Financial expert Suze Orman talks about the basics of the gold market, why gold reached record highs this week and what place gold has in the personal investor's portfolio.
It seems the gold bug has gone mainstream.
Hammered by a weak housing market and slammed by stock market losses, Americans appear to be putting their faith (and perhaps their nest egg) in gold.
A new poll from Gallup finds that 34 percent of Americans think gold is the best long-term investment. Just 19 percent say real estate is the best investment, while only 17 percent think stocks and mutual funds are the best long-term bet.
The poll was conducted in mid-August, following a wild week on Wall Street.
Gallup says it’s never before included gold as an option when it asked Americans to rank the best-long-term investments. In previous years, real estate generally took the top spot until the housing bust and economic crisis, when super-safe investments like savings accounts and CDs briefly surged.
In this year’s poll, 14 percent of Americans chose savings accounts and CDs as the best long-term investment.
The price of gold has skyrocketed in recent years, topping $1,900 an ounce earlier this month because people see it as a safe haven when the economy is on shaky ground.
But prices have been a little more volatile recently, and some have wondered whether the precious metal’s popularity could be its undoing.
"Gold was considered a safe haven for years because it wasn't popular, but now it's popular," Cetin Ciner, a professor of finance at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, said in a story that appeared on msnbc.com last week following a big drop in gold prices. "You can't have a fad and a safe haven at the same time."