Online is the way to go these days. Be it transferring money to your loved ones, booking movie tickets, railway tickets or simply shopping for your clothes or household things, everything can happen with just the click of the button. But when it comes to investments, we still lag behind. We do it traditional way. Fortunately, we can invest in various asset classes online these days. A mutual fund, which is the route many small investors prefer to take exposure in the stock market, can also be accessed online. Let’s explore various ways in which units in a mutual fund can be bought online.
Logging to the fund houses’ website
Almost every fund house these days allows the customers to purchase units in any scheme run by it just by logging on to its website. However, to avail the facility you need to get mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) done by filling up a form and attaching your proof of identity and address to an intermediary registered with Sebi. You can check your KYC on websites of intermediaries like cvlkra by keying in your Permanent Account Number (PAN). Once your KYC is done, you can log in to the website of the fund house and purchase any scheme and make online payment via bank about which information is provided in the form. According to AMFI guidelines, you can make payment through thirdy party accounts. The investment through online route is not foolproof, though. While fund houses like Franklin Templeton India and Axis mutual fund allows you to invest online on just being a KYC compliant, some fund houses like HDFC mutual fund and SBI mutual fund still insist on making first move through offline route. Once a folio number is allotted, you can transact online with the generation of Personal identification number (PIN). Though this is the cheapest online option as no intermediary is involved in the purchase, you need to keep in mind PINs or user id and password for each fund house you invest your money in.
The online brokerage houses have changed the way we used to transact in equities. But besides shares, they also let us buy mutual funds through them. Online brokers like ICICI direct and HDFC securities are linked to the NSE or BSE mutual fund exchange platforms. You need to have a demat and trading account with them. Once you get it, you have to go to the Mutual fund section and select the fund house and the scheme. You can choose either an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) in the scheme or make a lumpsum investment. The charges are quite minimal. For instance ICICI direct charges Rs 30 or 1.5%( whichever is lower) of the SIP amount for a total investment below Rs 8 lakh. The charge for lumpsum investment, on the other hand, is flat Rs 100 for a similar limit. For investment below Rs 8 lakh per annum the charges are nil. However, you do have to shell out account opening and maintenance charges for demat and trading account.
Besides fund houses websites and online brokers, there are independent portals like fundsindia.com and fundsupermart.com that help you buy mutual fund online on their platform. The biggest advantage with them is that they provide you this service absolutely free. You have to open an account with them by filling up a form online, taking a printout of the same and sign it. Along with it you have to attach a copy of your permanent account number(PAN) and know your client(KYC) acknowledgement and send to them. Once these papers are received by them, you can have access to as many as 39 fund houses at a single place. For smooth payment of money, these portals have tied up with many banks. Another portal that you can make use of is camsonline. Here you have to register with the email id that you had mentioned while buying mutual funds earlier. It gives you access to view all your mutual fund holdings along with the option of making purchase, redeem and switch. However, you cannot view mutual fund holdings that are in a demat form.