NEW YORK (
are setting new record highs after conquering the $1,227 level, which has many investors wondering if it's too late to
invest in gold
Gold prices -- which closed at $1,233 Tuesday -- have popped over 9% year to date, with many analysts predicting prices have a lot more room to run. Many predict
can rise to their inflation-adjusted price of $2,300. Others like author Mike Maloney argue that gold will cover all the money in circulation, including credit, and climb to $15,000 an ounce. Some are more conservative. Scott Redler, chief strategic officer of T3Live.com, is looking for $1,400 gold.
"Every day we stay above $1,000 the stronger that floor becomes," says David Morgan, founder of Silver-Investor.com. "I just don't see gold with all this going on in the markets right now, worldwide, globally getting below the $1,000 level. I think it's there to stay."
Not all analysts are gold bugs. If you take out the speculation in gold, many analysts believe gold is worth $800 an ounce.
Michael Crook, vice president and strategist at Barclays Wealth, believes that prices will fall to $800 once the crisis premium comes out of the market, and investors buy equities rather than gold.
Regardless of gold's price range, most portfolio managers recommend an investor have 5%-10% in gold. More bullish managers recommend an allocation as high as 20%.
There are many ways to invest in gold.
Investing in gold
isn't a quick trade, but insurance. It's a hedge against inflation, currency debasement from euro to yen to U.S. dollar, and global uncertainty. Here are some ways you can invest.
Buy physical gold at various prices: coins, bars and jewelry. Some of the most popular gold coins are American Buffalo, American Eagle and St. Gauden's. You can store gold in bank safety deposit boxes or in your home. You can also buy and sell gold at your local jewelers. Other companies like Kitco allow you to store gold with them as well as trade the metal.
Gold ETFs are a popular way to have gold exposure in your portfolio without the hassle of storing the physical metal. First, you can invest in one of three physically backed ETFs, which track gold's spot price.