Gold is one of the rarest metals in the world, and has a long history as a valuable and intensely sought-after element. Gold has served as the basis for physical currency for thousands of years, and many monetary systems throughout human history have utilized a gold standard that focused on the precious metal. Exploration and production of gold has become a major industry in regions that maintain significant deposits of the metal, and quests for gold have been the impetus of countless expeditions and discoveries. The price of the metal is widely followed by many investors, both sophisticated and simplistic. There are a number of different options for investing in gold, including buying up coins and bars of the product, exchange-traded futures contracts, stocks of companies engaged in the extraction and sale of the metal, and both physically-backed and futures-based exchange-traded products [see also The Guide To The Biggest Companies … See the full story here →
This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com Precious metal investors have been on a wild ride so far in 2011. After falling to start the year, gold took off from its level just above $1,300/oz., skyrocketing higher on inflation concerns and an increasingly weak dollar. The price eventually hit the $1,577 mark in early May before quickly selling off, falling by close to $100/oz. in a matter of weeks. While a stronger dollar and declining fears over inflation in some of the world’s key emerging markets has certainly played a role in gold’s short term demise, some believe that gold has hit a near term top and that this is just a speculative bubble popping.