last four weeks.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index has lost 4 per cent since reaching an all-time high of 1,709.67 on August 2. Traders are concerned about when and by how much the Fed will pare back on its stimulus, a major driver behind the market's rally.
Strife in Egypt and Syria has also reminded investors that it's a dangerous world out there: wars can spread and oil prices can spike, hurting economies and stock markets.
Investors want to add back a little insurance to their portfolios these days.
"If we lived in a perfect world, we would not need gold," says McGlone. "But since we don't, we do need something that is the ultimate store of value."
Investors don't need to buy gold bars or coins to invest in the metal.
Exchange-traded funds are investments that are similar to mutual funds. Both can be bought and sold on exchanges. Some of these funds, such as ETF's Physical Swiss Gold Shares and SPDR's Gold Shares, allow investors to buy into trusts that invest directly in gold.
HAVEN FROM STORMY CURRENCIES
The Fed appears close to reducing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, and that has stirred up currency prices worldwide, particularly in emerging markets. Investors had previously borrowed in dollars at low rates and then invested in faster growing economies in Asia and Latin America.