The bull market in gold since 1999 has made many gold investors rich. But Monday's big plunge in the price of gold -- prices dropped more than $100 in a single day, sending gold below $1,400 per ounce for the first time in two years -- have some experts thinking that the good times for the yellow metal have come to an end.
Fears about the health of the Chinese economy prompted Monday's gold-price collapse, as the emerging-market nation has become an essential driver of commodities prices around the world.
But gold prices had already been performing badly, with a $60-per-ounce drop last week resulting from word that the central bank in Cyprus would likely have to sell off some of its gold reserves in the aftermath of its banking crisis.
Experts disagree about where gold will go next. Analysts from Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale both predicted falling gold prices recently, although they didn't specify that the declines would come as quickly as they did. But others point out that the rapidly rising costs of producing gold could put a floor under its price, setting the stage for a potential bounce in the future.
Even at current levels, gold has still held onto most of its long-term gains, having traded at around $250 per ounce in 1999. But with prices down more than $500 an ounce from its highs during 2011, you can now pick it up at a relative bargain.
To take advantage of this potential value opportunity, here are five ways you can add gold exposure to your investment portfolio, along with the pros and cons of each.
Take the first steps to building your portfolio.View Course »