In India, buying gold is more of a tradition than just investing. It is considered as a symbol of prosperity and luck. This auspicious metal has given good returns over the long term. When you create your wealth portfolio, it is suggested to allocate atleast 10-15% to Gold investment. This is majorly because this yellow metal is used to hedge against inflation and is also negatively co-related to stock market investments.
In other words, we can say that gold protects your portfolio from high volatility of equity markets. Thus it provides stability to your portfolio and often proves fruitful in times of crises.
How to invest in Gold?
There are multiple ways of getting exposure to gold asset class. Some of these are physical gold jewellery, sovereign gold bonds, Gold Mutual funds and Gold ETF.
For investment purpose, physical gold does not make much sense owing to high making charges and lack of safety.
If we talk about Sovereign Gold bonds (SGB), it is one of the best investment to increase your allocation to gold. However, it is suitable only to those investors who has a time horizon of 8 years. It comes with a lock-in period of 8 years and post which on maturity, the capital gains are tax free. Not only this, apart from capital gains, you are also entitled to receive interest of 2.5% p.a. These unique features make investment in SGB bonds very attractive.
If we see on the flip side, there are two major drawbacks of investing in SGB bonds. First is availability and second is liquidity. One can invest in these bonds only when it is available for subscription.
For an investor, who is looking for liquidity, Gold mutual funds and Gold ETFs will be the best option. It is considered better as you can invest here anytime of the year. It simplifies the entire gold investment process.
Investors often get confused between Gold Mutual fund and Gold ETF? Are you also getting a question in your mind – which is better Gold Mutual fund or Gold ETF?
If yes, let us discuss these two options in detail.
Gold Exchange Traded Funds invest in physical gold. The aim of Gold ETF is to track the price of domestic physical gold and invest in 99.5% purity gold bullion. Each unit of a gold ETF is equal to 1gm of gold. It is essential to note that it is backed by physical gold of very high purity which is stored in secured vaults.
These are listed on stock exchange and one can buy and sell gold ETF like stocks. Thus, it provides ample liquidity. Since ETFs are held in demat form, you need to have a demat account to invest in Gold ETFs.
Gold Mutual Funds
A gold mutual fund is an open-ended mutual fund scheme investing in units of gold ETFs. This does not require any demat account. Like any other mutual fund, there is complete flexibility and one can invest and redeem from gold funds anytime.
We can also say that Gold MFs are investing in Gold ETFs itself but indirectly.
Related article : Know Your Expenses When You Go For A Mutual Fund Investment
Gold MF Vs Gold ETF
Now that we are clear with the basic understanding, let us see the comparison between both of these options.
- Cost – Investing in gold MF via broker is a little expensive compared to gold ETF.
- Price – Gold MF units are priced at their respective NAV similar to any other mutual funds. NAV is updated on AMFI website on a daily basis from Monday to Friday. Price of gold ETF on the other hand is updated on real time basis just like stocks.
- Mode of investment – SIP is available for Gold mutual funds whereas gold ETFs are not SIP based. You can still invest in gold ETF on a monthly basis to accumulate units. If you are a layman investor, it will be easy to invest in Gold Mutual fund. For seasoned investors who can study the market and take effective decisions on investments, Gold ETFs will be a better choice.
- Type of Investment – Gold MFs invest in gold as well as other liquid funds. However, Gold ETFs invests almost 100% in pure gold and very minimal balance in debt.
- Liquidity – Both these gold investment avenues are highly liquid. But some Gold mutual funds comes with an exit load which differs from fund to fund. Gold ETF has an edge here as there is no exit load.
- Transferability – Gold ETF can be converted into precious metal whenever needed unlike gold mutual funds.