Testing the metal

Since the so-called commodity 'supercycle' began, providers have developed myriad ways to satisfy investor appetite for liquid and accessible exposure to the asset class. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the market for exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Even the most fastidious of investors are now buying physically backed exchange-traded commodities (ETCs), which have been available since 2003. Rather than using derivatives to provide the exposure, the provider buys physical metal to the v