Personal Investment: Gold Versus Fixed Deposits

A risk-averse investor can consider investing in gold and gold-based instruments as a short-term investment option to address immediate financial goals. Similarly, fixed deposits (FDs) allow an investor to deposit a sum at a bank or other financial institutions and earn interest on it for a pre-determined period. 

In the commodities market, gold is classified under the precious metal category. Gold has been considered a hedge to address issues of inflation and market volatility. Besides having the option to purchase physical gold, an investor can look forward to investing in gold mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

Considering gold is a highly liquid asset, it can be easily purchased and sold in the market. In a rare case, there could also be a possibility of gold prices hitting an unexpected low depending on the conditions prevailing in the international market. 

In the last 25 years, gold has been offering an average of 11% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) returns. 

Incidentally, the price of gold tends to rise when the equity market witnesses a dramatic dip. Therefore, the returns are proportional to the rate of inflation. 

On the other hand, a fixed deposit (FD) is a type of savings account offered by banks and other financial institutions which have a lock-in period ranging anywhere between 7 days and 10 years. 

FDs provide guaranteed returns, which tend to be unaffected by market volatility. Investments in tax-saver FDs with a five-year lock-in period help to save taxes under Section 80C of the Income-tax Act (ITA), 1961.

Depending on the chosen scheme, FDs offer interest rates ranging from 3% to 7.5% on a yearly basis. FDs are a suitable source of investment planning to meet short or long-term goals. 

As an investor, one needs to focus on their respective financial goals, investment horizon and risk appetite before opting for a suitable investment tool. Also, as a prudent investment strategy, an investor needs to reassess and reallocate assets in their portfolio from time to time.

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