Are gold saving schemes by jewellers really a great investment option? There are huge number of people who become part of gold saving schemes offered by jewellers, assuming that they are amazing deals which they should not miss! There are few advantages and disadvantages about these gold saving schemes. It’s important to understand them before you invest in those.
Ankur asked this simple question on our jagoinvestor forum which triggered this article
Lately there are ads coming on TV abt this Golden harvest scheme (GHS) from Tanishq, where you pay for 11 months and the company will bear the installment for 12 month to buy Gold. Any reviews abt the scheme?
1. Most of the schemes are plain money saving schemes
The way a lot of gold saving schemes project their plan is as if you are buying real gold each month, but majority of them are just plain money saving scheme where you deposit a fixed amount each month for X months and in the last month the jeweler deposits the “bonus” installment and then finally you use the money to buy the gold jewelery at the price prevailing at that time! Not at the gold price the time of joining the scheme! So in practice the whole scheme becomes like a recurring deposit where you deposit some money each month. The bonus installment deposited by jeweler makes sure you get a return around 8-10% on the overall installment.
2. You cant redeem Money
Unlike recurring deposits, you can’t use the money accumulated in gold saving schemes for any purpose. The gold saving schemes make it mandatory that you have to buy gold jewellery and only gold jewellery, not even gold bars or coins. So in case you need money for some other purpose, you can’t use it. But you will say that it’s fine, because at times you also are offered “Zero Making Charges” under these schemes, but you miss reading the terms and conditions which says that it’s only on selected designs and models. What if you do not want to buy those designs? In that case you have to pay the making charges which are applicable and what happens if the design and model which you like have much higher price than you have accumulated? In that case you have to shell out more money. The making charges which you will pay will cancel out the 8-10% returns which you make on the whole scheme.
3. Not as safe as Recurring Deposit
Now as you have understood that gold saving schemes deep down are just like a recurring deposit. However they are not as safe as a banks recurring deposit, for the simple reason that jewelers are not as strong financially as banks and some jewelers actually deposit the money they get in schemes in banks as fixed deposits only. Some jewelers might even be using the money for their operating expenses also.
4. Gold saving schemes are designed to guarantee future sales
If you look into the design of gold saving schemes, it’s clear that it’s a way to assure future sales. People join these schemes, start saving money with jewelers and after 1-2 yrs, they will buy some thing from them. So if X people join the program, all X people will buy something at the end.
R.K. Sharma, executive director from PC Jeweller confirms this – “This scheme is a business building programme. By getting customers involved in this scheme, we ensure future sales. A majority of the times, people purchase a jewellery for a higher price than the amount invested. It is a sure shot business opportunity through which we seal our future sales.” – source
Some of the gold schemes in market
- Gold Harvest from Tanishq
- Jewels for Less from PC Jewelers
- Shagun from Gitanjali
- Kalpvruksha from Tribhuvandas Bhimji Zaveri
- Gold Tree from GRT Jewelers
- Jos Alukkas Gold Saving Scheme
- Kothari gold deposit scheme
- Gold Schemes – Bhima Gold
When you should join these Gold Saving Schemes ?
So given these fine points, there are few advantages to these gold investing schemes and there are conditions when you might want to invest in those. The first thing is that, a lot of investors who do not understand what are other kind of options for investment in gold like Gold ETF, e-Gold etc which are popular ways to buy gold online these days. Because of not having full information, investors get inclined to these schemes and invest on the name of “Gold”. However good part of these schemes is that, because of these gold schemes, they atleast develop the habit of regularly investing some money, which they would not have done otherwise. So these schemes can be your monthly gold investing plan in a way. These investors will not invest in gold ETF and simple recurring deposits anyways, so its better that they atleast invest in these gold investments schemes by jewelers atleast. So these schemes are good from that point of view.
Another reason when you can look at these schemes is when you have a marriage or function due in next 1-2 yrs and you might want to systematically invest some fixed money for the purpose of buying gold jewellery. Even in that case it makes sense to get into these schemes.
Have you invested in these kind of gold saving schemes online without understanding how it works? What are your comments on these kind of schemes?