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As a result, yields have fallen as the year goes on – down 18% to just 1.87%. Only precious metals have had steady, solid gains with gold up 22.50%, and silver up more than 27%. The U.S. dollar has weakened, while industrial commodities like aluminum and steel have begun to see gains for the first time in more than a year.
There are many currents churning underneath the waves and plenty of moves investors have to boost returns between now and the end of the year.
Take a look at the Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund (VGPMX). The fund is up an astounding 67% year to date and with an expense ratio of just 0.29%, investors are getting away with a steal. Comprising 70 stocks, this fund has a wide diversity of miners that gives investors a broad exposure to the sector.
Low yields from conservative assets like bonds and Treasuries make dividend funds attractive for investors who are looking to minimize risk while still producing returns. The AllianceBernstein Equity Income Fund (AUIYX) is up a little over 3% year to date – nothing jaw-dropping, but still better than the S&P 500. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.73%, which is line with its peers, and invests primarily in large-cap stocks that carry dividends.
For investors who aren’t looking for a fully diversified mutual fund, the American Century Utilities Fund (BULIX) is an attractive pick up. It’s up nearly 17% year to date, and with a 0.67% expense ratio this fund is one of the best values in its class. The fund holds a relatively diverse array of utility stocks in its portfolio including AT&T, PPL Corp., and Consolidated Edison.
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