Gold ETF

Gold ETF versus physical gold

In India, gold is a popular investment. The yellow metal is a possession that is particularly lucky. However, the government has recently offered Gold ETFs and sovereign gold bonds as alternatives to actual gold. This essay goes into great detail on physical gold vs. ETFs.

What are Exchange Traded Funds for Gold?

Gold ETF

Mutual funds called “gold exchange-traded funds” invest in gold bullion and follow domestic gold prices. They support by 99.5% pure gold. As a substitute for actual gold, ETFs are available in a dematerialized manner.

The minimum investment is one gram of gold because one unit of the ETFs is equal to one gram of gold. Investors have the chance to engage in the market and gain exposure to gold because the mutual fund trades on stock markets. ETFs are traded globally and on markets in India. As a result, one can buy and sell ETFs on exchanges like the NSE and BSE.

These ETFs can trade using a trading and Demat account. As a result, cash rather than gold is used in the purchase and sale. Since gold ETFs’ pricing are uniform throughout India, all transactions using them are completely transparent. The cost ratio for these ETFs is capped at 1%. Additionally, there are extra costs like brokerage and transaction fees.

Due to the fact that they trade on the stock market, gold ETFs are quite liquid. Furthermore, there is no chance of theft and no need for additional storage because they are in a dematerializing format.

Benefits of Exchange Traded Funds for Gold

The advantages of investing in ETFs are as follows:

Simple and Open Trading: One unit, or one gram of gold, is the minimum investment in an ETF. On the exchange, ETFs can purchase and sell, and the exchange rates are available to the public.
Smooth Transactions: ETFs can buy and sell on the stock exchange during market hours. It is therefore as simple as stock trading. Additionally, the price of the ETF is unaffecting by variations in local prices, the GST, or any other taxes.

A good approach to preserve one’s money from inflation and currency volatility is to invest in gold.

Compared to real gold, gold ETFs are a safe and straightforward investment option. People don’t have to worry about charging, paying more for a locker, or committing fraud or theft.

Cost-effective: Entry and exit loads are absent with gold ETFs. The only costs associated with gold ETFs are the brokerage and fund management fees.
Portfolio Diversification: Gold ETFs are a wise choice for portfolio diversification. When markets are unexpecting or uncertain, they help to reduce risk.

Gold ETFs may be used as collateral by investors to obtain a loan from a financial institution.

What is investing in physical gold?

In India, gold is one of the most popular investment options. It is a resource with a social and emotional worth. Gold purchases in India as physical items including gold bars, coins, jewelry, and biscuits. And the majority of the time it is for eating.

Direct purchases of gold can make from any merchant, including banks and jewelers. There aren’t any contracts or middlemen. Thus, there is no counterparty risk when purchasing actual gold. Anywhere in the world, gold is easily liquidated for cash. It is a resource that accepting by everyone and can use at any time in an emergency. Although the purchase of gold is typically kept private, it is a good idea to keep all bills and receipts for income tax purposes.

Physical gold investment has drawbacks of its own. As gold biscuits only weigh 10 grams, the minimum investment considers, and the risk of theft grows once gold is purchased. And purchasing safety lockers is necessary in order to protect it. This raises the price of storage and transportation.

The making costs for jewelry are often on the higher side. There is no purity guarantee when buying gold. The cost of gold also differs from dealer to dealer. Gold that purchases for more than INR 30 lakhs is subject to a wealth tax. Additionally, gold has a far lower resale value than a sovereign gold bond or gold exchange-traded fund.

Advantages of owning actual gold

The following are advantages of buying actual gold as an investment:

  • Take possession of the investment in person: Investors can hold investments in person. They may come in the form of ornaments, bars, or coins. As a result, it is one of the safest investments.
  • Emergency: In the event of a market or economic collapse, an asset’s value may disappear while the actual gold you own continues to exist. As a result, it safeguards the investment in an emergency. In the event of unanticipated political and societal calamities, gold ETFs won’t provide the advantages that actual gold does. “Financial insurance” is provided by physical gold.
  • Inflation and currency depreciation: Investing in gold can help shield wealth from these two threats.
  • Total command of wealth: Having actual gold on hand makes it easier for investors to time their buys and sells. The asset is under the investor’s ownership and control. Consequently, the investor has full control.

Gold ETF versus physical gold What is superior?

The following table compares actual gold and gold ETFs.

