It is possible to buy or sell gold stocks continuously throughout the trading day on the New York Stock Exchange at the prices set by the market. Holding GLD is clearly not the same as owning physical gold, it just serves different purposes. The GLD allows investors to play with physical metal without facing underlying costs or logistical problems, but it does not entitle investors to a real amount of gold. The GLD helped to make the market more democratic, to a certain extent, but it also injected liquidity, fueling greater price volatility.

For those looking for a more secure investment option, the best IRA gold fund may be the right choice. No matter what Toussaint or anyone else says, there will always be skeptics, but as long as gold maintains its trajectory, GLD will continue to thrive. VelocityShares' long gold ETN (UGLD) aims to provide three times the return of the S&P GSCI Gold ER Index in a single day. GLD does not generate any revenue, and since GLD regularly sells gold to pay its current expenses, the amount of gold represented by each stock will decrease over time to that point. In 2004, the launch of the publicly traded fund SPDR Gold Trust, with the symbol GLD, equalized the conditions for investment in gold by allowing a cheaper option than buying physical metal.

But how does GLD work? In reality, it's much more complicated than simply allowing investors to own gold. The value of GLD shares is directly related to the value of the gold held by GLD (minus its expenses), and fluctuations in the price of gold could materially and negatively affect investment in stocks.