Gold as an investment
Gold is one of the rarest items that can be deemed a luxury as well as a necessity. From ancient literature to history books to daily newspapers, gold has its presence marked in all of it. Especially in an Indian household, it is revered so much that some people buy gold only during the auspicious time of the day. During festivals it is considered to be sacred to worship the gold in the house, as it is the symbol of prosperity. What makes the glamour for gold last over centuries with its glory not diminishing, much like its lustrous appearance?
Gold, in the form of jewellery has not only brought immense pleasure for so many people around the globe, but also has been a main investment option. Most of us carry on with life staying afloat with the consolation that the gold we own would be the silver lining on a rainy day. This has created a definite space for gold jewels, coins and bars in our Indian households. Be it paying for college or starting a dream business venture or keeping the family running during the threat of unemployment and especially during a crisis like a pandemic, the cash flow created by gold comes in handy to save us from any catastrophe.
Some people may argue that instead of saving money, buying gold and never really using it, why not spend it to experience the world and travel. There is only one word of wisdom for such a debate. “Balance”. Life is all about balance. Just like the balance between work and life, the balance between happiness and sorrow, the balance between living in the present and preparing for the future is very essential. It never hurts to save a little for what may befall in the future. And when the time comes and it serves its purpose, this would be the most grateful experience of all.
As a kid born in the digital era, I have never understood my family’s obsession for gold. Despite having an interesting childhood filled with comfort, good times and some blissfully memorable trips, one thing never stopped irking me. My parents work day and night and what do they do with the hard earned money? Lock it up until one fine day, giving it all up in exchange for a few gold coins. Despite asking millions of times, why they don’t spend it more, travel more, live their life more, the only answer I would get is, “It will come in use when we’re in a pickle.”
Fast forward 15 years, when my parents have retired and I am the only breadwinner of the house, comes the Covid pandemic. Things couldn’t be bleaker. I was let go of my job. The company I was working with didn’t work well under total lockdown. The aftermath of the Covid situation has taken its toll on many individuals like me. I was stuck outside India and the last penny that I had saved had to be used to get me back home to safety. As I was sitting in my house, slumped over the series of misfortunes, I hardly expected my father to come to me and say, “It’s alright son. We’d saved these gold coins to buy gold jewels for our future daughter-in-law, but it is going to fulfil something better now. Sell this, and there will be enough money for us to run the family for a few years. Don’t lose hope. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to carry the family on your shoulders. Stay calm and look for new jobs. Every cloud does have a silver lining.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like a ton of weight was lifted off of my chest.
“Oh Papa, I am so sorry, I misunderstood you all these years. I can’t believe how lucky I am. Thank you so much!” I hugged my dear father and let the tears flow. I cried out, not only of regret and guilt but also with relief and gratitude. I now understood that my parents lived a life of balance, balancing between enjoying the present and saving up for the future. Oh how I wish I become more like them!