More and more people are eying gold as the investment that can protect and grow their savings and retirement accounts in these uncertain times.  Inflation - Deflation . . . it doesn't matter.  It is believed gold will shine in either economic environment.  Indeed, gold demand is rising around the world as is reflected in a gold price that has risen steadily for the better part of a decade.  Coming off a market tumble at the turn of the millennium, gold prices rose in lock-step with the markets.  Even as stocks hit record highs, gold was right there telling us not to trust the perception of an unstoppable market.  Gold hit record highs of its own.Then the two parted ways.  Markets tumbled and gold marched steadily onward, interrupted only by brief periods of consolidation and reflection.  Now, as we face yet another pause in gold's ascent, investors are once again asked to weigh the longer-term outlook for gold.  If you follow the analysts, you can see gold price predictions ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 an ounce.  I found a consolidated list of predictions in an article that made a case for silver rising to $714 an ounce.  A total of 64 experts have publicly weighed in, all making rather cogent arguments to back their own predictions.  At Lear Capital, instead of making outright predictions, we prefer to be in the camp that believes in a steady rise in gold prices that correlates to market uncertainty and key economic conditions.  As long as debt grows, inflation or deflation threatens, gold should continue to rise.  Just as many believe we are a decade away from solving our current economic crisis, we believe gold prices can rise for the duration of the healing process.But, as each week passes, the strain of uncertainty on mainstream investors appears to be causing angst and action.  From a GoldCore report this morning we learn that, Data from the gold options market shows that smart money believes that gold will go higher in the coming months and that the recent fall in prices may be another correction and consolidation prior to another move up in prices. Open interest in options which allow holders to buy gold at $2,000 an ounce by December 2011 has surged a massive 11-fold on the Comex since May 11.For some time, experts have been predicting trouble ahead to encourage gold ownership.  I submit trouble is not ahead, trouble is at hand.  It's a powerful indicator when the smart money as referred to in the quote above, is piling into gold.  How will you weigh in?  Where will you turn to protect and grow your own savings and retirement accounts?  Now may be the best time ever to own gold as even the Smart Money seems to have a clearer vision of the uncertainty ahead.Stay vigilant, don't bury your head in the sand and ignore the indicators.  Keep abreast.  Visit sites like IBTimes.com and LearCapital.com for breaking gold news and to keep your finger on the pulse of today's volatile markets.  Your hard-earned savings depend on it.