Americans say gold is best investment

Recent surveys show they would rather put their money in the precious metal than in real estate, stocks and bonds.

By Kim Peterson May 3, 2012 1:00PM
Is gold the best long-term place to park your money?

That's what many Americans think, according to a recent survey by Gallup. When asked about the best long-term investment, 28% of Americans picked gold -- more than any other option.

But gold is losing its shine as the economy improves. Last August, 34% of those surveyed picked the precious metal as the best investment. CNBC also found gold to be the favorite investment choice in its recent economic survey, as the following video shows.

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Gold was a particular favorite of men and all adults 35 and older, Gallup said. It was also preferred by Republicans, those without a college degree and middle-income Americans.

Real estate came in second in the recent survey, conducted over the second week of April. About 20% of respondents picked that category, up from 19% in August. The increased interest makes sense as the housing market has improved.Image: Golden Nest Egg (© Chris Collins/Photographer)

What about stocks and mutual funds? The survey took place just as the stock market came off of its best quarter in 14 years, but that wasn't enough to convince most Americans. Only 19% said stocks and mutual funds were the best long-term investment, up from 17% in August.

About the same number of people chose savings accounts and CDs, according to Gallup, up from 14% in August. Gallup found that this option was favored by more women, younger adults, lower-income Americans and Democrats.

The least-favorite long-term strategy was bonds. Only 8% of people surveyed favored them, down from 10% in August.

"The rising trajectory of the price of gold over the past several years apparently offers more of the returns and stability investors seek," researchers from Gallup wrote after seeing the poll results. "Although gold prices dipped in the last quarter of 2011 after hitting an all-time high of $1,924 per ounce in September, and have yet to fully recover, more Americans continue to consider gold the best long-term investment among the major options available to consumers."

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