Apr 27, 2012, 12.51 PM | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Akshaya Tritiya: 16 points to check before buying gold

Akshaya Tritiya is supposed to be one of the most auspicious days to buy gold as per Indian belief. But before buying, lets take a look at the pros and cons of the most attractive gold investment options available in the Indian market.

Akshaya Tritiya is considered as one of the most auspicious day to buy gold. According to Indian belief, this day is blessed by the goddess of wealth and investment on this day is likely to grow throughout the year. Jewellers and gold traders wait for this day to push up sales.

In order to attract more buyers, jewellers and banking institutions have come up with various schemes this year. One of the leading jewellers has come up with an offer of a free silver coin equal to half the weight of gold purchased i.e. if someone buys 100 grams gold, then he will get 50 grams silver free. Another renowned jeweller is offering up to 50% discount on the making charge of jewelry. Similarly, banks are also offering attractive discounts on the gold coins if booked on or before Akshaya Tritiya.

There are many options available in the market, and it's natural for the buyers to get confused. The buyers have a wide range of options to buy Gold on this Akshaya Tritiya. Before buying, it is necessary to understand whether one is purchasing for investment or as jewellery. Following are some of the most attractive gold investment options available in the Indian market:

a. Gold Jewelry
b. Gold Bar/coins
c. E-Gold investment
d. Exchange Traded Fund (Gold ETF)

The details of all the four options are shown in the table below:

Details  Gold Jewelry Gold Bar/coin E-Gold (NSEL) Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)- Gold
Purity Offered In Various Products 9 carat to 24 carat 999.9% (24 carat) 995.0%(24 carat) 995.0% (24 carat)
Chances of Impurity Yes Not Possible Not Possible Not Possible
Additional Cost of Purchase Prevailing Market price of the Gold & Making charges in the range of 1% to 10% on the basis of design and work. 1) Prevailing Market price of the Gold 2) VAT at 1% 3) Premium charged by the bank/seller at varied rates 1) Real time Gold Price on trading screen  2) Brokerage at the rate of 0.1% to 0.5% 3) Transaction charge                                      1) Real time Gold Price  2) Brokerage at the rate of 0.1% to .5 %depending upon the Broker       
Holding charges NIL if kept at home or if kept in bank locker then charges for locker in the range of Rs 1000 to Rs 2500 Pa. NIL if kept at home or if kept in bank locker then charges for locker in the range of Rs 1000 to Rs 2500 Pa. Annual maintenance charges which range from Rs.150 to 400 1) DEMAT Charges of Rs 150-250 pa. 2) ETF fund manager's annual maintenance charge
Where to buy? From any jeweler 1) Banks 2) Post office 3) Jewelers                   From Trading platform of National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) Stock exchanges i.e NSE and BSE
Any Requirement Before Buying Just need Money in cash or cheque Pan card for purchase above Rs. 50,000. DEMAT with trading account in NSEL at any broker. DEMAT and Trading Account with a broker along with sufficient fund to buy
Minimum unit that can be Purchased 1 Gram 0.5 Gram to 1 kg 1 Gram 1 Gram
Tax on transaction VAT VAT at the rate of 1% Transaction charge at Rs.1/gm Only brokerage without STT
How to Liquidate Back to Jewelers Banks don’t buy-back, can sell only to jewelers Can sell back at NSEL trading platform or if delivery taken then sell it to the jewelers Stock Exchanges
Selling Expenses If not 24 carat and not hallmarked then impurity will be deducted along with making charges Premium paid to the bank while buying gold cannot be recovered If delivery taken then 1% VAT and 1% as Making charges of Gold coin. Brokerage
Risk Theft and impurity Theft Minimum risk Brokers Fraud
Liquidity Moderate as jewelers buy at discount price on the prevailing market rate Low as Bankers doesn’t buy and Jewelers also pay less Very High Liquidity High Liquidity
Wealth tax Yes Yes Yes No
Short term capital gain tax First 3 years First 3 years First 3 years If sold before one year after purchase 
Long term capital gain tax After 3 years After 3 years After 3 years After One year
As an Investment No Yes Yes Yes

















































Now after analyzing all the data under the four options to invest in gold, it would be a better choice for a buyer to first analyse his/her need. If the buyer wants to invest for long term with less carrying cost and doesn't want many tax obligations, then Gold ETF is the best choice. Even when the buyer wants to make jewelry in the future with the invested gold, it is best to invest in the electronic form of gold because later on when needed it can be easily liquidated, and proceedings can be used to make gold jewelry at the prevailing market price. If, however, the buyer immediately wants to use gold as jewelry, then obviously there is no point in buying gold in an electronic form. Usually during Akshay Tritya people try to invest in gold as a long term asset, so perhaps the best way to do this is to invest in the electronic form of gold.

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