After the U.S. Federal Reserve gave investors a pretty big hint last week that the end of quantitative easing could be in sight, precious metals -- including ETFs SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEMKT:GLD) and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEMKT:SLV) -- got hammered. While the short-term outlooks remain murky, the longer-term view is far less certain. A strong dollar and gold prices at their lowest levels in years are giving investors pause, but the picture must be weighed carefully.

In the following video, contributor Doug Ehrman discusses factors on each side of the gold debate that are critical for investors to consider before deploying capital in the sector.

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.