NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold is at a key support level, and you may want to use this time to reevaluate your reasons for owning the soft yellow metal. The usual suspects for owning physical or paper gold include hedging against inflation, use as money during times of unrest, speculation, and the cool factor of looking at gold coins.About a year ago, I alerted investors that it was time to move out of gold and look for other investments. Included in comments from readers was a lively amount of enthusiasm and reasons why my thesis was incorrect. Gold has declined, but investors shouldn't ignore the opportunity cost of owning physical gold. There isn't a logical reason to argue against owning gold coins for the wow factor. If you naturally like owning coins to hold and look at, you should own a few. It's an emotional decision, not unlike buying a Corvette that will sit in the garage 95% of the time. If it makes you feel happy, why not. However, if your motivations are hedging against Washington money printing, and or apocalypse, physical gold may not harbor the best solution. A common phrase I've heard about owning gold is, "You should have enough gold to bribe border guards." Although history has shown that can be a solution, it's not the best solution.
During times of peace and prosperity, guns increase in value and provide an inflation hedge. During times of unrest, they can safeguard your property and family more than gold coins can. Sturm Ruger's ( RGR) monthly chart has trended higher incessant since 2009. Smith & Wesson ( SWHC) hasn't traded long enough to valuate it based on the monthly chart, albeit the weekly chart has remained bullish since 2011. The S&P Gold Trust ( GLD) can't gloat about performance while near 52-week lows. Sturm Ruger delivers a big caliber dividend over 4%, while GLD slowly eats value from management and trading costs. Follow @RobertWeinstein This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.