What are Gold BeES? – A Complete Guide

In this article on Gold Bees

  • What are BeEs? 
  • What are Gold BeEs?
  • Gold as an investment
  • Gold returns Vs. Equity returns
  • Ways of investing in Gold
  • Gold BeES Vs Sovereign Gold Bonds
  • Tax treatment for Gold BeES
  • Why invest in Gold BeES?
Isn’t it disturbing to know that gold doesn’t offer any real world returns like dividends or interest? And as Warren Buffett puts it, ‘it doesn’t do anything, but sits there and looks at you.’ So why is it that our parents and grandparents happily invested their savings in gold? Gold is traditional asset class when it comes to investing money. Historically, saving goals of Indian households meant gold sitting in our lockers, in the form of gold coins and jewellery. As per our ancestors, gold is a safe, secured and predictable asset class. Evidence of our love for gold is found in every corner of the world. Ancestral gold passed on for generations inherits sentiments. But its time, investors separate their sentiments from their investments.  It is time investors realise the hassles of physical gold including high making charges, fear of theft, storage costs etc. This is why there is a steady shift from traditional gold investments to modern gold investments like While lucrative, majority of investors are still new to the concept of Gold BeEs. So, what are gold BeEs? How do Gold BeEs work? These are some of the things that we will learn today. Let us start by understanding what are BeES.

What are BeES?

BeES stands for Benchmark Exchange Traded Schemes. It is a collection of stocks which are actively traded on the stock exchange. 
  • Nifty BeES is a collection of 50 stocks that are a part of the Nifty 50 index
  • Liquid BeES invest in liquid instruments like collateralised borrowing and lending obligation (CBLO), repurchase agreements (REPO) and reverse REPO instruments. 
  • Bank BeEs is a collection of ten biggest banks in India. 
So, overall BeEs are emerging as one of the most promising investment options in India. It is important to note that the BeEs are a type of derivative. This is because they derive their value not from demand and supply but from the value of the underlying asset. So, the value of Nifty BeEs is in line with the broader Nifty 50 index. Similarly, Gold BeEs reflects the current gold bullion prices. 

Watch this video to know what are exchange traded funds and how they work 

What are Gold BeES?

Gold BeEs is an open-ended exchange traded fund. Its primary objective is to mirror the price movement of physical gold. The underlying asset of gold BeEs is physical gold bullions. Gold BeEs is an efficient and cost-effective way of investing in gold. Gold BeEs is an excellent portfolio diversifier as it helps you hedge equity risk and maximise portfolio returns. Before we discuss if you should invest in Gold BeEs, let us first understand if you should invest in gold as an asset class

Why should you invest in Gold?

Gold is a beloved asset class because it provides a hedge against inflation. But how does gold do this? Let’s find out… 
  • Depreciation of rupee is one of the major factors for exceptional gold returns in India.
  2011 2021 Returns
Gold Prices Rs. 26,000 Rs. 49,000 88.46%
Rupee Value against USD Rs. 46 Rs. 76 1.6X
Now let’s take a look at gold prices rise in the US. gold bees In the past 10 years gold prices increased from USD 1,550 to USD 1,750. Gold returns in India doubled while in the US gold price rose only 10%. Hence, we can say that deprecation of Indian rupee is factored in Indian gold returns. This is why we consider gold to be a perfect hedge against inflation. Gold has also been a great investment option due to its quality of providing immediate liquidity and store of value. Gold is considered to be a long-term investment at low risk because of these qualities.

Gold Returns Vs. Equity Returns

Gold also seems to be a good investment avenue during emergencies like the one we were in 2020. But is it the best long-term choice for wealth creation?  gold be'es (source: www.tradingview.com) Red = Gold prices; Blue = Sensex If we take a look at the chart above, in the last 10 years, Gold has generated a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4% which is 145% on an absolute basis. Whereas Sensex has generated a CAGR of 6.22% which is an absolute return of 82% (as on March 2020).  gold vs nifty Source: equityfriend.com Gold is a proper hedge against crisis as its price jumps when fear runs high. In the great recession of 2008, the prices of gold drove to new highs over a very short time period. And since COVID-19 pandemic began the prices of gold has been steadily rising.  Gold is perfect to beat inflation because the government has relatively the same amount of gold reserves even when it increases the supply of currency.  The fact that gold’s value doesn’t effectively corelate with the movement of stock market, makes it a unique proposition in the investment world. Owning different kinds of investment relatively reduces the overall market risk. According to financial experts, 10-15% of your portfolio should be allocated towards gold.   But we are back to the same question… which type of gold should you own? Let us answer this as we look at the different ways to invest in gold. 

