Investing in gold or other precious metals is very popular these days, but precious metals investing requires special attention to the logistics of the purchase. Gold ETF funds provide a method for investing in gold that eliminates these issues. The logistics referred to are the problems of insurance, storage, moving, and reselling, along with many others.
An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund, meaning it is traded on the major stock exchanges. The NYSE, and NASDAQ have ETF’s, but the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) is the primary trading venue for Gold ETF funds. When you buy an ETF, you are typically investing in a conglomerate of companies, rather than a single corporation.
It works like this, the Gold ETF fund will purchase a large amount of gold, maintaining the physical metal in storage. They will then issue shares in baskets, the idea here being that the value of the shares will increase with the price of gold bullion. If the price of gold goes up by 10%, then individual shares would increase in value by the same 10%.
What makes this attractive to most buyers is the fact that trading in gold can be done very easily at any time during stock market hours. Another thing average people don’t have to buy a large amount of gold to invest. Most gold ETF funds have a minimum investment but you can buy in portions of an ounce. This is really ideal since the price of an ounce of gold these days is not something everyone can afford to purchase. (Adopted from http://www.etfgold.net/)