When it comes to gold exchange-traded funds, the direction of the economy is apparently no issue. Analysts say that regardless of what happens in the markets, gold is on track to see a full decade of price gains -- its most sustained rally in at least 90 years.

Analysts and investors are upping their stake in gold because the metal is now seen as impervious to economic developments -- good or bad. Don Miller for NuWire Investor reports that new investors and buyers are in the market for gold because it's seen as the ultimate safe haven.

Bonolo Modise for Mining MX reports that demand for gold surged 36% in the first quarter of 2010. In the second quarter, demand improved 414%, mostly because of ETF demand. Analysts say gold will continue its longest rally in at least nine decades and may rise as high as $1,500 next year, about 21% higher than current levels.

There are a number of ways to play the gold rush, but for the purest exposure, physically backed gold ETFs are the way to go because they track the spot price. Know how gold ETFs are taxed before you buy. The three physical gold ETFs available now are:

  • SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD)
  • iShares COMEX Gold (NYSE: IAU)
  • ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSE: SGOL)
Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

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