Gold ETFs Witness Record Inflows in August 2023

Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have emerged as star performers in the Indian financial landscape, drawing substantial investor attention. In August 2023, these ETFs attracted a remarkable Rs1,028 crore, marking the highest inflow since April 2022, according to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi). This surge followed an already impressive inflow of Rs456 crore into the segment in July.
Gold ETFs represent units of physical gold, which can be held in paper or dematerialized form. Their listing and trading on stock exchanges make them a secure investment avenue governed by stringent regulations. These ETFs have a minimal investment requirement, with one unit equivalent to the price of one gram of authentic gold. The fact that they are listed adds to their appeal, as gold ETFs offer ease of trading on the stock market and exceptional liquidity.
Investing in gold plays a vital role in asset allocation strategies, offering diversification benefits and acting as a hedge against economic uncertainties.
Gold investment comes in various forms, but ETFs stand out as one of the most favored choices. For short-term investment goals, gold ETFs offer strong liquidity and are a compelling option. However, for those with long-term investment horizons, Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs) emerge as a more attractive alternative.
SGBs provide an annual interest rate of 2.50%, a unique feature that sets them apart from ETFs and other gold investment options. This interest effectively reduces the cost of holding SGBs by 2.50% each year, a benefit not found in other alternatives. Importantly, returns from SGBs are tax-free if held until maturity, a distinct advantage compared to other options in the market.
While ETFs deliver the convenience of trading gold units similar to equity shares through a trading account and are stored securely in a Demat account, they don't offer the interest income and tax advantages that SGBs provide. However, SGBs do have a limitation in terms of liquidity compared to gold ETFs due to their trading on exchanges.
In conclusion, the choice between gold ETFs and SGBs depends on your investment horizon and financial goals. Short-term investors may favor the liquidity and ease of trading offered by gold ETFs, while long-term investors can benefit from the interest income and tax advantages provided by SGBs. It's important to align your gold investment strategy with your financial objectives for optimal returns.



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Changes in Our Business Model
25th Sept 2020
Greetings from Moneylife Advisory Services
Between financial years 2019-21, SEBI has come up with extensive changes to investor advisor regulations. On Sep 23, 2020, SEBI had issued new additional guidelines. This comes just two months after extensive changes announced in July 2020. Earlier, in December 2019 there was an ad hoc circular
As a result of these changes, IAs, cannot accept fees through credit cards, will have to sign a 26-clause investor agreement, have to maintain physical record written & signed by client, telephone recording, emails, SMS messages and any other legally verifiable record for five years. IAs were already asked to record the suitability and rationale for every piece of advice given, sign them and store them for five years.
While these extensive and frequent changes, designed to strengthen the conduct of IAs are well-meaning, these have sharply increased compliance efforts and cost. We, being online advisors, find many of changes harder to implement, compared to advisors working in the physical space. We will have to have an army of advisors, administrative and tech staff to be compliant. If we do this, we will have to divert money to these areas and the cost of our service will double. We want to remain the least-cost service in the market to benefit more and more people. In the circumstances, we are forced to change our business model from “advisory” to “research”. This will mean the following:
What remains the same:
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  • We will have to suspend the restructuring tool.
What changes:
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Over the next few weeks our site and our communication to you will reflect these and other additional changes.
We feel this will not affect you much in terms of what really matters in investing: knowing what to buy and when to buy. This is our edge and it will still be available to you.
Debashis Basu