Investing in mutual funds has become easier with host of online options available. It removes the hazzle of visiting your agent or respective company office for each and every transaction. In a metro city like Delhi or Mumbai these visits can take your entire day. Although CAMS or Karvy allow you to transact for multiple companies,visiting their office is still time consuming for investors who want to invest themselves. Now, new platforms are being introduced by service providers to enhance the speed and hassle free investing in mutual funds. Not only investors but financial advisors too are finding it more convenient to invest with a click of the mouse then run around submitting the physical applications, saving enormous time and cost of their service to their clients. But many of these online modes or platforms have a cost associated which one need to understand to make an appropriate choice.
Below are online options available today for investing in mutual funds and where they can be advantageous to investors –
Through Company Website
The first of the option is the website of the mutual fund company which you have opted to invest. Almost all of them offer the convenience of online investment today. If you are investing for first time you need to complete the KYC process and so one time paperwork will be required. You might have to visit any of their office to complete this process. Once your credentials are updated investing in mutual funds happens with a click of a mouse. The only hazzle in this mode is that for creating an investment portfolio you have to invest in schemes from different companies for which you will have to transact on multilple websites. But once you are invested you can use online portfolio trackers available on various websites such as valueresearch, economictimes, moneycontrol etc.. MF Registrar CAMS has also eased out the process for updating your investments by providing consolidated statements for all your mutual funds investments. When you are investing through SIPs, it’s a onetime process which you have to undergo and then you can monitor your investments at one place at any of the tools available. The option is good specifically for direct plans where investors have to complete the transactions themselves.
There are few online platforms which have come up for investors in recent times. The benefit of these platforms is that you can invest in all the mutual fund schemes through them and can track your entire family investments. Fundsindia.com, Fundspermart.com are specific online platform providers in this space while online brokerages like ICICI Direct, Religare and others have facilities of buying and selling mutual funds schemes along with portfolio trackers. The process of registering with these standalone platforms is fairly easy and there is no cost involved. However, online brokerages do charge you for making transactions. Even banks like ICICI Bank have now started offering online investments in mutual funds through your net banking services but with limited schemes. If you are looking for convenience then options from these can be a good fit provided you have done your calculations on the cost associated. Most of these platforms extend their services to other products also viz. bonds, Fds, etc. which ensures you can transact and manage your assets portfolio at one place. There are different levels of services for catering to entire family assets which you can avail.
The services of keeping your mutual funds investment in demat account and buying or selling through stock exchange was introduced with an objective of reaching to more masses. It might have been benefited equity investors but for others who do not trade in equities, it includes one more hazzle of maintaining a demat account. However, considering many of investments products are now available in demat form, investors with a trading account may find it convenient.
Even your mutual fund advisors who executes financial products for you will be able to avail online options. A MF Utility by AMFI is on the cards and will be out in 2014 where all mutual funds distributors will be able to transact through a single platform. Even CAMS, FundsIndia, IFast and few others are providing a platform to financial advisors in transacting and managing their clients assets, but surely at a cost. More than this, in the last year budget, honorable finance minister opened a new platform for mutual fund distributors (who are not stock brokers) wherein they can buy or sell mutual funds through stock exchanges thus providing a platform for execution for their clients even if they are in remote areas. All these options are ensuring a deep penetration and hassle free investing at your convenient place.
Online investing is convenient and cost effective. It saves the hassle of visiting your advisor or to the company office for any investments you want to make. Very soon the online investing will reach to your mobile phone taking convenience to your liking. Avail the benefit of it but ensure you know what you are paying for the services you are availing.
Are you availing any online options? How has been your experience?
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