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Precious metals performers: Shiny but scary
It’s expected of a fund tracking precious metals to experience volatility, with holdings in ETFs climbing almost 21% earlier this year and then gold prices jumped as much as 8.1% after U.K.’s Brexit vote, the most since the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, according to Bloomberg News.

Short-term data depicts just how essential a quick flood to the category can be. Those who selected gold, silver or other precious metal funds in light of recent market volatility have been able to profit handsomely all of the category’s top YTD performers raked in triple digit returns while the same funds over the long-term all experienced double-digit negative returns.

Click through our slideshow for the top YTD returns in the category, contrasted with long-term performance numbers. All data provided by Morningstar.
15. PowerShares Global Gold & Prec Mtls ETF
Ticker: PSAU
YTD Return: 114.26%
3-Yr. Return: -31.03%
Expense Ratio: 0.75%
Fund Assets: $65.15M
14. VanEck International Investors Gold A
Ticker: INIVX
YTD Return: 115.09%
3-Yr. Return: -28.76%
Expense Ratio: 1.43%
Fund Assets: $813.3M
13. American Century Global Gold Inv
Ticker: BGEIX
YTD Return: 115.13%
3-Yr. Return: -30.80%
Expense Ratio: 0.67%
Fund Assets: $517.7M
12. VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF
Ticker: GDX
YTD Return: 117.64%
3-Yr. Return: -32.79%
Expense Ratio: 0.52%
Fund Assets: $9.86B
11. Sprott Gold Miners ETF
Ticker: SGDM
YTD Return: 122.86%
3-Yr. Return: N/A
Expense Ratio: 0.57%
Fund Assets: $237.09M
10. EuroPac Gold A
Ticker: EPGFX
YTD Return: 123.56%
3-Yr. Return: N/A
Expense Ratio: 1.54%
Fund Assets: $76.9M
9. Rydex Precious Metals Inv
Ticker: RYPMX
YTD Return: 132.02%
3-Yr. Return: -32.52%
Expense Ratio: 1.25%
Fund Assets: $141.2M
8. iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners
Ticker: RING
YTD Return: 134.03%
3-Yr. Return: -33.67%
Expense Ratio: 0.39%
Fund Assets: $269.49M
7. US Global Investors World Prec Mnral
Ticker: UNWPX
YTD Return: 134.62%
3-Yr. Return: -30.047%
Expense Ratio: 1.86%
Fund Assets: $195.2M
6. ALPS Sprott Junior Gold Miners ETF
Ticker: SGDJ
YTD Return: 135.44%
3-Yr. Return: N/A
Expense Ratio: 0.57%
Fund Assets: $51.82M
5. VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF
Ticker: GDXJ
YTD Return: 153.12%
3-Yr. Return: -37.29%
Expense Ratio: 0.56%
Fund Assets: $4.00B
4. Global X Gold Explorers ETF
Ticker: GLDX
YTD Return: 165.93%
3-Yr. Return: -32.28%
Expense Ratio: 0.65%
Fund Assets: $79.28M
3. Global X Silver Miners ETF
Ticker: SIL
YTD Return: 165.95%
3-Yr. Return: -34.88%
Expense Ratio: 0.65%
Fund Assets: $430.34M
2. iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners
Ticker: SLVP
YTD Return: 168.18%
3-Yr. Return: -35.57%
Expense Ratio: 0.39%%
Fund Assets: $76.32M
1. PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF
Ticker: SILJ
YTD Return: 241.98%
3-Yr. Return: -36.25%
Expense Ratio: 0.69%%
Fund Assets: $67.97M