I started investing in Mutual funds quite some years ago, when the only ways to invest in them were as given below. The intention of this post is to let people know that investing in Mutual Funds has become much easier now a days. Also you don’t need anybody’s help to invest in them if you have a computer, internet, AADHAR, PAN and some interest to learn and do it yourself.
The only methods available earlier were:
1. Open accounts with the online investment portals of all fund houses you’re interested in. To do this I had to download, print, fill up and send the application forms, along with supporting documents, to all of them by courier or personally by visiting their local offices. Only then the accounts got created and enabled to invest. Then came the mandatory KYC which too was a very cumbersome process.
2. Open accounts with service providers like ICICI direct, share khan etc. and invest in Mutual funds via them. The only advantage was that you could have a consolidated view of all your mutual fund investments in one place, but it wasn’t free of cost, they earn commissions from your investments.
3. Open accounts with other investment service providers like Blue chip, Anand rathi etc. They at that time were sending advisors to your place who were basically selling you what they wanted to sell, because not many people had any deep outlook in to that arena. They didn’t charge any fees and do all the paperwork for you, but they earn commission too from your investments.
I had followed the first method and made a lot of efforts so that I could save the commission. However now the time has changed, competition has gone up very steep and hence companies are ready to travel that extra mile to ‘earn‘ customers. The technology has taken it even further.
I’ve recently come across a service called “COIN” from Zerodha. You may open an account with them, which is a one time task and then buy some of the “Direct” mutual funds available in it, upto Rs 25,000 a month. Direct mutual funds are those, that don’t pay any commission to anyone, even if you buy from 3rd party.
Since this kind of service has started by one company, I’m sure others will follow suit today or tomorrow; there may already be some that I don’t know.
This means, now you can open just one account, then start investing in mutual funds from it, from the comfort of your home, you don’t need to go anywhere. Also all your mutual fund investments will be available to you, consolidated in just one place. Method #1 above is still available, if there are any enthusiastic souls willing to take the extra steps and invest directly through the mutual fund companys’ own portals.
Now it’s you you, the investor, to decide which way you want to go. Wish you all the very best in you investment efforts.
If you’re interested to learn why to invest in Mutual funds in first place, you may refer to my other post about that here.