Calculate your SIP ReturnsExplore

SGBs: Safeguarding Wealth Amid Uncertainty

23 April 20246 mins read by Angel One
Sovereign Gold Bonds offer a safe investment option during market uncertainties, providing financial security, economic benefits, and tax advantages, all while reducing the need for physical gold.
SGBs: Safeguarding Wealth Amid Uncertainty
ShareShare on 1Share on 2Share on 3Share on 4Share on 5

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Buy stocks for the good times, buy gold for the bad times.” It’s a classic strategy many investors follow. But the current market scenario is tossing this old advice up in the air. Right now, everything from stocks and bonds to real estate and precious metals like gold and silver is all climbing in value. This kind of market is often called an “everything rally,” and it’s a bit unusual.

What’s Happening in the Market?

In an everything rally, making choices about where to invest can feel like throwing darts blindfolded—you might end up making money almost regardless of where you land. This can be exciting, but it also means traditional, careful investing strategies might not stand out as much in terms of returns.

Why focus on gold? Simply put, it’s a really interesting area right now, even if the market as a whole is booming.

Why Do People Buy Gold?

There are generally three main reasons people invest in gold:

  • Cultural and Practical Uses: People buy gold for making jewellery, which is often used in weddings and other ceremonies, or for holding as an emergency fund.
  • Investment: Like stocks or bank deposits, gold is bought to make money over time. Although physical gold doesn’t earn interest, some gold investments like Sovereign Gold Bonds do.
  • Insurance: Gold is also seen as a safety net—insurance against financial crises or major global issues.

What’s Driving the Current Gold Rush?

Even though our reasons for buying gold haven’t changed much, its role as an “insurance policy” against global unrest or economic problems is more relevant than ever. Right now, the world is facing significant challenges like ongoing wars and high inflation in many places, which is eroding the value of regular currency.

Central banks around the world are also stockpiling gold, reducing their reliance on the U.S. dollar, which shows just how much they value gold as a stable reserve asset.

How Is the Market for Gold Shifting?

Currently, the price of gold is being pulled in different directions. On one hand, higher interest rates are making it less attractive since they offer better returns through other investments. On the other hand, the continued geopolitical tension and economic uncertainty are boosting its appeal.

A key indicator to watch is the gold-to-silver ratio, which compares the prices of these two metals. While it has remained fairly steady since 1997, except for a spike in March 2020, future movements could either see gold prices dropping or silver prices rising, changing the investment landscape.

Why Keep Gold in Your Portfolio?

Despite the potential for gold to underperform in terms of rapid financial gains, having it in your portfolio can be a calm harbour in the storm of market volatility. The peace of mind and security it provides can be invaluable, even if it slightly dampens your overall investment returns.

With the backdrop of ongoing conflicts like the Iran-Israel war, which has added to global tensions and economic uncertainties, investors are increasingly looking for safe havens. This is where Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs) come into play, offering a unique and appealing option both for personal investment portfolios and the broader economy.

What Are Sovereign Gold Bonds?

Sovereign Gold Bonds were introduced by the Indian government in November 2015 as part of a trio of gold-related schemes. These bonds are government securities denominated in grams of gold, allowing investors to own gold without the need to buy physical metal. This approach not only reduces the costs associated with physical gold, like making charges and storage fees but also aligns with government efforts to curb physical gold imports that weigh heavily on India’s current account deficit.

The Appeal of SGBs During Rising Gold Prices

As gold prices hit ₹7,421 per gram on April 19, 2024, investing in Sovereign Gold Bonds has become more appealing. Here’s why:

  • Financial Security: SGBs offer returns linked directly to the price of gold, ensuring that investors benefit from price rises without owning physical gold. SGB holders also receive a fixed annual interest of 2.5% upon withdrawal. This is particularly pertinent now as global instabilities, such as the ongoing wars and economic tensions, have historically driven the prices of safe-haven assets like gold upwards.
  • Economic Benefits: For the economy, these bonds have helped mitigate the heavy cost of importing gold, which has traditionally been a significant drain on India’s finances. By investing in SGBs, the money stays within the country, helping to stabilize the economy by keeping the current account deficit in check.
  • Risk-Adjusted Returns: The first SGB issued in 2015 was redeemed in 2023 with a return of about 150%, including annual interest. These returns are competitive with major stock indices like the S&P BSE Sensex but come with the added advantage of lower volatility compared to the stock market.
  • Tax Advantages: Another significant benefit is the tax treatment of SGBs. If held to maturity, gains from these bonds are exempt from capital gains tax, which is not the case with physical gold or gold ETFs.

In times of geopolitical unrest, such as the conflict between Iran and Israel, the allure of gold as a “crisis commodity” becomes even more pronounced. Gold’s value often increases as investors seek safety away from volatile stock markets and depreciating currencies. SGBs provide a way to leverage this increase in gold prices without the downsides of physical gold ownership.

A Win-Win for Everyone

The introduction of SGBs is a rare example of a financial instrument that benefits at both micro and macroeconomic levels. While individual investors gain a safe and potentially lucrative asset, the broader economy benefits from reduced gold import costs.

As we keep our eyes on global developments and economic indicators, the smart move is to consider what investments can best safeguard and grow our wealth. Sovereign Gold Bonds, with their unique benefits and strong performance, are certainly worth considering.

Disclaimer: This article has been written for educational purposes only. The securities quoted are only examples and not recommendations.

Open Free Demat Account!

Enjoy Zero Brokerage on Equity Delivery

Join our 2 Cr+ happy customers

Enjoy Zero Brokerage on Equity Delivery
Enjoy Zero Brokerage on Equity Delivery

Get the link to download the App

Send App Link

Enjoy Zero Brokerage on
Equity Delivery