Should You Invest in Gold?

The shiny stuff has been sparkling. But when the economy and the stock market pick up, gold prices are likely to head down.

Over the past decade, no investment has shined quite as brightly as gold.

If you had invested $10,000 in gold bullion in January 2001, your 37.81 ounces of the precious metal would have been worth more than $69,000 by September 1, 2011. That beat the pants off stock investments. Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund (symbol VTSMX), for example, returned an annualized 3.6% over the same ten-year period. Bond returns, while better, didn’t hold a candle to the nearly sevenfold run-up in the price of gold. And many experts believe the metal’s price has further to rise.

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Kathy Kristof
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kristof, editor of, is an award-winning financial journalist, who writes regularly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CBS MoneyWatch. She's the author of Investing 101, Taming the Tuition Tiger and Kathy Kristof's Complete Book of Dollars and Sense. But perhaps her biggest claim to fame is that she was once a Jeopardy question: Kathy Kristof replaced what famous personal finance columnist, who died in 1991? Answer: Sylvia Porter.