(BusinessWeek.com) — As an investment, gold has never been more popular. And, for individual investors, that’s part of the problem. Gold spot prices hit a record of $1,243.10 per ounce in Comex trading on May 12 before slipping $13.90, or 1.1 percent, to $1,230.10 on May 13. In the past three years, the precious metal is up 84 percent. The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) exchange-traded fund now contains $48.1 billion in assets, with the number of shares outstanding up 111 percent since September 2008.