Almost 30% of retail investors in India have never bought gold: WGC Survey


IAC photo of a gold jewellery set.

The World Gold Council’s latest India Retail Investor Insights report revealed that 29% of retail investors have never bought gold in the past but are open to the idea of buying gold in the future. 52% of investors already owned some form of gold, with 48% having invested in the 12 months preceding the survey. Gold jewellery and gold coins remained two of the top five investments held by Indian investors across the board – a position that has been a permanent fixture for some years.

India’s gold market is one of the largest and most well-established in the world, augmented by the nation’s traditional affinity and age-old cultural associations with gold. This is further substantiated as gold also occupies a prominent role in investment portfolios – the investment case for gold is ingrained in India, protecting wealth and generating long-term returns for rural and urban investors alike.

The key findings from the report are as follows:

A clear rural/urban distinction exists. Gold currently has a deeper penetration among urban investors: 76% of this group have invested in gold in the past. And 21% are open to buying gold in the future, having never previously invested. On the contrary, 37% of rural investors would consider buying gold in the future despite never having done so before. And while these rural gold considerers offer a lower value opportunity than their urban counterparts, they offer significant growth potential.

There is a common need for simplicity and reassurance. There are shared attributes between rural and urban investors, key among which is a desire for simplicity and reassurance from their investments. The gold industry is well poised to capitalise on this need by highlighting gold’s relevant attributes to unlock a portion of this latent demand.

The gold industry has the potential to appeal to a sizable new audience. Technology can play a key role in opening up new avenues for gold investment; easy online accessibility is a must in this era of increasing global digitisation.

Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council, commented: “India’s retail investment landscape is evolving, underpinned by government-led financial inclusion programmes, the surge of fintech, and increasing investor knowledge. And this clearly affects the gold industry. We welcome deeper conversations with the industry to explore how we can help to realise that potential.”

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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