Gold EFTs combines the best of two worlds – stock trading and gold investment. Gold has been the most sought-after investment product in the world for centuries as its value has increased over time. Apart from being interwoven into cultures, gold has evolved as a good investment. It’s a great portfolio diversifier and is used to hedge against inflation and currency debasement. While holding gold in the physical form like jewellery, bars or coins is cumbersome, gold ETFs come in the dematerialised form and are closer to the market price of the metal. Expenses incurred in buying, selling or making gold jewellery is also more than gold ETFs. ETFs or Exchange-Traded funds are traded on the stock exchanges based on the value of the underlying asset. Gold ETFs have only one underlying asset — gold. So if you are looking to profit from the incremental value of gold in the future, Gold ETF investment is a good option for you.

How to Invest in Gold ETF

What is Gold ETF?

Gold ETFs are mutual funds schemes that track and reflect the value of this yellow metal. It is a passive investment instrument that invests in the gold bullion. One unit of gold ETF is equal to one gram of gold. These units are derivative contracts that can be bought and sold in the stock market. Although the fund is backed by the commodity, you do not own gold in the physical form. So when you redeem gold ETFs, you receive the cash equivalent of gold and not the metal itself.

How to Invest in Gold ETFs?

You can buy and sell Gold ETFs at market prices from the cash segment of the stock exchanges like any other company stock. To trade in gold ETFs, you require a DEMAT account and a trading account. Units can be bought online with the help of a stockbroker. Once you know how to invest in a Gold ETF, you can follow the given steps:

  1. Open online DEMAT and trading account
  2. Choose the fund you wish to purchase
  3. Place the order for the specified units through the broker’s portal
  4. Once the purchase order is matched with the sell order at the stock exchange, a confirmation is sent back to you on your phone for email
  5. You can either buy a lump sum or systematically invest at regular intervals
  6. Brokerages charge a nominal amount for the transaction.

Ways to Invest in Gold ETFs

As Gold Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)  are traded on stock exchanges, you can easily invest via a Demat account. Here’s how you can invest in Gold ETFs through Angel One:

Open a Demat Account with Angel One:

As Gold ETFs require a Demat account to hold the securities, you need to create a Demat account to start investing. You can start your investing journey, by opening a demat account with Angel One in just 5 minutes.

Log in and research Gold ETFs:

After creating the Demat account, log in to it. Click on the search icon on the app. You can search various “Gold ETFs” from the search bar to compare. Before making any investment, it’s essential to conduct thorough research. Evaluate different Gold ETF options available, considering factors like their past performance, expense ratio, benchmark index, and associated costs. 

Place Your Gold ETF Order:

After searching for the Gold ETF you wish to invest in. Enter the desired quantity you want to purchase and confirm your order. 

Ensure Sufficient Funds:

You can easily transfer funds from UPI or Net Banking to ensure a smooth transaction.

Points to Consider When Investing in Gold ETFs

Here are some points to keep in mind when investing in gold ETFs. 

  • Gold is an excellent asset to hedge against stock market volatility. Typically, the price of gold doesn’t move with the stock price, and hence, investors can use gold investments to safeguard against increased market volatility. 
  • Gold ETFs in India are monitored by SEBI and backed by real gold. Each ETF unit is equivalent to 1 gm of gold. 
  • If you engage in frequent trading, gold ETFs will provide you with higher liquidity than traditional gold investments.
  • Given that in the past 10 years until April 2023, gold investment has earned only 7.3% returns against 12.1% generated by the Sensex, gold is better suited for short to medium-term investment. 
  • While choosing a gold ETF fund, take a holistic approach to evaluate all aspects, from performance to fees, before the final decision.
  • Consider diversifying your portfolio. Ideally, you should allocate only 5% to 10% of your fund to gold investments. 
  • You should search the market for a gold ETF with a suitable fee structure. The expense ratio on gold funds can range from 0.5% to 1%. 
  • Monitor fund performance regularly to track the investment decisions made by your fund manager.
  • Follow the gold price trend before investing and plan proper entry and exit to buy low and sell high. You can also track the best gold ETFs on the market before investing.

Benefits of investing in Gold ETFs:

Gold ETFs are comparable to bonds as a defensive asset class that can be used by investors to hedge against political and economic disruptions. With gold as its underlying asset, it is less volatile as compared to equities. Some of the other benefits of gold ETFs are as follows:

  • Cost-effective  There are also no entry and exit loads for trading gold ETFs making them more profitable.
  • Transparency – Like stocks, gold ETFs are traded based on real-time gold prices. The information on prices is publicly available.
  • Ease of trade – Gold ETFs can be bought and sold instantly without any hassles. This gives ETFs a higher liquidity quotient.
  • Longevity – Holding gold in the DEMAT form gives it protection against theft and ease of storage. You can hold gold ETFs for a longer period.
  • Tax benefits – Gold ETFs do not attract wealth tax or securities transaction tax. The income from Gold ETFs are treated as long term capital gains tax.

