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Gold ETFs or gold funds: Which gold investment shines brighter

In the shimmering world of gold investments, two options often vie for investors’ attention: gold ETFs and gold mutual funds. While both glitter, understanding the difference between a gold ETF and a gold mutual fund is crucial for investors looking to strike gold in their financial portfolios. 

These two investment avenues will be explained in this article to help you follow the golden path. Stay tuned as we explain these two intriguing investment options.

What is gold investment?

Gold investments have long been a wealth preservation method. In unstable economies, gold’s value often remains stable or increases. 

Besides buying physical gold, investors can invest in gold through ETFs and gold mutual funds, which don’t require physical storage. Their accessibility and easy trading have made these options increasingly popular.

What are gold ETFs?

Investment funds known as gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) are traded on the stock market similar to shares of a company. In a gold ETF fund, one gram of gold is typically represented by one unit. 

The investment returns offered by these funds are intended to closely resemble those of physical gold. By trading a security on a stock exchange, they provide a way to buy and sell a stake in the gold bullion market without actually carrying out the transaction. 

What are gold funds?

Gold funds are mutual funds that invest in gold and related products including a gold ETF. Mutual fund is an excellent way of investing in gold. Unlike gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which trade like stocks, gold funds are owned by investors and managed by the fund manager.

You invest in a diversified gold-related asset portfolio when you buy a gold mutual fund. This includes gold miners, ETFs, and other related industries.

Difference between gold ETF and mutual fund

Gold ETFsGold funds
Investment processIdentical to stocks, gold ETFs are traded on stock exchanges. To trade gold ETFs, you require a demat account.Funds that invest in gold ETFs are known as gold funds. Like any other mutual fund, you can invest in them without a demat account.
CostsSince they merely follow the price of gold, gold ETFs often have cheaper expense ratios. But when you trade stocks on the exchange, there are brokerage fees.Expense ratios for gold funds are higher because of the active management of these funds. However, there are no brokerage charges.
ReturnsThe price of gold has a direct correlation to the returns on gold ETFs.Both the gold price and the success of the gold ETFs that make up a gold fund determine the fund’s return on investment (ROI).

Keep in mind that your investment objectives, risk appetite, and personal preferences will determine whether you choose a gold ETF or a gold fund.

How to choose between gold ETF vs gold mutual fund?

Choosing between gold ETFs and gold funds depends on several factors:

  1. Investment objective: If you are looking for pure gold price exposure, gold ETFs might be a better choice. But if you want diversification within the gold sector, gold funds could be more suitable.
  2. Trading flexibility: If you prefer the flexibility to buy and sell during market hours, gold ETFs are the way to go. For systematic investments, gold funds might be more convenient.
  3. Cost consideration: Consider the expense ratios and brokerage charges. Gold ETFs usually have lower expense ratios but incur brokerage charges, while gold funds have higher expense ratios but no brokerage charges.
  4. Risk tolerance: Gold ETFs are less risky as they invest directly in gold, while gold funds carry additional risks related to the companies they invest in.

Benefits and risks of your choice

Investing in gold ETFs offers benefits such as high liquidity, quick market transactions, portfolio diversification, and inflation protection. On the flip side, gold funds provide exposure to diverse gold-related assets, expert management, and structured plans. 

However, it’s crucial to consider the drawbacks. Gold ETFs lack interest or dividends, tied directly to gold prices, with expenses covered by investors. Gold funds, with active management, may incur higher expense ratios, surpassing ETFs. External factors, like invested companies’ performance, can impact the fund’s returns. 

Evaluate these factors carefully when deciding between gold ETFs and funds.


In the golden arena of investments, the choice between gold ETFs and mutual funds isn’t a one-size-fits-all. It’s a personal decision that hinges on your investment goals, risk appetite, and market savvy. 

So, whether you’re a bullion buff or a mutual fund maven, remember – understanding your gold is as valuable as the gold itself. So, dig deep, do your homework, and let your golden dreams guide your investment journey. After all, every investor deserves their golden moment!


Which is better: gold ETF or gold fund?

Choosing between a gold ETF and a gold fund depends on your individual needs. If you prefer direct exposure to gold prices and have a demat account, a gold ETF might be better. If you prefer professional management and systematic investments, a gold fund could be more suitable.

What is the difference between the SBI gold fund and the SBI gold ETF?

SBI gold fund is a mutual fund that invests in SBI gold ETF, which in turn invests in physical gold. The gold fund allows systematic investments and doesn’t require a demat account. On the other hand, SBI gold ETF is traded on the stock exchange and requires a demat account.

Is it better to buy physical gold or an ETF?

Buying physical gold gives you tangible assets, but it comes with storage and security concerns. Gold ETFs, on the other hand, are easy to trade, require no physical storage, and track gold prices closely. However, they involve management fees. The choice depends on your investment goals and convenience.

How do gold ETFs make money?

Gold ETFs make money when the price of gold rises. Investors buy shares of the ETF, and each share represents a specific amount of gold. If gold’s price increases, the value of these shares also increases. Investors can then sell their shares at a profit.

How is the gold ETF price calculated?

The price of a gold ETF is determined by the market value of the gold it represents. Each unit of a gold ETF corresponds to a certain amount of gold, usually one gram. The ETF’s price fluctuates throughout the trading day based on supply and demand in the market

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