And gold mining stocks have felt the brunt of it more than the metal itself.
For the past few years, the miners have been chasing the metal. The general expectation was that the mining stocks would eventually catch up to gold prices.
But now it looks like the metal is retreating to meet the miners.
The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (NYSE: GDXJ), an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that represents the junior miners, is off more than 25% since its inception in late 2009. The big miners represented by Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSE: GDX) are essentially flat over the same period.
Yet gold prices, as measured by the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) are up almost 40% in the same general timeframe.
So where does that leave gold investors?
Well, it's probably not an ideal time to buy gold if it's pausing here (which it seems to be doing) after a multi-year rally.
And the big miners have their hands full as gold prices have stalled and gold demand has fallen. They may be fully valued, at least for the time being, since they won't be undertaking new projects or acquisitions until things get better or worse.