Top 5 Precious Metals Mutual Funds (July 2011)

Precious metals have always been a solid investment choice, especially in times of economic uncertainty. They also offer superior protection against inflation, which cannot be said of almost all other reasonably liquid assets. Consequently, they outperform other sectors during a market downturn, as they have demonstrated in the recent past. Since they hold well diversified portfolios and are professionally managed, precious metals funds offer the most stable option for investments in this sector.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated precious metals mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect the fund to outperform its peers in the future.

U.S. Global Investors Gold and Precious Metals (USERX) invests a large proportion of its assets in companies whose primary operations are related to gold and other precious metals. The fund focuses on acquiring equity and related securities and may also invest in rights, warrants and depository receipts. The precious metals mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 24.48%.

The precious metals mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $5,000 and an expense ratio of 1.80% compared to a category average of 1.42%.

OCM Gold (OCMGX) seeks capital appreciation. The fund invests in domestic and foreign companies in the gold mining industry. It focuses on purchasing common stocks and may also invest in precious metals producers. The precious metals fund has a five year annualized return of 13.14%.

As of May 2011, this precious metals mutual fund held 57 issues, with 13.27% of its total assets invested in Goldcorp, Inc.

Midas (MIDSX) invests at least 65% of its assets are invested in companies involved in the mining, processing and distribution of precious metals. Up to 35% of its assets may be invested in companies deriving a share of its revenues from the precious metals sector. This precious metals fund returned 21.51% in the last one year period.

Thomas B. Winmill is the fund manager and he has managed this precious metals mutual fund since 2002.

GAMCO Gold AAA (GOLDX) seeks capital growth over the long term. At least 80% of the fund’s assets are invested in domestic and foreign companies which engage in gold-related activities. A substantial portion of its assets are utilized to purchase foreign securities The precious metals fund has a three year annualized return of 5.35%.

The precious metals fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 1.44% compared to a category average of 1.42%.

Fidelity Select Gold (FSAGX) invests the majority of its assets in companies whose principal operations are related to gold, and in gold bullion and coins. Up to 25% of the fund’s assets may be invested in gold and other precious metals through a wholly-owned subsidiary. It is non-diversified and a no load fund.

This precious metals mutual fund returned 11.42% in the last one year period.

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

About Zacks Mutual Fund Rank

By applying the Zacks Rank to mutual funds, investors can find funds that not only outpaced the market in the past but are also expected to outperform going forward. Learn more about the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank at http://www.zacks.com/funds.

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