ValuePickr Forum

Direct Plans - Mutual Funds - Online platforms for seamless investing

Hi All,

Assuming that one can ask questions on Mutal Funds too, I am sharing my dilemmma with you guys.

I along with a bunch of NRIs wants to invest in MFs. Although my investments are direct equity investments, most of my friends don’t intend to take a direct equity exposure for many reasons. As none can time the market well (to add new positions or to sell when the time is right), we thought of tapping the power of compounding by investing consistently in MFs / SIPs on a monthly basis. Also, consideration is given to invest on a lump-sum basis when the time is ideal.

As direct MF plans would save much money in the long term, we are looking to invest through online platforms given that we are abroad. Although, most of the brokerage companies provide MF services, we understand that those are Regular MF plans. The other alternative would be to go each Mutual Fund house websites to register which should be time-consuming and cumbersome.

In between, we have heard about Invezta / MF utilities /Oro wealth which offers direct MF plans. A quick skim of these websites show that they have free plans up to certain prescribed rupee threshold and thereafter these platforms charge some convenience fee / need to subscribe a plan.

With the above details, we just need to know:

  • Has anybody invested in Direct MF plans through online websites?
  • Are the investments considered safe through these websites?
  • Assuming that the fee / plans charged by them would be a minor in the long run vis-a-vis Regular MF plans, would these online platforms change their terms and charge a percentage when we sell / redeem the units?
  • Based on experience, can anyone recommend which is the best / trusted / user-friendly platform one could use to invest?
  • Any other considerations / aspects, we need to consider before investing through online platforms?
  • Any thoughts on should we start with largecaps MFs or mid /small / micro cap MFs, as they are giving exceptionally good returns at the moment?

I assume that Direct MF plans through online platforms would assume greater significance in light of the current de-monetisation plans and I welcome all your valuable thoughts and experiences on the above.

Just for clarity, I am not recommending any websites or methods of investing above. Just sharing my thoughts to get your valuable views.

Thank you
Matt

1 Like

Hi Matt,
You should go to each mutual fund website and register and invest in direct plans. This process is not cumbersome or time consuming.
I have used Icici mutual fund and axis mutual fund site.

You can take a look at www.mfuindia.com. Direct investment is available to funds from multiple MF companies

I second this thought. It is not cumbersome at all. I had earlier done it through demat accounts which had its own disadvantages. Since last 3-4 yrs I have registered with individual website and this is very easy. I agree that you may not have one view of your mutual fund investments but this is a minor issue.

Roberto el S

Hi Matt,

I invest online through the direct plan. You simply have to choose the fund you want to invest in, log on to the website of the fund house, follow the instructions to complete / link your KYC and you are good to go! Its not too tough to do.

One more point, given that you are an NRI, if you are from Canada or US you have to be aware of FATCA implications also.
Here is a good article that gives a view.

Mfutilities is a collaborative platform by all mutual funds hence it is free, once you open account you can ask them to give online access to mfuonline.com. You have to complete kyc and normal formalities for opening account

I invest through mfutilities platform. You can invest in direct plan and save on brokerage commission. This is promoted by group of MF AMC. No need to go to individual AMC site. You will also get a view of all your MF investment in one window. It also supports SIP.

Zerodha does not charge for mutual funds, so you can invest in normal mutual funds without looking for direct, Zerodha gets paid by mutual fund houses. I personally have not invested in mutual funds through Zerodha but checked there. May be other discount brokers are also providing this option.

One can also use mycams.com which has multiple MF houses enlisted with them, and u can buy the direct schemes of the MF houses through their platform

Matt,

I am investing in mutual funds from last 7-8 years. I found that it is better that one must remain concentrated to one account instead of going to many. If you are not willing to remember many user ids and passwords, you should invest from one platform only i.e. from your demat a/c. Obviously, it will provide you the only option of regular schemes.

There are two agencies, one is CAMS and other one is KARVY.

You can check all your present holdings in CAMS and even invest in new direct schemes but for selected AMCs irrespective of amount. Other AMCs are covered by Karvy but it does not provide the option to transact.

SBI MF, ICICI MF, HDFC MF, Birla Sunlife MF, DSP, IDFC etc. are serviced by CAMS, Karvy service Reliance, Axis, LIC, IDBI, Motilal Oswal etc.

MFU is not an online platform, it will provide a CAN (Common Account No.) which will help you to update your demography at single point.

Presently me using fundsindia.com for my mutual fund investments… it acts like an aggregator… The website is owned by Wealth India Financial Services Pvt. Ltd… Here accounts of family members can also be linked together. I am finding it quite useful.

Note: please dont consider it as a recco from myside. :slight_smile:

Dear,

there are facility by MFUTILITY and Cams online or Cams office. Once u have to fill your registration Form with KYC , they will allot u CAN ( common account Number) , by this you can invest, redeem and switching in all registered MF by online/app.

once u registered then it is very easy. and also helpful.

in some MF direct investment done by Karvy office/website.

