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Despite the bullishness in the stock market, gold maintained its sheen this year thanks to geopolitical concerns, instability in Europe, political turmoil in United States as well as lofty stock valuations that are raising demand for the precious metal as a hedge against market turmoil. However, rounds of upbeat economic data are bolstering the prospect of another rate hike in December, putting pressure on gold prices and the related ETFs by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.In particular, PHYS offers a number of advantages when compared to traditional gold funds that make it appealing for long-term investors. It is inexpensive and has a favorable tax treatment. The fund often trades at a discount to its NAV that offers a nice opportunity to gain from higher gold prices as well as any market price increase relative to NAV.

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