If you're trading large amounts of the ETF, it's going to be a lot less in commissions if you trade one futures contract.
I can buy or sell any ETF or exchange traded stock for a flat commission of $6.95 per trade up to 10,000 shares for my Schwab accounts or $7.95/transaction for my TDAmeritrade accounts.
My usual minimum trade is 1,000 shares except if I'm trading AAPL or GOOG in which case I usually only trade two to three hundred shares per transaction. Of course, if I buy Berkshire A, I only trade ONE
share at a time.
So I don't think the commission costs are a factor influencing my trading decisions.
One silver futures contract puts you in control of 5,000 ounces of silver. So lots to be made or lost rather quickly.
True, and that's a valid point. However my first reaction is I only see the "lots of money to be lost
rather quickly" part of your statement.