ticker of this fund is: UPMMX.

As discussed before, the primary fund portfolio consists of large cap growth stocks with 100.0% asset in Basic Materials sector. The top 6 countries of fund as November 2010 are Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia, and Mexico. Top 10 largest equity holdings for this fund include cash (6.52%), Eldorado Gold Corp, Silver Wheaton Corp, Red Back Mining Inc, Randgold Resources Ltd, Newmont Mining Corp, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd ADR, Royal Gold Inc, Impala Platinum holdings, and Newcrest Mining Ltd.


How can I buy mutual funds?

You will need a brokerage account to buy most of these mutual funds. I would prefer the following brokerage due to its reliable service and good customer services. Or you can choose any brokerage that you like and are comfortable with.

  1. Fidelity – one stop shop for mutual fund or ETF as well as cash management banking
  2. Vanguard – offer various mutual funds that track indexes as well as ETF for free
  3. T. Rowe Price – only offer their fund & famous for 401k administrator for most company
  4. Scottrade – Offer various mutual funds. 3,000 No load & No Transaction Fees (NTF) fund for free and 15,000 mutual funds as well as trading account for $7.00 per trade. You can buy the American Fund family for free and please select no load fund.

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with any of these mutual funds. I also have no position in any of these funds. Please do your own research for additional details. Please trade and invest responsibly. Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results

Fund Performance

(click column header to sort results)
Funds Description  
1 yr  
3 yr  
5 yr  
10 yr  
Fidelity Select Gold
38.55%
8.27%
22.06%
24.09%
Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals A
51.41%
7.99%
26.23%
26.50%
Franklin Gold and Precious Metals A
48.30%
11.60%
25.58%
24.58%
First Eagle Gold A
27.99%
10.20%
20.50%
27.06%
USAA Precious Metals and Minerals
46.93%
13.29%
29.38%
31.66%
Tocqueville Gold
65.22%
15.87%
26.84%
29.14%
Van Eck Intl Investors Gold A
46.70%
11.22%
28.31%
29.27%
Wells Fargo Advantage Precious Metals A
36.76%
8.81%
23.98%
28.95%
Updated on October 2010

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Comments 9 comments

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

You have given more 'gold nuggets' of wisdom for those who would rather invest in something tangible. I hope this will all turn into a financial planning book! Those who read your advice will benefit. Thanks for another great Hub. Shared and voted up as usual.


chan0512 profile image

chan0512 6 years ago from Camarillo, CA Author

Thanks Lilly! I don't know about book, but I'll keep sharing the investing article with everyone. Thanks for stopping again and really appreciate your support.


smme1950 profile image

smme1950 5 years ago from San Angelo, Texas

Excellent information. The bulk of my precious metal purchases have been in bullion and I took physical possession. However, I also own some silver stocks.

I totally agree that a person should have some sort of invest in precious metals. The type of investment, of course, is something each individual should research and choose according to their individual situation.


chamilj profile image

chamilj 5 years ago from Sri Lanka

Thanks for the list of Best Precious Metal Mutual Funds. Is it possible to foreigners to invest in these funds online?


chan0512 profile image

chan0512 5 years ago from Camarillo, CA Author

smme1950,

Thanks for your input. I'll definitely put 5-10% asset in Precious Metals either ETF or mutual fund. I believe this is the only asset that will hold its value over time.

chamilj,

You can invest in these funds. Try finding a brokerage which provide foreigner brokerage account. I believe Fidelity has several international regional offices. Check the website. Thanks!


LRCBlogger profile image

LRCBlogger 5 years ago

Great info, thanks. I recently also wrote a hub on gold. I own ETF SLV and have traded in and out of GLD a few times. I'll certainly look into some of the ones you highlighted.


chan0512 profile image

chan0512 5 years ago from Camarillo, CA Author

LRCBlogger,

I think it is great to own some precious metals ETF now like SLV or GLD. I wish I have more. Good luck with your investing.


Certified Gold profile image

Certified Gold 5 years ago

Excellent Research Chan! Very useful hub! Keep up the great work!


Deco Bumas 3 years ago

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