ParametersPhysical GoldGold ETF
MeaningThe purity of actual gold may or may not be 99.5%.Open-ended exchange-traded funds known as gold ETFs invest in traditional gold bullion (gold with a purity of 99.5%). A shareholder owns shares of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) whose value bases on the market price of physical gold.
PricePrices for physical gold vary.Pricing is consistent and constantly open according to international norms.
InvestmentThe usual gold coin or biscuit weight of 10 grams is also available. Consequently, purchasing actual gold involves a large financial commitment.One unit of a gold exchange-traded fund (ETF) is equal to one gram of gold. As a result, these provide investors with a cost-effective choice.
CostWhen purchasing gold jewelry, making fees range from 20% to 30% of the metal’s total value.The expense ratio for gold ETFs is 1%, and brokerage costs are 0.5% or less.
Wealth taxA person is required to pay 1% wealth tax if they own more gold than INR 30 lakhs wealth tax.
TaxationGains from a gold investment that has been held for less than three years are subject to taxation at the investor’s individual income tax rate. Gains are subject to a 20% withholding tax with an indexation advantage for investment holding periods longer than three years.Gains from a short-term investment that is sold before three years are subject to the investor’s income tax bracket rates. Consider selling the investments after three years (long term). After indexation advantages, the capital gains are then subject to a 20.8% (including cess) tax rate. Furthermore, at 10% without indexation advantage
LiquidityGold can purchase easily from any bank or jeweler. Anywhere in the world, they can be exchanged through jewelers.Since gold ETFs trade on stock exchanges, buying and selling are as simple as trading stocks.
ReturnsThe actual return is equal to the current gold market price minus (buying price and making charges).The actual return is equal to the exchange’s current gold unit listing price minus (buying price and brokerage charges)
Demat AccountNot necessaryNot required


Gold ETF

The most sought-after good and asset on the planet is gold. It has long been used as a benchmark for valuing money. The demand for this yellow metal has just recently increased. Even now, gold is growing more and more fashionable. Since gold is the only asset that is consistently providing returns above the rate of inflation, demand for physical gold and gold ETFs has only increased. Consequently, it serves as the ideal hedge against inflation.

Both actual gold and gold ETFs have advantages and disadvantages of their own. Physical gold is widely accepted, even though digital gold is safer. Compareding to other forms of gold, it is exceedingly liquid. When it comes to transactions, gold ETFs are more transparent.

According to financial advisors, a portfolio of investments should contain 10% to 20% of gold. It serves as a hedge against inflation risk, currency risk, and market volatility and can aid in portfolio diversification.


Why does the Gold ETF cost less than actual gold?

Why do gold ETF prices differ from gold prices in physical form? A Gold ETF’s price determining by the supply and demand of the ETF on the stock exchange. However, the cost of actual gold varies depending on the area and from dealer to dealer.

What are the Gold ETF’s drawbacks?

Liquidity is another issue with gold ETFs; illiquid ETFs limit the flexibility of purchasing and selling gold. As a result, investors should take this into account when choosing gold ETFs and should stick with liquid products. Take a look at your Economic Times newspaper,

Is a Gold ETF preferable to actual gold?

Physical gold and gold ETFs are two distinct ways to invest in gold. Both lead to the same outcome, which is portfolio diversification. Both have different levels of safety and liquidity, though. Physical gold is accepted everywhere, even though Gold ETFs are safer. Compared to all other kinds of gold, physical gold is exceedingly liquid. ETFs for gold is only used for investing. While real gold can use for both financial and personal use. The purchasing and selling of Gold ETFs (mutual funds) are more openly disclosed. Physical gold does not have counterparty risk, though. Therefore, it’s crucial for people to think about their needs and objectives before selecting one type of gold as an investment.

Is Gold ETF a good idea?

Comparison of actual gold and gold ETF in one image
As the purchase is made electronically and the investor doesn’t have to worry about the storage and security of the gold, according to industry experts, investors have a benefit when considering investing in Gold ETFs. The investor thereby spars the inconvenience of storage, security, and concern over gold quality.

Is gold the same as gold ETF?

While gold ETFs invest in 99.5% pure gold, gold mutual funds invest in gold ETFs. While gold mutual funds impose an exit load when holdings redeem before a year, gold ETFs do not. SIP investments permit in gold mutual funds but are quite laborious in gold ETFs.

Is purchasing gold stocks or actual gold preferable?

During a recession, having exclusively stock investments can be problematic. When the stock market is down, as it has throughout previous recessions, gold performs better. Gold can act as a safety net during a recession in addition to being a haven during times of economic crisis.

Can I ever sell my gold ETF?

Prices for gold ETFs are available to buy or sell at any time through a stock broker and display on the BSE/NSE website. Gold ETF, as opposed to gold jewelry, can be purchased and sold at the same price. Pan-India.

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