State Street Global Advisors' gold ETF, SPDR Gold Shares, has become the biggest exchange-traded fund in the industry with $76.7 billion in assets as of Aug. 19, the company announced Monday.
In an e-mailed statement, Jim Ross, senior managing director and global head of SPDR ETFs with SSgA, noted that investor demand for a “portfolio diversifier and wealth preserver” has buoyed the gold ETF, to the point where it has surpassed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF, with $74.4 billion in assets as of Aug. 19, as the industry's biggest.
In a telephone interview, Paul Justice, director of ETF research with Morningstar, said the SPDR gold ETF's rise, only seven years after it became the first “physically backed” gold ETF launched, “says a lot about the market today,” with investors clearly looking beyond stock and bond funds to diversify their holdings in uncertain times.
At its Aug. 19 close of $179.95, SPDR Gold Shares is up 30% from the end of 2010. During the same period, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF has fallen 9.6% to $112.64.