With gold prices high and likely to go higher, this might be the best time to invest in gold mining stocks.
Gold prices eked out a small gain Friday to close at $1,616.30 an ounce.
Comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday supporting European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's crisis strategy to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro helped push gold prices higher.
More disappointing U.S. economic news in manufacturing and housing starts could also boost the yellow metal. The more the U.S. economy struggles, the more likely the U.S. Federal Reserve will launch another stimulus program that would favor higher gold prices.
For some investors, this adds to their dilemma of whether to invest in physical gold or gold equities.
History is on the side of physical gold. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) has found that in the last five years, physical gold has outperformed global gold stocks by 120%.
But because gold stocks - and gold mining stocks in particular - have lagged gold prices, they have a lot of upside potential.
What's more, gold mining stocks offer something in return - dividends - in addition to benefiting from a continued rise in gold prices. Many commodities experts think gold prices could reach $2,000 an ounce or more within the next six months.
While not quite in bull mode, gold mining stocks have begun to stir of late. Here are three gold mining stocks worth a look for gold equity investors.