Gold ETF – Know All About It!

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  • 23 Jan 2023
Gold ETF – Know All About It!

Are you thinking of buying gold as an investment? However, you are worried about how to keep the gold safe and where to buy to get the genuine gold, isn’t it? So, you do not need to purchase physical gold to invest in it as there is a Gold ETF (exchange-traded fund).

A Gold ETF is an exchange-traded fund that exclusively invests in gold. Like all other ETFs, these gold ETFs are traded on stock exchanges just like shares. However, these are funds consisting of different assets, and here in the case of gold, it comprises gold derivative contracts. A Gold ETF consists of futures or options contracts, with the underlying asset being gold. Though you won’t be owning any physical gold by buying these gold ETFs, you can profit from the price fluctuation of physical gold in the market, as the price of gold ETFs ultimately depends on the price of physical gold.

As you may know, Gold significantly helps hedge financial risks in a volatile market. It is a saviour for investors when the market crashes. Gold ETFs can be used to hedge financial risks, economic and geopolitical fallout, and even against forex risks. The price of gold usually increases when the dollar becomes weaker. Thus, if you have any asset in your investment portfolio, which can be affected by the dollar's weakening, you can hedge the risk with Gold ETFs. On the contrary, if there’s a risk of the dollar strengthening, you can sell the Gold ETFs to hedge the risk. Gold ETFs can also be used to hedge against the volatility in the physical gold market. If the market price of gold rises and affects an investor, having Gold ETFs can reduce the risk to some extent. On the other hand, one can benefit from the falling gold market by trading an inverse Gold ETF.

There are certain things you need to be aware of while investing in Gold ETFs-

  • Gold ETFs can be more profitable than other investment vehicles with the underlying asset as gold, especially when you regularly invest a large amount of trade Gold ETFs.
  • Since these are funds, there are fund managers as well. If you pick a Gold ETF just because the fund has a lower expense ratio or the fund manager's fee is low, you may be in trouble. Investing in Gold ETFs can prove beneficial for the short or medium term.


Investing in Gold is nothing new in India, but investing in Gold ETFs is becoming popular with time and evolving technology. Gold ETFs can be a great option if you want to invest in this yellow metal without physically holding it.

Gold ETF may be a good investment option. There is no risk of theft or storage costs, making them a safe investment. Gold ETFs also act as a hedge against inflation and market volatility. This offers stability. However, they are subject to market conditions and are less liquid. So, consider your financial goals while investing in gold ETF.

No, gold ETFs are not tax-free in India. Short-term capital gains tax is applicable if you hold them for less than 3 years. The taxes are applicable based on the income tax slabs. On the other hand, a long-term capital gains tax of 20% is levied on holding gold ETFs for more than 3 years.

ETFs are traded on stock exchanges. So, they are a low-cost investment and provide liquidity. Conversely, mutual funds may provide higher returns. They also allow investing in various diverse assets. However, there is an expense ratio and other costs. You may choose between the two financial instruments based on your requirements.

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