First US Gold-backed ETF marks 15th anniversary

State Street Global Advisors and the World Gold Council have marked the 15th anniversary of the first US exchange traded fund (ETF) backed entirely by physical gold – SPDR Gold Shares (GLD).

Launched on 18 November, 2004, GLD was a product innovation that solved an immediate investor need for a relatively liquid vehicle to access gold and surpassed USD1 billion in assets within its first three trading days. Today, GLD is the world’s largest and most liquid gold-backed ETF with more than USD40 billion in assets and USD1.7 billion in daily trading volume.

“GLD’s launch democratised gold investing by revolutionising how investors could access gold, bringing greater transparency and liquidity to implementing a gold allocation within portfolios,” says Matthew Bartolini, head of SPDR Americas Research at State Street Global Advisors. “Since launching, investors have relied on GLD to seek to benefit from gold’s historical ability to diversify portfolios2 and deliver positive returns in periods of US equity market downturns.”

“We are proud to have set the ‘gold-standard’ with GLD,” says Joe Cavatoni, Managing Director USA, World Gold Council. “We look forward to continuing to deliver operational excellence for our gold-backed funds while identifying opportunities to drive continued innovation in the gold market to meet evolving investor needs.”

In June of 2018, the World Gold Council and State Street Global Advisors launched the SPDR Gold Mini Shares (GLDM) to meet demand from investors who place a greater emphasis on a lower share price and expense ratio. GLDM has since surpassed USD1 billion in assets and has become the fastest growing low-cost gold ETF in the market.

The World Gold Council serves as the sponsor for GLD and GLDM; State Street Global Advisors serves as the marketing agent.