ETF Securities launched the ETFS Physical White Metal Basket Shares (WITE) last Friday (12/03/2010). It is the first US-based physically backed white precious metal exchange-traded product (ETP) holding a basket of silver, platinum, and palladium in fixed weights.

WITE’s goal is to appeal to investors looking for a “one trade solution” to invest in all three precious metals while diversifying their existing gold holdings. Additionally, these three metals have industrial demand, making them more aligned than gold to the economic growth cycle.

On a per share basis, the fixed amount of bullion (and percentage allocations at time of launch) are 1.0 ounces of silver 55.1%, 0.01 ounces of platinum 33.1%, and 0.008 ounces of palladium 11.8%. The fund does not intend to alter or rebalance the holdings. Therefore, the number of ounces of each metal will remain fixed, while the percentage allocations will not be constrained.

The fund has an expense ratio of 0.60%, and additional information is in the press release, overview, fact sheet (pdf), and prospectus (pdf).

WITE is similar to ETFS Precious Metals Basket Shares (GLTR) launched back in October, except WITE doesn’t hold gold and its allocation of platinum relative to silver and palladium has been significantly increased.

Investors comfortable with the bullion allocations of these new basket products may find WITE and GLTR a convenient way to invest. Those wishing to control their individual allocations will be better served by the single-metal funds from ETFS:

  • ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (SGOL)
  • ETFS Physical Silver Shares (SIVR)
  • ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT)
  • ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL)

Disclosure covering writer, editor, and publisher: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.