Some advisors believe that gold mining stocks or precious metals funds belong in clients’ portfolios.

Indeed, there have been periods of excellent results. In the nine calendar years from 2002 through 2010, for instance, Morningstar’s precious metals category returned 23% or more seven times, including 64% and 57% in 2002-2003. (In the other two years the category lost 8% and 30%, followed by more downs and ups, so these funds can be extremely volatile.)

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