Diwali, a celebration of five days, starts with Dhanteras. Dhanteras is also known as Dhanavantri Thrayodashi or Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi. Dhan means wealth, and Tryodashi means the thirteenth day of Krishna Paksha(dark fortnight) of Kartikamasa in the Hindu Calendar. In addition to diyas, what we mostly see during Diwali is Laxmi pooja and Kubera Pooja. The message is that we need money to fulfill our life essentials and also pursue our goals. Hence we should respect and accumulate wealth. Needless to say, we should earn it in the right way. As gold represents wealth, there is a practice of buying gold during Dhanteras or Diwali.
Because in past eras, people used to invest in gold to use this during the unseen crisis in the future. In those days, there were very few options to invest in but now there are many gold schemes available. Let’s understand what are the different ways one can invest in Gold schemes.
It is a digital form of gold that can be brought or sold in fractions online.
Metal and Minerals Trading Corporation of India issues digital gold. The investor has to buy or sell digital gold via an agent on an online platform.
- Digital gold units are traded at the current market price of gold.
- GST of 3% applies to Digital gold.
- Storage and maintenance charges may come around 2-3%.
- Investors should hold a minimum of 1 gram of gold to convert it into physical gold. It is highly liquid in nature.
- The investor can hold digital gold maximum for 5 years (or it can be 7 years in some cases) after 5 years investor has to sell digital gold or can take physical delivery of the gold.
- You can buy digital gold from PayTM, Google Pay, Stock Holding Corporation, and National Stock Exchange.
Gold ETF are commodity-based securities that invest in physical gold, gold companies, and 0-10% in debt securities to maintain liquidity. They follow the gold index on the National Stock Exchange. These are low-risk investments present in both dematerialized and paper form. Every one unit of Gold ETF represents one gram of 24 carat gold. Gold ETFs are listed on the National Stock Exchange, and Asset Management Company takes the responsibility of trading them online.
- Gold ETFs can be traded at the current market price of physical gold.
- Capital gain tax is applicable on the gains earned via Gold ETFs.
- In the case of Gold ETF, there are no storage expenses, but management fees are there that is around 0.5- 1 %.
- Here the gold is in bullion form hence investors can’t avail of loans against gold ETFs.
- The minimum investment is the price of 1 gram of gold, and if you want to have physical delivery of gold, then the minimum investment must be 1KGs of gold.
- Examples for Gold ETF are SBI Gold ETF and Kotak Gold ETF
Fixed-Income securities are instruments that pay a fixed amount of interest every year till they mature. Read this blog to know more about Fixed-Income Securities.
Gold Mutual Funds
Gold MFs are mutual funds that invest in Gold ETFs. Hence it is also called Fund of Funds. They work like Gold ETFs, but here a professional fund manager manages the investment.
- The investor is supposed to pay this management fee. Management fees are around 1-2%, and GST is not applicable.
- Gold mutual funds are bought or sold at NAV that is close to the price that appears on gold ETFs.
- In the case of Gold MF, the minimum investment is RS. 500.
- Physical conversion is not possible, but liquidity is high. If you exit before one year then you need to pay exit charges of about 1-2 %.
- Examples: Kotak Gold Funds and HDFC Gold Funds
Sovereign Gold Bonds Schemes
SGBs are government debt securities issued by RBI, where investors will own gold in a certificate format. SGBs are denominated in grams of gold.
- They provide a coupon payment of 2.5 % biannually.
- The gains from SGB attract capital gain tax.
- The minimum investment is 1 gram of gold, and investors can avail loan against SGBs.
- Investors can buy SGBs from the RBI site. SGB 2020-21 Series VIII is being issued on 13-11-2020. Alternatively, you can buy in the secondary market also.
In summary, by investing in gold in its digital form, you can avoid lots of hassles which otherwise you would have had if you’d invest in physical. Therefore, you can see that investing in gold has become very popular
In addition, if you are investing for a very long term i.e. more than 10 years, the return from yellow metal is safer and higher. However, as gold prices are all-time high now, returns from gold might be not very predictable. If you are looking for a higher, safer, and assured returns, then you can consider investing in bonds.
What are bonds and why bonds?
Bonds and debentures are debt investment instruments with a Fixed Rate of Return and Fixed Maturity Period. Bonds are securities that are mostly issued by the government, whereas debentures are always issued by corporations. Bonds and Debentures are issued by the entities to raise money from investors as a loan used to fulfill business objectives like entering new markets, starting a new project, or scaling existing businesses.
For every bond/debenture issue, fixed interest payments (Coupons) are paid regularly on pre-specified dates. The principal loan amount(face value per unit of Bond/ Debenture) is paid back on the pre-specified maturity date. Bonds are tradable: an investor can sell/buy bonds in the secondary market at the current market price.
The interest rate varies from one issuance to another, though generally, they are higher than that of FDs and other fixed investment options mentioned above.
Investors can get around 8% to 12 % fixed annual returns
from AAA to A-rated bonds.
Interest earned from bonds will not be subjected to TDS deduction. However, Capital gain tax is applicable if the bond is sold off in between or when a discounted price bond matures at face value. Tax-free bonds are 100% tax-free: investors need not pay a single penny on interest income.
Advantages of Investing in Bonds.
- Bonds provide regular cash flows and come with a fixed maturity so that investors can rely on bond returns.
- Investors can sell bonds in the secondary market at any time.
- If bond prices increase then, investors can resell to earn capital gains.
- Investors can take a loan against bonds. To meet your emergency requirement, you need not sell bonds. You can avail loans and continue to hold bonds or sell them whenever market conditions are in your favor.