Risks of Investing in Gold ETFs

Investing in Gold ETFs can offer potential benefits, but it’s important to be aware of the associated risks. Here are five key points to consider:

  • Price Fluctuation: Gold ETFs are directly linked to the price of gold, which can be influenced by various factors such as inflation, geopolitical events, and global market fluctuations. In India, factors like the exchange rate of the Indian Rupee to the US Dollar can also impact gold prices. This means that the Net Asset Value (NAV) of gold ETF units can experience sudden and significant fluctuations in response to economic conditions. Investors should be prepared for this volatility.
  • Variable Return on Investment: Investing in gold ETFs involves costs like fund management fees, brokerage charges, and commission fees. These expenses can erode the overall return on investment. It’s essential for Indian investors to carefully assess these costs and choose ETFs with lower expense ratios to maximise their returns.
  • Limited Trading Hours: Gold ETFs are traded on stock exchanges, and trading is limited to five working days a week between 9:15 AM to 3:30 PM. In contrast, physical gold investments can be made throughout the year. This limited trading window may not align with the preferences and convenience of all investors, especially in the Indian market where gold is culturally significant and frequently traded.
  • Counterparty Risk: When you invest in gold ETFs, you are essentially buying a financial instrument backed by physical gold held by a custodian. There is a counterparty risk associated with the custodian and issuer of the ETF. While this risk is generally considered low, it’s still important to be aware of it, as any default by the custodian or issuer could impact the value of your investment.
  • Tax Implications: In India, gold ETFs are taxed on the basis of income tax slab rate as they also invest up to 35% in equity-linked assets. 

However, physical gold returns are taxed as short-term capital gains (if sold within 3 years) as per your income tax bracket, while long-term capital gains (held for over 3 years) are subject to a 20% tax rate with indexation benefits. Understanding these tax rules is crucial when planning your investment horizon.

Gold ETFs Compared With Other Investment Products

Here’s a table comparing gold ETFs with other investment products across various factors:

Factors Gold ETFs Physical Gold Gold Mutual Funds Sovereign Gold Bonds
Investment Type Exchange- Traded Physical Ownership Mutual Funds Government Bonds
Liquidity High Low Moderate Very Low
Costs Low (Expense Ratio) High Making Charges Moderate (Expense Ratio) None
Storage Demat Account Lockers Demat Account Demat Form
Ease of Buying/ Selling Easily traded on stock exchanges Physical purchase and sale Bought and sold like stocks Can be bought from banks and stock market brokers
Ownership of Physical Gold No Yes No No
Dividends/ Income None None Dividends from underlying stocks Interest @2.5% p.a.
Lock in Period None None 3 Years 5 Years
Tax on Long-Term Returns (3Yr +) 20% taxes, along with a cess of 4%  20% taxes, along with a cess of 4%  20% taxes, along with a cess of 4%  If redeemed at maturity, exempted from tax. If redeemed before maturity, 20% tax, along with indexation.
Market Risk Linked to gold prices Dependent on gold prices Dependent on gold prices None
Inherent Costs Expense Ratio Purchase and storage costs Expense Ratio Brokerage and transaction costs
Risk and Returns Moderate risk; correlated with gold prices High Risk; correlated with gold prices Moderate risk; fund performance No risk; fixed interest above price fluctuations
Minimum Investment Varies Varies ₹100 1 Gram of Gold

It’s essential to consider your investment objectives and conduct thorough research before choosing the right option for your portfolio.


As compared to physical gold, Gold ETF investment generates income through returns. They can also be used as collateral against loans. These make gold ETF a good investment option.


What is a gold ETF?

A gold ETF is a financial instrument that tracks the price of gold on the stock market. It allows investors to gain exposure to gold assets without physically owning the metal.

How does a gold ETF work?

A gold ETF invests in physical gold or derivative contracts backed by gold. It tracks the gold price in the domestic market. It issues shares that can be traded on the stock exchange during market hours.

What are the advantages of investing in a gold ETF?

Investing in gold ETFs has the following benefits:

  • Ease of trading with high liquidity
  • Cost-effectiveness 
  • Portfolio diversification 

Are gold ETFs risky investments?

Like any investment, gold ETFs carry risks. Factors like changes in the underlying security’s price, market volatility, and currency movements influence the ETFs’ price. Additionally, investors must consider the fund’s expense ratio, tracking error, and the issuing company’s reputation before investing.

How to invest in gold ETFs?

Firstly, you must open a Demat account with a reputed broker like Angel One. Once the account is active, you can start buying and selling gold ETF units by logging into the trading portal of the broker.