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SGB issued in Feb 2016 has given 141% return in 8 years. How does that compare with FDs and equity mutual funds?

The Feb 2016 SGB showcased a fantastic return on maturity compared to other investment avenues like fixed deposits and some equity mutual funds.

SGB issued in Feb 2016 has given 141% return in 8 years. How does that compare with FDs and equity mutual funds?


Posted on 11 Feb 2024
Author: Sayan Sircar
10 mins read
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The Feb 2016 SGB showcased a fantastic return on maturity compared to other investment avenues like fixed deposits and some equity mutual funds.

SGB issued in Feb 2016 has given 141% return in 8 years. How does that compare with FDs and equity mutual funds?

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Which SGB series we are discussing here?

SGB 2015 Series I SGBFEB24 Maturity Press Release

This is the first SGB that was ever issued way back in November 2015.

Series 2015 Series I SGBFEB24
Issue date 08-Feb-2016
Issue Price ₹2,600
Interest 2.75%
Maturity date 08-Feb-2024
Maturity price ₹6,271 (tax free)
Headline return % 141%
Gold price return 11.63%
Rupee fall vs USD 21.98%
Total interest received ₹572 (taxable at slab)
XIRR (no tax on interest) 13.64%
XIRR (30% tax on interest) 13.03%

The SGB has given a return higher than the gold price due to the interest paid every six months.

Related:
Frequently asked questions on Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB): the complete guide

How much return did this SGB give?

If you had bought and held this SGB until maturity, then this is the return you would have got based on the amounts you paid, the intermediate interest you got and the final maturity value:

Date Description No tax 10% tax 20% tax 30% tax
Feb-16 Investment -2,600 -2,600 -2,600 -2,600
Aug-16 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Feb-17 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Aug-17 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Feb-18 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Aug-18 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Feb-19 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Aug-19 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Feb-20 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Aug-20 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Feb-21 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Aug-21 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Feb-22 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Aug-22 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Feb-23 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Aug-23 6-m interest 35.75 32.18 28.60 25.03
Feb-24 Maturity 6,306.75 6,303.18 6,299.60 6,296.03
08-Feb-24 XIRR 13.64% 13.43% 13.23% 13.03%

It is important to note that to get the return in the table above, which is a calculation similar to that of Yield To Maturity or YTM of a bond, the intermediate 6-monthly interest payments must be also invested in SGB, if needed from the secondary market: How to buy SGB from the stock market?.

Simply adding the gold price return with the interest rate will not give the return of the SGB since the interest also has to compound at the same rate.

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Comparing this SGB return with other investments

We all know that SGB gives the highest returns out of all types of gold investment: The Ultimate Guide to Which Type of Gold Gives the Best Returns.

We can see that the SGB has given a return higher than the gold price movement (10.88%) over 8 years due to the interest it pays out.

Please note that the rupee depreciation against the US Dollar, since most of our gold is imported, reduces the headline 128% return by 25% or the yearly return to a more pedestrian 9.27%.

We will now compare this SGB return to other asset classes starting with FD.

Comparing with fixed deposit

SBI was giving 5-10 year FDs offering a modest 7% for non-senior citizens which would have course give a return much lower due to tax. Other banks would have given higher returns but their risk would have been higher as well though all banks are covered under DICGC insurance.

Investment No tax 10% tax 20% tax 30% tax
SGB 13.64% 13.43% 13.23% 13.03%
FD 7.00% 6.30% 5.60% 4.90%

To understand if you should invest in SGBs:

Comparing with mutual funds

If we look at the universe of all equity mutual funds, and exclude thematic and sectoral funds from it, there were 155 funds at the time of issuance of this SGB which are still active today.

If we consider the 30% post-tax return case, the following 7 funds have been beaten by the SGB.

Fund Return pre-tax Return after-tax
Taurus Large Cap Fund 12.42% 11.54%
Taurus Flexi Cap Fund 12.52% 11.63%
Aditya Birla Sun Life ELSS Tax Saver Fund 13.04% 12.14%
BANDHAN Flexi Cap Fund 13.14% 12.23%
LIC MF Flexi Cap Fund 13.26% 12.35%
Franklin India Bluechip Fund 13.78% 12.84%
Nippon India Tax Saver Fund 13.78% 12.84%

If we assume zero tax in both cases, then the following 12 funds have been beaten by the SGB.

Fund Return pre-tax Return after-tax
Taurus Large Cap Fund 12.42% 11.54%
Taurus Flexi Cap Fund 12.52% 11.63%
Aditya Birla Sun Life ELSS Tax Saver Fund 13.04% 12.14%
BANDHAN Flexi Cap Fund 13.14% 12.23%
LIC MF Flexi Cap Fund 13.26% 12.35%
Franklin India Bluechip Fund 13.78% 12.84%
Nippon India Tax Saver Fund 13.78% 12.84%
LIC MF Large Cap Fund 13.99% 13.04%
DSP Top 100 Equity Fund 14.11% 13.16%
HDFC Long Term Advantage Plan 14.18% 13.22%
Franklin India Equity Advantage Fund 14.23% 13.27%
Axis ELSS Tax Saver Fund 14.42% 13.45%

Note: All of these are direct plans and regular plan returns would have been obviously worse: Do not make this mistake when investing in mutual funds.

Readers should understand that this comparison of two different asset classes should be done not on this point-to-point fashion but using rolling returns only: What are rolling returns in case of mutual funds? Why is this better than point-to-point returns?

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This post titled SGB issued in Feb 2016 has given 141% return in 8 years. How does that compare with FDs and equity mutual funds? first appeared on 11 Feb 2024 at https://arthgyaan.com


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