3 Copper ETFs at a Glance

3 Copper ETFs at a Glance

Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, have existed since 1993, according to Forbes, though they became much more common in the early 2000s. Since then they have risen in popularity, with net assets held by ETFs currently amounting to $1.34 trillion. 

ETFs trade just like shares, making them a simple and efficient option for investors who have no need for physical metal. They are a popular component of investment portfolios meant for retirement or savings.

When it comes to copper ETFs, investors don’t have the largest selection to choose from. Here’s a look at three listed by ETF Database.

iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (ARCA:JJC)

The intent of the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN is to provide individual investors with the opportunity to access the Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total Return, which reflects the returns available through investment in copper futures contracts.

Currently, the index consists only of high-grade copper futures contracts traded on the COMEX in New York. Its daily indicative value was $39.01 as of March 5, and the fund’s market capitalization was $87,491,628. The yearly fee associated with trading the ETF is 0.75 percent.

As of February 2014, the ETF’s return since inception was -3.09 percent. Its five-year return, however, stands at 13.37 percent, slightly higher than the five-year market price return of 12.52 percent.

United States Copper Index Fund (ARCA:CPER)

The United States Copper Index Fund is meant to reflect the performance of a portfolio of copper futures contracts, each of which is fully collateralized with three-month US Treasury Bills. The ETF tracks the SummerHaven Copper Index Total Return (INDEXNYSEGIS:SCITR), and aims to follow it exactly, less operating costs.

As of March 5, about half of the ETF’s assets were in case, with the remaining half split evenly between copper futures for May 2014 delivery and copper futures for April 2014 delivery. The management fee for the ETF is 0.95 percent, and as of March 5 it was priced at $21.83. The ETF was founded in November 2011, and since its inception has seen returns of -11.51 percent.

iPath Pure Beta Copper ETN (ARCA:CUPM)

The iPath Pure Beta Copper ETN is aimed at reflecting the returns available through unleveraged investment in copper futures contracts. It is linked to the Barclays Capital Copper Pure Beta TR Index, which includes only one exchange-traded futures contract, except during the roll period, when it may include two. The index may choose any one of a number of futures contracts with varying expiration dates using the Barclays Capital Pure Beta Series 2 Methodology.

The iPath Pure Beta Copper ETN was established in October 2009, and has achieved returns of -11.87 percent since that time. Investors interested in early redemption can receive a cash payment or trade on an exchange at market price.


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