A few prominent precious metal mutual funds include the Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund, the U.S. Global Investors Gold & Precious Metals Fund and the First Eagle Gold Fund, according to U.S. News & World Report. Most gold mutual funds focus on the stocks of companies that manufacture and produce precious metals, explains Investopedia. However, some funds do own gold bullion and silver.
U.S. News & World Report rates the First Eagle Gold Fund as a low-risk investment, although as of 2015, the fund is down 10.51 percent over the past five years. Several gold investments lost money in the past several years as the price of an ounce of gold fell.
On Monday, July 6, 2015, the price of an ounce of gold sold for $1,174.60. One year prior, an ounce of gold sold for $1328.18, reports JM Bullion. The drop in the price of gold per ounce cost many prominent gold mutual funds to lose money. Over the past 10 years, the price of gold dropped from around $1,800 to $1,100. The continued loss of value in gold over that timeframe caused many precious metal companies to lose money, and the mutual funds tracking those companies reported year-over-year losses in yield. However, the First Eagle Gold Fund reported a 4.26 percent return over the past decade when gold prices were at all-time highs in the mid-2000s, notes U.S. News and World Report.