Thursday, May 5, 2011

Akshaya Trithiya - are you scrambling to buy Gold ?

As I drove to Office, there monotonously were advertisements :-– prices are going up – inflation is up – petrol prices are going to rise – Osama is dead – Arunachal CM’s body found… nay none about any of these -  only advertisements about GOLD.  In the newspaper,  one advt. read

“ Where prosperity pours, beauty pervades – don’t miss to ring in wealth with…….. Jewellery’s collections”  - another one cried upon your gold purchase, invoke the blessings of Goddess Mahalakshmi”  -  Gold sold in the name of God and suddenly become believers.

Despite soaring gold prices, jewellers are gearing up to meet the demand from consumers on Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on May 6. Though prices of 22 carat gold used in making jewellery have gone up by 30% year on year, jewellers , in expectation of good sales, have introduced new offers and schemes to attract consumers .  Some are offering advance booking to neutralise the impact of rising prices. Gold coin sales, which have picked up in the recent months, also earn good revenue for jewellers.

The frenzy has been going on for some years now.  Last year, Traders capitalised the sentiments by promoting Akshaya Tritiya and the roads of T Nagar resembled local trains or scenes outside cinema theatres (once upon a time) immediately after the show is over.  People inched forward shoulder to shoulder, to rush into any shop and buy gold.  There was potential stampede near any Gold Jeweler worth their name.

Do you know that until 1990,  the Gold Control Act forbade the private holding of gold bars in India.   Still rich men were possessing gold biscuits often said to weigh 10 tolas – they reportedly bought smuggled bars and buried them for making jewelleries for family wedding.   But in the last two decades much has changed and investment in small bars has substantially increased as gold ranging from small coins of 1 g / 2g / 4g/ - to 10 – 50 & 100 g and biscuits of higher weights are freely available in the market.   With rupee value gaining consistently, gold has been one of the trusted ways of concealing wealth.  In 1998  RBI restituted  over 40 tonnes of gold from bonds.

Akshaya Tritiya is one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar and is considered ideal for new beginning and investment. One of the most important legends associated withobserving Akshaya Trithiya is that of Lord Krishna and Kuchela. Another significant mythology is that of the Pandavas receiving the Akshay Patra from Krishna. Interestingly, Lord Krishna plays and important part in the stories associated with Trittiya.  In the most famous story associated Akshaya Tritiya, Kuchela, a poor Brahmin and schoolmate of Sri Krishna, visited Krishna with the intention of asking some financial favor. Kuchela, also known as Sudama, carried with him handful of poha or aval (beaten rice). On reaching, the palace of Krishna at Dwarka, Kuchela was ashamed to give the ‘poha’ to Krishna.

Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akha Teej is a Hindu and Jain[citation needed] holy day, that falls on the third Tithi (Lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of Hindi month of Vaishakha.  Rishabhadeva alias Adinath is the first Tirthankara of the Jain. The Day of Akshay Tratiya is worshipped and said auspicious in Jainism because - Tirthankara Rshabhdeva  breaking his fast on that day after an year. It is believed that bestowing upon religious gifts on Akshaya Tritiya becomes inexhaustible.   It is also regarded as the birth day of Sage Parashurama, the sixth Avatar (incarnation) of the god Vishnu. 

The word "Akshaya" means the never diminishing in Sanskrit and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. Traders have made it appear that it is the day when one must make purchases, especially of Gold.

This being a very auspicious day – you may perhaps do the following :
-          if you do charity, you will be blessed and the blessings will increase manifold.
-          Any venture initiated on the auspicious day would grow and bring in prosperity.
-          It  is most beneficial for performing meritorious (Punya Karma) deeds such as recitations (Japa), penance (Tapa), and other spiritual activities. 
-          A good day to start education and read more.
-          Feed cows and other cattle with green fodder
-          Resolve to  take up the education expenses of a deserving, needy child.
-          Obliterate the bitter memories of the past and  renew relationships with friends and relatives
-          resolve to give up a bad habit – smoking, drinking etc.
-          resolve  to start a good habit – learn and practise Yoga.
-          If Saving is utmost in mind, there are various other avenues including Fixed deposits in Banks, Post Office savings
-          Take insurance policy and have full protection for your family
-          Serve and support a good Organistaion rendering Social service  that you know (perhaps you can think of SYMA )
-          If you are residing in another place, call on your parents and old aged relatives seeking their blessing.  

My personal belief is when you have money – any day is a good day to buy, save and cherish.  If you think, the day on which rates are lowest is the best day to make a purchase.  The schemes of double benefit, free gold, AT offers, double gold protection offer or anything else all sure would do great for the Seller and little for the poor buyer who would scratch and buy one or two grams of gold, which is unlikely to change your life fortune

Well, if you are determined to buy gold, think of a gold coin / bar than jewellery [sure your wife would curse you for this – for ladies only ear ring, bangles, chains, bracelets are gold – nothing else].  Here are some indicative rates, taken from web.  Again these might change daily and may not be rate on which you end up buying
Indicative prices
Seller
2g
5g
8g
10g
20g






MNC Bullion
4785
11850

23640
47170
Kotak

12774
20365

50776
HDFC
6850
13435

26657
53190

The market has studied you so well and know the ficklemindedness of individuals.  Seeking to cash upon the investor demand for gold on 'Akshaya Tritiya', considered an auspicious day for buying the yellow metal, NSE and BSE  are going to  conduct extended trading till 9 pm in Gold ETF on that day.

The country's top bourses NSE and BSE  have jointly decided to conduct extended live trading session on May 6 which allows investors to buy or sell gold in electronic mode till 9 pm on May 6, as against the normal trading session end at 4 pm. The trading will begin at 9 am as per the normal opening.  E gold is not behind the yellow gold.  There was only one asset management company offering gold ETF in 2007, as against about 10 currently which include  Axis, Benchmark, UTI, HDFC, ICICI Prudential, Kotak, Quantum, Reliance, Religare and SBI mutual funds.  The returns on gold ETFs are linked to the domestic price of real gold and each gold ETF unit is roughly equal to the price of 1 gm of gold.  As enquired from a Trader, the Gold ETF rates of date are :  Kotak  Gold Rs. 2150; Goldbees Rs. 2148;  Relgold Rs.2091 &  SBI Rs. 2193/-

So what are you going to do ?  Stand in the Q in the market shop for buying gold / jewellery ?  Or – buy Gold bar from a reputed seller  Or buy Gold ETF Or do some charity !!

Of course for the ordinary man, there are better things to worry about if not the next meal, the office, whether would get a good rating, the bonus, promotion and more…………………….

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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