The Best Gold ETFs with Low Costs

These seven gold ETFs provide investors with numerous ways to play the metal, from direct exposure to stock-related angles, on the cheap.

stacks of gold bars
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's a good time to be an aficionado of gold and gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The cost of investing in gold through funds continues to trickle lower, and the variety of ways to get exposure to gold continues to grow.

On top of that, 2023 is at least setting up to be a good year for the yellow metal.

Gold spent much of last year on the downswing amid rocketing interest rates and, eventually, strength in the U.S. dollar. The former tends to hurt gold demand because institutional money migrates to the improving yields on bonds and other interest-bearing debt; the latter because gold is priced in U.S. dollars but most often bought in other currencies that are weakening by comparison.

However, a slowing (and potential end) to rate hikes in 2023 bodes much better for gold strength throughout the year.

"Gold prices have started the year strong, like in 2022," says John LaForge, head of Real Asset Strategy, Wells Fargo Investment Institute. "We suspect that gold may end 2023 on a more positive note, though. We may even need to increase our year-end 2023 target range should the U.S. dollar remain range-bound and we gain confidence that rate hikes are near their end."

Gold investors typically tout several virtues of the yellow metal: It hedges against inflation, they say, it's an uncorrelated asset that doesn't move with the stock market and it can grow in value when national or even global uncertainty is high. Those features help build the bull case, which you can leverage via gold ETFs.

We recommend that if you look to use this commodity to diversify your portfolio, you first learn the ins and outs of investing in gold. Even then, make it a small portion (5%) of your portfolio. And use ETFs, for several reasons, including liquidity, low expenses and ease of use.

Here's an introduction to seven low-cost gold ETFs that offer varying types of exposure to the precious commodity. This list includes the most ubiquitous gold ETFs on the market – funds you typically can read about in just about any daily commodity wrap-up – as well as a few that aren't as well-covered by the financial media but might be better investments than their high-asset brethren.

Data is as of Feb. 3.

Kyle Woodley

Kyle Woodley is the Editor-in-Chief of Young and The Invested (opens in new tab), a site dedicated to improving the personal finances and financial literacy of parents and children. He also writes the weekly The Weekend Tea (opens in new tab) newsletter, which covers both news and analysis about spending, saving, investing, the economy and more.

Kyle was previously the Senior Investing Editor for, and the Managing Editor for before that. His work has appeared in several outlets, including Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Barchart, The Globe & Mail and the Nasdaq. He also has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, among other shows and podcasts, and he has been quoted in several outlets, including MarketWatch, Vice and Univision. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism. 

You can check out his thoughts on the markets (and more) at @KyleWoodley (opens in new tab).