Talking Numbers

Investors are flocking to gold--but that could be a mistake

Investors are flocking to gold -- but that could be a mistake
Investors are flocking to gold -- but that could be a mistake

Investors have been flocking to gold, but that doesn't mean everyone is taking a shine to the precious metal.

Gold ETFs saw almost 16 tons worth of inflows in July on geopolitical concerns. That's the highest amount since November 2012.

That all sounds good for gold until one reads the World Gold Council's recent report on gold in the second quarter of 2014. Its data show that total demand for gold—physical, jewelry and ETFs, too—was down nearly 185 tons compared to the same time last year.

The lack of demand for physical gold has offset added demand for gold in the ETFs, according to Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global.

"I haven't really changed my mind on gold," she said. "It's been overvalued for years."

However, Sanchez said investor positioning remains bullish. Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission show that gross short positions are at their lowest levels since December 2012.

"There are definitely participants that believe that gold will not only go up, but part of that is going to be a weaker read on the economy," said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. But ultimately, should an investor have a more positive outlook on the economy, their outlook on gold will be negative. "This comes down to your call on the economy. If you think the economy is recovering, albeit slowly, gold should be going down for a long time."

Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer & Co., is also not enthusiastic about gold based on its technicals.

"There's really not much there in the charts," Wald said. "We're neutral on the price of gold metal. We think it's trying to base. It hasn't broken out yet. Our hunch is that it does break higher. But until you get a breakout in either direction, we think this trendless trade is going to continue."

Wald sees gold trading in a tightening range, currently between $1,280 and $1,350 per ounce.

"Until you get the breakout, I don't think there's going to be a lot of momentum in it," he said. "The better play is actually going to be playing in the gold stocks. I think there's a lot more upside after years of underperforming versus the metal. I'd rather be buying gold stocks."

To see the full discussion on gold, with Sanchez on the fundamentals and Wald on the technicals, watch the above video.

Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCNumbers
Like us on Facebook: