Safety is a big draw since the shocking British vote to leave the European Union, sending gold prices soaring. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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The ad was from a company selling gold coins that is run by Philip Diehl, a coin expert with an impressive pedigree.Barbara Roper, a director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America, has no opinion on gold itself, but urges caution. She notes that investments sold as "safe" to investors are often anything but.Gold is not some newfangled financial product, of course.Gold hit $1,366 an ounce Monday, up 28 percent since the start of the year.That is more than 10 times the typical weekly investment in the last bull market for gold in 2011 .The total $121 billion in gold funds is less than 1 percent of the money in stock funds, but it is rising fast – up 60 percent in just a year.The popular embrace of gold started with the plunge in dot-com stocks in 2000, gained strength with the advent of the SPDR Gold Trust, a low-fee exchange traded fund that allows ordinary people looking for a quick buck to invest, then peaked following the Federal Reserve's unprecedented moves to pump money into the economy to save it from collapse after the financial crisis.
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