Ways to Invest in Gold

1. Physical Gold 

Buying physical gold is no longer ideal due to the huge mark-up costs. Physical gold involves high making charges, GST, storage cost, insurance and impurities. These added costs are impossible to recover while selling gold. So, the only winner when you buy physical gold is the jeweller, not the investor.  

2. Electronic Gold or E-Gold  

E-Gold is a unique product which can be bought and sold through stock exchanges just like shares. A demat account is compulsory if you want to buy E-gold.  One unit of E-gold is equal to one gram of gold. However, E-gold does suffer from risk of hacking. 

3. Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs)

Sovereign Gold Bonds are tax-efficient bonds denominated in gold backed by the government. Apart from the capital appreciation, SGBs also provide a guaranteed interest rate of his dematerialised asset doesn’t just rest, it regularly yields 2.5% on investment amount. % annually (paid out semi-annually). However, SGBs have a lock-in period of eight years and are comparatively less liquid than gold ETFs or gold BeEs.  [Read More: What are Sovereign Gold Bonds? – Features & Advantages of Sovereign Gold Bonds]

Comparison between Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) and Gold BeES 

  • Quantity 
Gold BeES can be bought starting from quantity 0.01 gram, whereas SGBs can be purchased at 1 gram and multiples of 1 gram only.
  • When to enter the investment
Gold BeES are open-ended scheme. Investors can enter gold BeES whenever they find appropriate price points. SGBs on the other hand are issued by government at pre-determined intervals. 
  • Redemption 
Gold BeEs can be redeemed at any price point, according to investor’s will. SGB have a specific lock-in period of eight years. But there is an option to redeem them after completing five years. 
  • Returns
Appreciation in gold prices are the returns on gold BeES. Sovereign gold bonds provide an attractive 2.5% interest. This interest is paid semi-annually. Interest on these bonds is also tax free. Over and above interest the SGB holders also enjoy appreciation of gold prices during redemption.
  • Sovereign Guarantee 
SGBs are backed by the government of India. Although underlying asset remains same for Gold BeES and SGBs but the gold BeES are not backed by the government.

4. Gold ETF

Gold ETFs are more efficient than physical gold. Nonetheless they carry a small hit of ETF fees for the entire life of investment and mild tracking errors. The table below shows all the Gold ETFs available in India in 2021. 
Company Name Last Price % Change 52-week 52-week Market Capitalisation 
High Low (Rs. Cr)
Nippon ETF Gold 41.39 0.51 45.2 38.17 6,327.8
SBI Gold ETF 4257.06 0.72 4712 3930 325.2
Invesco G-ETF 4360 1.75 4745 3989.5 49.83
HDFC Gold ETF 42.57 0.71 50 38.7 6.55
UTI - Gold 41.37 0.32 46.75 39.21 5.74
Axis Gold ETF 41.5 0.27 44.99 38.36 3.18
IPRU Gold ETF 42.42 0.12 46.5 39.05 1.99
Kotak MF-GETF 41.81 -0.02 45.29 36.81 1.67

5. Gold BeES 

Gold BeES are focused on providing returns close to physical gold. It invests purely in finest gold of 99.5% purity. Gold BeES are open-ended funds that are traded on exchanges. These funds are tracked to provide returns to its benchmark – domestic gold prices. The underlying portfolio composition of a Gold BeEs includes physical gold and money market instruments like treasury bills, certificate of deposits etc. Gold BeES Composition - Gold 995 1kilogram bars amounts for 97% of the Gold BeEs. The rest 3% includes cash and cash receivables.

Tax Treatment for Gold BeES

  • If you sell Gold BeEs before three years from the date of purchase, then a short-term capital gains tax as per your tax slab is applicable. 
  • If you sell Gold BeEs after 3 years from the date of purchase, then a long-term capital gains tax is applicable. LTCG on gold BeEs is 20% of profit with indexation or 10% of profits without indexation, whichever is lower. 

Why Invest in Gold BeES?

  • Lowest cost -   Buying Gold BeES involves minimal brokerage charges only. While buying physical gold includes paying huge markup and losing on GST claim.
  • Secured - Gold BeES are secured in electronic mode. These are stored in your demat account. Unlike physical gold no storage charges, insurance or fear of theft or misplacement arises.
  • Trading margin – Gold BeES investment is accepted as trading margin. It is a collateral for trading on stock exchanges. 
  • Invest in smallest quantity – Gold BeES can be bought in multiples of 0.01 gram. Unlike gold bonds where the minimum buying quantity is one gram. Hence, one can buy Gold BeES on their trading terminal starting from 0.01 gram.
If you want to invest in gold smartly with Gold BeEs, then you will need a Demat account. And who better than the best stockbroker in India – Samco Securities. Open a FREE Demat account with Samco Securities today and invest in gold smartly!

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