The sparkle of the yellow metal, gold, does not seem to fade despite the passage of time. Gold has a wonderful history that is quite unlike any other asset class. The current supply and demand for gold are still influenced by the legacy of the metal from a time when it was the greatest indicator of wealth and power. The gold standard that benchmarked currencies to gold has now been done away with in many countries such as the US and the UK but the popularity of the bullion has not diminished. In India, gold is considered a cultural symbol and a mark of personal wealth, apart from being a popular accessory. Economists, however, believe that the metal continues to remain the ideal alternative currency.
The Legacy of Gold Continues
In India, if not in other countries, the legend of gold being the primary currency of the kings and rulers, persists. In the modern scenario, with the Indian rupee having faced much volatility over the past years, it is no surprise that investors have been looking to protect their savings by investing in alternative commodities and gold in particular. Worldwide economic instability, repeated slowdowns, and the volatility of major currencies such as the US Dollar, the GB Pound, and the Yen have led to gold’s rise as the ideal alternative currency. Even countries like the US have moved closer to accepting gold and silver coins as legal tender with Utah passing a law to the effect. In India, gold is the perfect gift, a popular inheritance bequeathed to the next generation, and a sentimental heirloom- all at the same time.
Loan Against Gold
In India, our social and cultural condition compels us to buy gold. Gold is always considered the safety net one can fall back upon in difficult times. This is, in fact, the one factor that makes gold the ideal alternative currency in our socio-cultural context. The easy availability of loan against gold from banks and reputed financial institutions such as Unimoni, the low rates of interest, and the security for your asset have made gold loans very popular in India. This makes gold just the currency and asset to fall back on in times of any personal need.
The introduction of Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) has made buying and selling gold much easier than in the past. The fact that fund houses hold 99.5% pure physical gold against Gold ETFs makes the ETF very secure. Gold ETF also does away with the storage and security issues that physical gold seems to be burdened with. Like physical gold, ETF can also be used as collateral. The Gold ETF price is linked to the price of 24 carat pure gold and like all major currencies of the world there is a daily price fluctuation. Apart from being the alternative currency we need, gold can also, in this form, be a great investment. It is high in liquidity and also offers protection against a volatile equity market.