Gold, a hedge against uncertain times for thousands of years, seems to have everything going for it as the precious metal rises to nominal record highs priced in dollars.

The long-term bullish fundamental case for gold is solid as the debt problems shaking Europe and the U.S. don’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

As U.S. political leaders remain deadlocked on the debt ceiling, investors with a strong contrarian streak may consider shorting gold with exchange traded funds. These ETFs, which are designed for sophisticated traders who monitor their portfolios daily, profit when gold prices decline.

Gold prices touched $1,630 an ounce on Wednesday. Even with prices at all-time highs, bulls say there isn’t a bubble because gold ownership by investors is still very low compared with other asset classes such as stocks and bonds.

Gold ETFs have made it easier for individual investors to own gold, but there are also ETFs that bet against the metal. These “bearish” ETFs appeal to investors who want to play both sides of the gold trade. [Is it Time to Short Gold with ETFs?]

“Global concern that the United States of America might abandon its position of full faith and credit by defaulting on its debt and spending obligations has reached a fevered pitch. Excessive brinksmanship has set up a potential contrarian trade opportunity to bet against gold,” reports Kevin Baker for The Street. [Understanding Leveraged ETFs.]