Top 5 Best Performing Precious Metals Mutual Funds (DEC. 2010)

Investors often seek solace in precious metals instruments during a downturn. These investments are considered to be a natural hedge against a rapidly declining currency. Even a small portion of precious metals in a portfolio can provide significant protection against inflation. In addition, when markets are slowing down, securities related to these industries acquire greater significance. Precious metals funds are the best option for investing in this sector since they possess the advantages of professional insight and well-diversified portfolios.

Below we will share with you the 5 best performing precious metals mutual funds year to date.

Mutual Fund Zacks Rank Total Return YTD
Tocqueville Gold #1 Strong Buy 50.8%
Oppenheimer Gold and Spec Min A #2 Buy 47.0%
Van Eck International Investors Gold A #1 Strong Buy 45.3%
US Global Investors World Precious Metals A #4 Sell 39.7%
Franklin Gold & Precious Metals A #1 Strong Buy 39.5%

Tocqueville Gold (TGLDX) invests the majority of its assets in gold or companies involved in mining or processing of gold worldwide. The fund may also consider other precious metals for investment purposes. Up to 20% of its total assets may be invested directly in gold bullion and other precious metals. The precious metals mutual fund has a three year annualized return of 22.88%.

The precious metals mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 1.50% compared to a category average of 1.47%.

Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals A (OPGSX) seeks capital growth. The fund invests primarily in domestic and foreign companies whose major operations include mining, processing or dealing in metals and minerals. At least 25% of its assets are invested in mining securities and metal investments. This precious metals fund is non-diversified and has a ten year annualized return of 27.45%.

As of September 2010, this precious metals mutual fund held 120 issues, with 6.79% of its total assets invested in Kinross Gold Corporation.

Van Eck International Investors Gold A (INIVX) invests the majority of its assets in companies whose primary operations consist of activities related to gold. Not more than 20% of its assets may be utilized to purchase securities issued by other investment companies. The precious metals mutual fund returned 36.51% in the last one year period.

The Fund Manager is Joseph M. Foster and he has managed this precious metals mutual fund since 1998.

US Global Investors World Precious Minerals (UNWPX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. The fund invests heavily in companies primarily involved with exploration, mining or processing of gold and other precious metals. The precious metals mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 21.28%.

The precious metals mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $5,000 and an expense ratio of 1.58% compared to a category average of 1.47%.

Franklin Gold & Precious Metals A (FKRCX) primarily invests in gold and precious metals or companies involved in mining or processing of these metals worldwide. The fund also purchases American, Global and European Depositary Receipts. The precious metals mutual fund returned 33.73% in the last one year period and has a five year annualized return of 24.88%.

The Fund Manager is Steve Land and he has managed this precious metals mutual fund since 1999.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all precious metals mutual funds, then click here.

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