Investing in Gold Futures: A Comprehensive Guide


Gold is a cherished commodity that holds immense value worldwide. It has always been considered as a hedge against inflation and a safe store of value. However, the acquisition and trading of gold have evolved in recent times. The emergence of diverse mediums of gold trading has reduced the need for physical gold to engage in transactions. 

Gold futures are a prominent and increasingly popular method for gold trading with investors. Read on to learn more about the key aspects of gold futures including the risks and benefits for investors.  

Start Investing with Free Expert Advice!

What are gold futures?

A gold futures contract represents a standardised derivatives agreement between two parties. Here, an investor can purchase or sell a specified quantity of gold at a predetermined price on a future date. These contracts are designed to facilitate trading on exchanges and adhere to standardised quantity and quality parameters. Both buyers and sellers must maintain a margin to participate in gold futures trading. Settlement can be either through cash or physical delivery of the gold, offering flexibility to market participants. 

Let’s understand the concept of gold futures from a real-life example:

Mr Sharma, a jeweller in India, wants to protect himself from the potential rise in gold prices. He enters into a gold futures contract with a broker, agreeing to buy 10 gm of gold at a predetermined price of Rs. 50,000 per gram, with a settlement date three months from now. Even if the price of gold rises during this period, Mr Sharma will still be able to buy it at the agreed price. With the help of Gold Futures, he can hedge against market volatility and secure his gold purchases in advance. 

What are the benefits of trading in gold futures?

Investing in gold futures comes with several significant advantages such as -

  1. Affordable option: With gold futures, you can enter the market with a smaller upfront payment. You only need to pay a portion of the total contract price and the remaining amount after signing the contract. 
  2. Flexibility in contract duration: Gold futures allow you to customise the contract duration. This way, you can choose contracts with shorter settlement periods to align with your investment goals. 
  3. High liquidity: Gold futures enjoy high liquidity, allowing for easy buying and selling. If needed, you can exit positions quickly. 
  4. Storage convenience: With gold futures, the hassle of physical storage is eliminated. You no longer have to hold the gold physically or find a safe place to store it. 

What are the risks associated with gold futures?

Although trading in gold futures is a good strategy, you should be aware of the following associated risks  -

  1. Default risk: There is a potential risk of default, where one party fails to fulfil its obligations, leaving the other party at a disadvantage during the trade. 
  2. Market instability: Gold futures are subject to market fluctuations. There is a possibility of market crashes or periods of instability, which can impact the value of investments.
  3. Price fluctuations: Gold prices can be volatile, and investors may face losses if prices decline significantly between the date of agreement signing and delivery. 

How to start trading in gold futures?

You must follow the steps mentioned below for investing in gold futures -

  1. Open a commodity trading account with a registered broker and submit KYC documents. 
  2. Deposit the margin money into a margin account as per the contract’s requirements. 
  3. Maintain a sufficient maintenance margin to cover potential losses. 
  4. You can access the trading platform and trade gold futures between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday to Friday. 


When considering gold futures as an investment option, it is essential to remember that these instruments have an expiry date. Trading of these commodities must be completed before the agreed settlement date, which provides traders with sufficient time to evaluate their positions. You can navigate this market effectively after understanding the dynamics of gold futures and carefully managing the expiration dates. Hence, you can make informed decisions to optimise your investment strategies.


Related Articles: How is the price of Gold determined in India | Mutual Funds- Once an ugly duckling, now a golden swan | Why Gold may be a good bet as geopolitical uncertainty is back

  • Open your FREE Demat Account in 5 Minutes
Select State
Select City
By submitting your details, you are authorising us to call you or send promotional communication even though you may be registered under DND