Some think it doesn't serve any purpose, and therefore has no intrinsic value.
Others claim that hoarding gold is a legitimate way to safely store wealth in preparation for economic troubles.
Investors in aggregate tend to lean toward the latter sentiment. In times of market turmoil, they generally dive headfirst into the shiny metal.
Still, while gold tends to go up in times of economic stress, it doesn't do as well in risk-on periods. And the problem here for investors is that it's basically impossible to predict what will happen next in the markets.
As such, a Citi research team led by Jonathan Stubbs argued that, overall, black gold — aka oil — is probably a better bet than gold.