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Digital vs Physical Gold vs SBG vs ETF

Digital Gold vs Physical Gold vs SBG vs Gold ETF: which investment option you Must opt for?

Do you intend to purchase gold anytime soon? Were you aware that an allotment of gold can be made through the purchase of SBG, gold ETFs, and physical gold? Every element has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. It is necessary to be aware of all of them. Physical gold, because it is physical, has a subjective value in addition to its monetary value. It can also be purchased from a local jeweler, which makes it extremely accessible.

Investment into valuable metals is difficult because of the various complications that arise. When purchasing actual gold in the form of coins or bars, the issues of storage, upkeep, and security come into consideration. Besides investing in Gold Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), Sovereign Gold Bonds (SBG), one must have a thorough grasp of the financial markets, as well as a trading and depository account.

Throughout the article, we’ll do a comparison of digital gold vs physical gold vs SBG vs ETF. We will cover each of these instruments in detail, their return, characteristics, and limitations as they are.

gold investment

What is physical gold?

This is the type of gold that people prefer to give or receive as a present. The natural tendency is to provide something physical as a present. Whether it is local or branded, you can purchase it from jewelry stores. One must be cautious because non-hallmarked gold has a purity problem. This type of approach is very commonly acknowledged all around the world. It is a tangible asset; therefore, security and storage are of concern. When it comes to taxation, a mutual fund that does not trade in equities is treated the same way.

What is digital gold?

Digital gold is available for sale through your e-wallets and other financial platforms, among many other places. When compared to physical gold, the most significant advantages are purity and storage. It is safeguarded even while the gold is in transit. Digital gold is supported by genuine physical gold, stored in bank-grade vaults, and guaranteed by insurance. The biggest disadvantage is the difference between the selling and buying prices. 

Explore some of the most significant contrasts between digital gold and physical gold.

  1. The Amount of Investment
    To have an experience of physical gold price movement, an individual must first acquire at least one gram of gold. As the price fluctuates daily, when compared to physical gold, digital gold may be purchased and traded in smaller denominations at a lower cost. 
    As a result, it is extremely inexpensive and easy, as investments may be made in fractions of gram amounts. Its lower minimum investment amount encourages anyone, including those with modest financial resources, to invest.
  1. Trading 
    Trading in physical gold is time-consuming and difficult because you must first visit either your bank or jeweler. Anyone can purchase and sell digital gold instantly with a few simple clicks, which makes it a convenient way to invest.
    Although the prices are subject to fluctuations, the value of this item is priceless. This precious metal, gold, cannot be created and is hence rare and unabated. Digital gold will become increasingly popular as a means of trading in this yellow metal in the future. If people get intensely interested in it, then shortly.
  1. Liquidity 
    When compared to other assets, gold is regarded as being extremely liquid. Physical gold, on the other hand, continues to experience some liquidity concerns. For instance, to liquidate this actual yellow metal and obtain the full market value, it is necessary to sell it back to the owner from whom you originally purchased it.
    Buying and selling digital gold is uncomplicated and full of ease. It is possible to complete it from any location and at any time. This eliminates any need for you to either visit a seller or store a copy of your purchase bill in a secure place for many years for the purpose of obtaining the maximum resale value possible on your purchase at some point in the future.

What is Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB)?

Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) are government-issued securities that are denominated in precious metal gold. Each bond is equal to one gram of gold in terms of value. Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs) are issued through limited-time offerings that are open approximately 5-6 times per year.

It takes eight years for the Sovereign Gold Bonds to mature from the date of registration. The option to leave early is available for those that do not choose to remain in the same spot. throughout its whole eight-year service life.

Read also: Gold Loan vs Personal Loan: Benefits and what to opt for

What is the Gold ETF?

Gold ETFs are investment instruments that are based on gold current prices. These are the units representing physical gold which would be in either dematerialized or paper form. It is based on the price of one gram of 24k gold and is referred to as a gold ETF. The Gold ETFs can be purchased and traded like common equities on the stock markets. The main advantage of investing in gold using exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is the convenience and clarity with which you can do so.

There are numerous benefits of investing in ETFs. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Easy to Buy and Sell: ETFs can be bought and sold just like stocks. This makes them very liquid, which means you can sell them when you need to.

2. Diversification: ETFs offer diversification because they hold a variety of assets. This helps reduce your risk because if one asset performs poorly, the other assets in the ETF will likely perform well.

3. Tax Benefits: ETFs offer tax benefits that regular stocks do not. For example, capital gains on digital gold held for less than three years are taxable at applicable income tax slab rates.

4. Low Fees: ETFs have low fees when compared to other investment options. This is because the management fees are spread out among all the investors in the fund.

5. Liquidity: As mentioned earlier in this article, ETFs can be bought and sold with ease thus making them highly liquid options for investment.

gold investment

Let us see In what various ways do Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) and exchange-traded funds (ETF) differ from one another;

  1. Return On Investment
    Because SGBs follow gold prices and pay an additional 2.5 percent interest. They outperform gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that do not offer the extra interest component. The only thing that matters with gold exchange-traded funds is that your return is equivalent. As to the increase in bond yields during the holding term.
  1. Liquidity
    SGBs are less liquid than gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs). If you look at the trading date, you will notice that the majority of gold ETFs are in India. traded often enough that small investors in gold ETFs will not suffer significant liquidity risk.
    However, if you look at the SGB trade statistics, you will notice that the volumes are now relatively low. Thus, gold ETFs outperform their counterparts in terms of trading liquidity. 

Read also: A Beginners’ Guide to Commodities Trading and Exchange


Experts advise that gold should account for 5-10 percent of your total investment strategy. It has low volatility compared to shares and can thus help to stabilize your portfolio during a market downturn. There are no restrictions on purchasing physical gold. Because of logistical costs, there is a pricing differential between different geographical areas. Although there is no regulation to oversee the inspections of digital gold firms. Similarly, to physical gold, such assets provide the opportunity to grow in value. Additional benefits include long-term wealth accruing, as well as financially secure future. 

Post Author: Priyanka Rao

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