Akshaya Tritiya is an auspicious day in the Hindu Calendar that is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity with the purchase of gold. In 2020, this day falls on 26 April, amid the nationwide lockdown.
Apart from the tradition, gold may prove to be wise long term investment as prices are expected to hit new all-time high due to the COVID-19 spread and analysts expect rates to stay high until there is a clear sign of recovery in the global economy.
For those who wish to purchase gold on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya 2020 amid the lockdown in India, there are several options online to do so.
1. Pre-book gold on Jewellers' website
Many leading jewellery chains are offering pre-booking on their website that will allow you to buy or pre-book any design of jewellery you like and for future delivery. These could be home delivered or picked up from the nearest outlet of the brand. The conditions defer as per the brand.
Tata Group's Tanishq is offering customers to purchase gold coins that can be exchanged for jewellery at Tanishq stores till 30 November 2020. There is also up to 25 percent off on making charges of gold and diamond jewellery value. However, jewellery purchase online between 18 to 27 April can only be exchanged at their stores till 30 June. Delivery of the online orders will begin on 4 May, after the lockdown ends, as per the brand's official website.
Kalyan Jewellers announced the sale of gold ownership certificates for Akshaya Tritiya. The Gold Ownership Certificate would indicate the person owns the yellow metal with a certain amount of value fulfilling the tradition of purchasing gold on Akshaya Tritiya day. Customers can purchase the metal in quantities starting at 2 grams.
Khazana Jewellery is offering online bookings between 23 April and 3 May for redemption at nearest Khazana outlet within 30 days after the lockdown ends.
Similarly, Joy Alukkas is offering gift vouchers and digital vouchers online that can be redeemed at stores after lockdown.
2. Sovereign gold bonds
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issues these bonds on behalf of the Government of India every few months.
The most recent series closed for subscription of 24 April. If you missed the Sovereign Gold Bond 2020-21 Series I, you can also consider buying these from the stock exchanges.
These bonds track the price of one gram gold and are listed on NSE and BSE. If you have a trading and Demat account, you can purchase them online.
Note that these are traded in low volumes, which means that if someone tries to buy in large quantities within a single trade, the price will go up substantially as there aren't many sell orders.
Also, these bonds come with a tenure of eight years which can be encashed or redeemed after five years on interest payment dates. If you do not wish to hold it till maturity, you may have to sell it at a discount if there is not much trading interest in the SGB at the time of your sale.
You could also look at older series of SGBs that are due to mature in the next 3-4 years or wait for the next series of a public issue by RBI.
Online payment apps like Google Pay and Paytm allow customers to purchase 99.99 percent pure 24k gold digitally for an amount as little as one rupee through MMTC-PAMP.
MMTC-PAMP India Pvt Ltd is a joint venture between PAMP SA, an independently operated Swiss precious metals refining company and MMTC Ltd, a Government of India undertaking and India's largest bullion trader.
Purchases made over these apps are based on spot prices (which fluctuate) and MMTC will store the metal of the same value on your behalf in physical form as a custodian, as long as you do not make a sale.
Purchases made through MMTC-PAMP are insured to ensure that your gold is safely stored. You can sell the gold back to MMTC-PAMP at current prices displayed over the app and the money will appear in your bank account linked to the payment app. These purchases will be a part of Gold Accumulation Plan run by MMTC PAMP.
You can also get the physical delivery of the metal to your home.
4. Gold ETFs
These exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are passively managed mutual funds that invest in standard gold bullion (99.5 percent purity). You can buy these from the stock exchanges using your trading and Demat account.
This is ideal for short term liquid investments to take advantage of the possible rise in gold prices as a one-year investment is considered for LTCG (Long Term Capital Gains) for tax purposes.
There are various ETF options managed by mutual fund houses to choose from on NSE and BSE.
E-gold or electronic-gold was introduced in India by NSEL (National Spot Exchange Limited) wherein investors can invest in the precious metal in small denominations from authorised brokers and hold it in their Demat account. Unlike gold ETF, 3 years qualifies as LTCG for e-gold.
You can buy as little as 1 gram and your purchase can be converted to physical gold after 8 grams has been accumulated.
6. Gold Mutual Funds
These are fund of funds (FoFs) that invest the corpus in either their own gold ETFs or a foreign gold fund which is the mother fund. Gold mutual funds allow systematic investment plans (SIP) which suit investors who wish to invest in gold regularly and avail benefits of rupee cost averaging (buying more units when prices are low and fewer units when prices are high).