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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  What are G-Secs and why should investors invest in them? MintGenie explains
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What are G-Secs and why should investors invest in them? MintGenie explains

After RBI in 2021 rolled out ‘RBI Retail Direct’ scheme to trade in government securities, G-Secs’ popularity spiked significantly. G-Secs is a tradeable instrument issued by the Government of India, or the state governments, which acknowledges government's debt obligation

After RBI rolled out the scheme to trade in government securities via RBI Retail Direct, G-Secs’ popularity rose significantlyPremium
After RBI rolled out the scheme to trade in government securities via RBI Retail Direct, G-Secs’ popularity rose significantly

Notwithstanding how seamless it might appear, striking the right balance between risk and return is no mean feat. The age-old maxim states: “higher the risk, higher the return". Conversely, lower the risk, smaller the return."

Amongst the low-risk assets, the safest include government securities, which are also known as G-Secs.  

After the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2021 rolled out a scheme referred to as ‘RBI Retail Direct’ to trade in government securities, G-Secs’ popularity spiked significantly for obvious reasons. Wealth advisors, too, recommend investors to invest in them for the sovereign guarantee they offer and surety of return they promise.

Nithin Kamath, Zerodha's co-founder, last year, had suggested that investing in G-Secs, along with treasury bills is better than bank FDs.

“Those investors who are conservative are recommended to open a RBI Direct Gilt account in order to get an exposure to government bonds. Although their returns are lower; but so is the risk," says Deepak Aggarwal, a Delhi-based chartered accountant and investment advisor. 

What are G-Secs?

Government Security is a tradable instrument issued by the Central government or  the state governments. It acknowledges the government's debt obligation. These securities are either short term (known as treasury bills with original maturities of less than one year) or long term (usually called government bonds or dated securities with original maturity of one year or more), elucidates the RBI website here.

Central government issues both treasury bills and bonds or dated securities while the state governments issue only bonds or dated securities which are referred to as State Development Loans (SDLs). G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and hence are called risk free instruments.

How to invest in G-Secs?

In order to invest in government securities, investors are meant to open RBI Direct Gilt accounts under the RBI Retail Direct Scheme. This is a one-stop solution to facilitate investment in government securities by individual investors. Under this scheme, individual retail investors can open an account with the RBI. 

Opening an account, as one can imagine, is quite convenient, to say the least, and any retail investor who has a savings bank account and a PAN (Permanent Account Number) can open it. The documents required to open this account are PAN, savings account, email ID and mobile number.

Who should investors opt for G-Secs?

Although there is no rule of thumb, G-Secs are usually meant for conservative investors who want to earn a fixed income on their investment. Additionally, investors can also invest in G-Secs as part of allocation to the debt portion of their portfolio which has an exposure to a variety of assets such as equity, fixed income instruments and safe haven (gold). 

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Published: 20 Dec 2023, 04:22 PM IST
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