Whether you invest in the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEMKT:GLD) ETF or prefer a direct allocation to gold miners like Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) or Goldcorp (NYSE:GG), global macroeconomic issues are swirling to push gold prices into a volatile period. Pressures out of China and the fallout from the Cyprus bailout in the EU are just beginning to be understood. While the pure play of the ETF may be safer, the recent underperformance of the miners has some investors convinced that despite ballooning production costs, these embattled companies are the smarter play.

In the following video, Fool.com contributor Doug Ehrman discusses two of the most important global macro catalysts affecting gold today. While the full ramifications of these developments are hard to gauge, he points to certain factors that should remain on the minds of gold investors in the coming months.

Fool contributor Doug Ehrman and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.