NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After the worst year of performance in recent decades, gold prices are finally getting some love in 2014. 

David Mazza, head of ETF investment strategy at State Street, told TheStreet's Gregg Greenberg gold prices were pushed around in 2013 by a number of different factors, included fears over a Chinese economic slowdown and investors guessing on when the Federal Reserve would alter its monetary policy. 

Gold prices are slightly higher on Friday and are up roughly 5% on the year. Despite the economy having a solid footing and the Fed beginning to slow its asset-purchasing program, we still don't have the "all clear," Mazza said. It's just one reason why owning gold still makes sense. 

Gold miners generally outperform the yellow metal, both to the upside and the downside. When asked which asset he'd rather invest in, he said he preferred bullion to the miners. 

For starters, gold miners are equities, or stocks. They are subject to other market forces that may affect them negatively going forward, he argued. 

Mazza concluded that he likes physical gold for some of its more well-known attributes, such as its low correlation to stocks and bonds, stability and portfolio diversification.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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