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The new, safe way to invest this Dhanteras

Last updated on: November 2, 2010 10:48 IST

The new, safe way to invest this Dhanteras


Ramya Ramachandran

It's time again for the Festival of Lights -- Diwali -- and we as Indians love to celebrate it. Whether it is shopping for new clothes, jewellery, sweets or decoration of homes the festival brings with it excitement and loads of enthusiasm. Shop owners too offer most discount sales on consumer durables and clothes around this festive time.

Celebrated over five days in most parts of the country, Diwali is an occasion for families to share their joys, and pray for wealth and success. The first day of Diwali is celebrated as Dhanteras, or also known as Dhanwantri Triodasi.

Legends and significance
One of the most popular tales of Dhanteras is of King Hima's son. It was predicted that the 16-year-old prince would succumb to a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On the supposedly ill-fated day, the prince's wife heaped all her gold and silver ornaments at the door of the prince's chamber and lit innumerable lamps across the room.

When Yama, the lord of death, reached there he was blinded by the dazzle around and could not enter the room.

Celebrating Dhanteras
The word Dhanteras is a combination of "dhan" meaning wealth and "teras" meaning the thirteenth night of the month in which it is celebrated. It is believed that the best day for making purchases is on Dhanteras, as by doing so, the goddess of money Lakshmi will reward the family throughout the year.

On Dhanteras, buying precious metals like gold and silver are considered signs of good luck. Starting of new businesses and ventures on this day is considered auspicious. Dhanteras celebrations include worshipping Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity. Earthen lamps are lit in the evening to banish evil spirits and to bring good health and wealth.

Glitter with Gold ETF and E-Silver this Diwali
This Dhanteras, try a newer way to invest in those precious metals, without having to worry about its safety. Apart from its festive  significance, an investment in gold or silver, also bring with it a great potential to hedge inflation.

Photographs: Rediff Archives

Buying silver in electronic form

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E-Silver, part of the E-series of the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL), enables you to buy silver in units of 100 grams each, and hold it electronically in your demat account. The best feature of this product is that, not only will you be able to sell it whenever you want at NSEL platforms, but you could also seek a physical delivery of the metal in various denominations of 500 grams, 1 kg, or 5 kg multiples, at NSEL delivery centres in Ahmadabad, Delhi and Mumbai.

The main advantage of buying electronically is that you need not have to worry about the purity of the metal, its safety and its storage. The E-series also has the option of E-gold for investors.

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Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)

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Gold has historically shown stability, unlike currencies which see major fluctuations. Gold helps your portfolio during times of stock market crashes. It reduces considerable risk in portfolio as there will always be a demand for gold.

Investing in Gold ETFs has the following advantages:

  • No issues of safety and storing
  • Assured of purity of gold
  • Transparency in transactions
  • All Gold ETF transactions follow strict investment norms
  • Lets you invest in gold in small denominations

A Gold ETF is an investment option, similar to an open-ended mutual fund, where your money is invested in standard gold bullion of 0.995 purity. The value of the Gold ETF is based on the price of gold. The price of one unit of Gold ETF would be equivalent to the price of 1 gram of gold.

The earliest ETF in the country was Benchmark's Gold BeES. Gold BeES is comparatively the least expensive option than the other ETFs available in the country. Various other fund houses which offer Gold ETFs are UTI, Religare, Quantum, Reliance and Kotak.

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A festival of spiritual wealth and family bonding

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Dhanteras brings with it the festive mood of Diwali. Though considered a festival of wealth, it signifies new beginnings and promises for a better future ahead.

It is a time for family togetherness. Along with material wealth, Dhanteras aims to bring prosperity and spiritual well being for one and all in the family.


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