After a little more than a month into the year, it is already proving to be extremely tumultuous.
And though so far there haven't been as many celebrity or gorilla deaths as last year, it seems that every day brings a new headache. What are investors to do?
The theme this year seems to be geopolitical disaster, as controversial moves by President Donald Trump at home and instability abroad threaten the stock markets.
During times such as these when the political landscape is shaky at best, gold has traditionally been a great hedge. In the turbulent 10 years following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, for instance, the price of gold rocketed more than 500% higher.
But during that same time period, the value of the dollar took a hit. That indicates that gold serves as a hedge not only against the stock market but against the value of the greenback as well.
However, a unique situation is unfolding. Not only is the price of gold soaring to breathtaking highs with $1,300 per ounce not an unreasonable forecast, but the dollar is performing strongly as well.
That is because Europe is in just as much of a political jam as the U.S. Upcoming elections as well as continuing Brexit-related concerns are shaking the foundations of the European Union, making the dollar look downright delicious.
There hasn't been an investment vehicle that can hand investors gains from both the high price of gold and an increasing dollar.
But that changed last week with the debut of SPDR Long Dollar Gold Trust Exchange-Traded Fund (GLDW) . This ETF is the sister of another product in the SPDR family, SPDR Gold Trust ETF.
SPDR Gold Trust ETF was created in 2004 and is an effective way for investors to reap gains from an increase in gold prices without actually owning physical bullion, coins or jewelry. But as it piggybacks on the price of gold, it tends to move inversely to the dollar.
The new SPDR Long Dollar Gold Trust ETF, on the other hand, tracks an index that goes long the price of gold and the dollar against a basket of other world currencies, including the euro and the yen. Thus, the ETF moves upward when either the price of gold, the value of the dollar or both increase.
That isn't to say that these ETFs are the only way to profit from rising gold prices without owning the physical stuff. Gold miners also prosper from the increasing value of the precious metal.
Randgold Resources' stock soared this week after the company said that production levels had risen for the sixth-consecutive year and it increased its dividend payout by 52%.
Alamos Gold is another gold miner on the rise. Its stock more than doubled last year, and as the price of gold continues to grow, the company's forecast this year looks bright.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the investments mentioned.