Please check before giving links. The link you gave goes to an adult website

Apologize for the oversight: The correct link is
https://www.camsonline.com/myCAMS.aspx

Leads to the CAMS website

1 Like

Hello,

I have been researching on the best way to invest in Direct Mutual Funds from quite some time and following are my findings till now.

  1. MF Utilities (mfuindia.com) is maybe a nice way to do invest in direct mutual funds from a common service point. However, they don’t have online options, you need to visit the designated service points and submit paper forms! (They said they would come up with online options but I guess the Fund houses who are also distributors in many cases won’t allow that as it will kill their commissions). Also, the physical service points are very limited, for Mumbai there are not more than 5 centres, which is not convenient for many.

  2. You can view the commission paid by the fund houses to your distributors, by viewing the Common Account Statement sent by NSDL. They provide the details every six months, the last statement having these details was for month of September, in this they had given commission paid from April 2016 to September 2016.
    I tried to get the same data from my distributor (ICICI Direct), but their customer service after researching for couple of days said they don’t have this data!!!

Looking at the commissions paid will inspire you to switch to Direct plans :slight_smile:

  1. Here is a nice article on why direct plans make sense
    http://www.drvijaymalik.com/2014/08/you-should-always-invest-in-direct.html

  2. For those worried about tracking all the investments in one place (one view) can rely on the CAS (common account statement) sent by NSDL or CAMS/KARVY. However you get this only once a month.

Having said all this, the convenience to view and transact from the distributors like ICICIDirect is not there. Maintaining login ids/password for each fund house is a pain, and definitely not easy to handover to someone else in family. Hopefully the monetary savings can be worth the additional pain.

I am still in two minds whether to convert the existing regular mf holdings investments to direct plan or not :slight_smile:

Hope this helps!!

2 Likes

I guess we all are missing the BIG PICTURE .

  1. Direct plans are only going to be beneficial to investors , if they can do the proper selection of mutual funds. Selection does not mean to open valueresearch and select the top performing funds. If you do that then you will end up with mediocre returns. In this forum we have learnt to do value picking .Same principle needs to be applied in mutual funds too.

  2. The mistake we do is that we are all ways looking to reduce our cost, Why not put the same effort in increasing the returns .If the investor can pick mutual funds which can compound 18-20 % annually, why are you bothered about 1 -1.5 % cost. ( Direct plans only benefit the Mutual funds -they will continue to charge the fund management fees).

  3. Now a professional knows how difficult it is to pick the right mutual fund. For ex: First and the foremost , if you are a value Investor then you will have to search for the right fund manager whose perspective matches yours, then study every stock in the portfolio etc. It’s a lot of hard work ,

I totally disagree, actually mf selection is all about asset allocation, picking higher rated funds and leaving it to expert fund houses and staying invested in market for multiple decades doing Sip. You might need to periodic reviews (read yearly). Anything more than this (looking at individual stock in mutual fund portfolio) is an overkill and believe me I haven’t not seen any mutual fund advisor doing it. If we really need close monitoring of MF portfolio then why we need Mutual funds , then it is as good as direct equity investment.

1 Like

@prashantrane2000

1)Value investing has taught me that you need to have conviction in your investments . Now if i invest only by looking at the ratings , how will that conviction develop . Its difficult . In most cases when that particular fund will underperform , I will sell and exit . Please note I am talking about VALUE INVESTING . ( Past performance should be considered PAST) .

  1. SIP is a good method of investing in Mutual Funds . But Returns dont come by SIP , it comes from the performance or selection of the Fund Manager . So you need to study about the fund manager and his outlook and thinking .

  2. I agree that most Mutual Fund Advisors are not doing proper research - Thats detrimental to their business , because they need to add value for the fees the client pays .

  3. I select a mutual fund only because I dont have the required funds to buy meaningful number of shares of the portfolio stocks. So a mutual fund gives me diversification for the desired investment amount .

  4. Another reason why studying the mutual fund is so important - Recently in the past 4 years , there were several mutual funds which have grown exponentially , surpassing 10000 crores . I have observed that once a fund becomes BIG , it becomes difficult for the fund manager to deploy funds in Mid caps and small caps, So he starts deploying in Large caps . The more large caps he has in the portfolio , the returns get more close to the index . So the chance of the mutual fund getting higher returns than the index is defeated .

So if we keep hunting for the Top performing funds we will probably fall into traps like these and might end up with mediocre returns .

Any thoughts about the where this new found interest in MF by everyone takes us in future?
will MF returns ever be the way they have been uptill now.?

direct mutual fund really help to small investor but big problem is how to invest in direct mutual fund. now days somany company offer direct mutual fund platform heard that paytm also started mutual fund distribution, zerodha - coin also offer same. but which one is better can someone guide

Thanks
Nupur