Silver ETFs provide investors with an opportunity to invest in the precious metal without having to buy silver bullion — which has costs (e.g. storage and insurance).
When discussing silver ETFs, there are generally two different types: silver ETFs that track the price of silver and equity-based silver ETFs, which track silver mining companies.
If you are looking to add an investment in silver to your portfolio without having to deal with storage fees and insurance costs, check out our list of different types of silver ETFs (you can click on each ticker for access to a host of charts on each of these silver ETFs).
Physical Silver ETFs
These physically-backed silver ETFs are commodity ETFs and much like its big brother gold, this type of silver ETFs tracks the price of silver as a metal on the commodities market.
Physical silver ETFs either purchase and hold actual silver bullion or purchase silver futures/options or a combination of both.
Silver Miner ETFs
Another type of silver ETF is a silver miners ETF which is an equity-based ETF.
These equity-based silver ETFs invest in companies that are in the business of exploring, developing, and producing silver. They get exposure to the silver industry by tracking indices of silver-mining companies. For example, the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) tracks the Solactive Global Silver Miners Index.
Generally, the underlying index should have companies that generate at least 50% of their revenue from silver mining, each index tracked by these silver miner ETFs has different selection criteria so investors should review the underlying silver miner ETF index to fully understand each ETF’s exposure to the silver mining industry.
Leveraged Silver ETFs
The final type of silver ETF is the leveraged silver ETF.
A leveraged silver ETF tracks the performance of silver with a specific multiple. Note that the multiple can be positive or negative/inverse.
For example, a 2x silver leveraged ETF will rise by 2% in a day if the price of silver rises by 1%. It will rise by 4% if the price of silver rises by 2%. But it can also fall by 4% if the price of silver falls by 2%.
Silver ETFs FAQ
Is there an ETF that tracks silver?
ETFvest lists 10 silver ETFs. Two are leveraged and the rest is evenly split between physically-backed ETFs and silver miner ETFs.
What is the largest silver ETF?
The largest silver ETF is the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) with over $16 billion in assets.
Do silver ETFs pay dividends?
Physical silver ETFs do not pay any dividends as they are tied to either the physical metal or futures contracts. Equity-based silver ETFs may pay dividends through the companies that they hold. However, dividends from silver miners tend to be low low.
What is the oldest silver ETF?
The oldest silver ETF is the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) which was launched on April 21, 2006.