With a growing awareness of how investments in financial markets can help us plan for a securely financial future, more potential investors are looking for the right places to invest their money from. SimpleMoney's earlier blog post about Direct Investment platforms garnered a lot of response and engagement from readers. Today, we present a similar comparison of regular mutual fund investment platforms.
You can read more about the differences between Regular and Direct funds on this blog post.
Formed by Prudent Corporate Advisory Services, FundzBazar provides robo-advisory, investment and research services for clients. FundzBazar is widely used by its own sub-brokers (of which there are over 7,000 to register their clients, allowing them to do the process online, and helping the company ensure that there is a reliable paper trail for commission calculations. FundzBazar is also open to individual investors who have to be KYC compliant before they sign up. They state on their website that any extra advisory services may come with a charge.
Cost: The website states that account opening and transacting is free, but FundzBazar receives a commission from Asset Management Companies.
Fundsupermart was launched in 2009 by iFAST Financial India, a provider of financial software services. Fundsupermart is an online mutual fund investing platform that also provides KYC registration services for those who are not yet compliant.
Offline mutual funds can be transferred to a user's Fundersupermart account.
Cost: Fundsupermart also emphatically claims that it is "Zero cost" with "NO account opening costs" and "NO transaction costs." However, it receives commissions from the AMCs. As this post describes, the company dissuades investment in direct platforms, likening direct investments to advisor-less investments, which isn't true. There are investors in India who invest in direct funds on behalf of their clients, and who charge direct fees from the client.
FundsIndia is a Chennai-based online investment website, and arguably one of the most well known investment platforms for regular mutual funds. Originally formed to service just mutual funds, today the website allows investors to choose from other investment options like Corporate Fixed Deposits and Direct Equities. The website has a robo-advisor called Money Mitr, but also promises human interaction (every investor gets a dedicated investment advisor), and the ability to include your entire family's portfolio in one account.
In 2015, FundsIndia raised 70 crores in Series C funding. Faering Capital was the lead investor.
Cost: FundsIndia receives a trailing fee or distribution fee directly from the AMC, taken from your fund, usually between 0.1 - 1% per year. There is no payment directly from the investor to FundsIndia, but that does not make it a free service, even though they claim that it is.
Bengaluru-based Goalwise was founded in 2015 and it provides robo-advisory services to investors based on their goals. Users can pick goals such as "Wealth," "Tax Saving" and "Children" and it will then provide a list of options, indicating the risk level associated with each. Investors can pick an option that they like and do a lumpsum or SIP investment. They can also choose their own funds, but doing so means that Goalwise will not provide alerts when they believe your portfolio needs rebalancing.
Goalwise also assists users with completely paperless PAN-card based KYC registration, removing the INR 50,000 per fund per year limit of e-KYCs.
In 2016, Goalwise raised USD 1 million from High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs).
Cost: Goalwise, unlike other Regular fund platforms, does not claim to be free. It emphatically states that it is not.Their charges are based as a percentage of portfolio, provided to them by the AMCs. They explain more about their pricing structure here. It is typically about 1% for Equity funds and 0.1% for Debt funds.
A fellow Y Combinator backed company, Groww is a Bengaluru-based start up that is aimed at building a modern financial services company. Groww provides users with "baskets" of mutual funds based on financial goals. They also promise extra support such as getting an investor's KYC done, and providing responses to investment-related queries.
Cost: With no transaction or sign up costs, Groww is upfront about the fact that they receive a commission from the AMCs.
Investica was founded in 2017 by stock broking and mutual fund distributor, Choice International. Investica enables users to open accounts online and invest in mutual funds, providing recommended mutual funds based on goals. While the platform is open to individual users, it appears that the goal of creating it was to bring Choice Broking's own offline investors into the digital realm.
Cost: On their FAQs page, Investica states, "We do not get any fee or commission from our clients directly. We get a small fee as a commission from fund houses directly on the volume of transaction executed on Investica platform which helps us to power this platform."
This Delhi-based company has been providing financial services to investors for over 20 years, and provides a range of financial asset investment opportunities including direct equities, insurance and mutual funds. There is an online mutual fund investment platform that promises a customised portfolio any any-time transactions.
Cost: Another promise of no hidden charges, and a "lifetime free account," but the fees are collected from the AMCs.
Founded in 2012, Scripbox is another Bengaluru-based robo-advisory and mutual fund investment platform. The website states that its users come from over 1150 cities, and have invested over 650 crores. In addition to providing a selection of funds based on criteria, Scripbox reviews the portfolio once a year and provides suggestions for improvement and keep a track of exit loads and capital gains to make sure that leaving a fund is a good idea.
Cost: Scripbox does not charge any sign up, subscription or transaction fee from users, but receives a commission from the AMCs. A list of those amounts can be found here. If you compare this disclosure with Upwardly's, the beginning text is the same (at least it was at the time of writing). Who do you think copied whom? Send us your bets, and we'll put our PIs to work.
Upwardly is also a Bengaluru-based robo-advisory mutual fund platform. They claim on their website that they have invested over INR 300 crores in more than 500 cities across India.
On Upwardly, investors can choose the kinds of portfolios that they want to build. These include Equity portfolios, Low risk portfolios, and even Digital Gold portfolios where you can buy funds that invest in gold rather than buying gold directly (a great option if you prefer silver, and don't like wearing gold on your body). Upwardly executes transactions through the Bombay Stock Exchange gateway.
Cost: At the time of writing, there was no information on the website about pricing, except a statement that it was a "No fee" platform. A quick chat with a team member revealed what we know to expect by now:
"We don't charge any fees. There are no hidden charges. We earn a small fee from the mutual fund companies for the additional services we provide to our investors."
When I asked for a pricing page, I was reminded that:
"We don't charge anything."
More prodding took me to this page that reveals the Commission Rates for each rate.
This Bengaluru-based startup went live in August 2016, and provides investors with recommendations for mutual funds, and allows them to execute transactions on their website, providing portfolio tracking services as well.
Cost: The website states the following:
We don't charge you any fee to invest and manage your money using Wealthy. However, you pay an annual fee (called as total expense ratio) to the Mutual Fund which is adjusted from your investment by the fund manager. This fee is in the range of 0.2-2.2% annually depending on the portfolio chosen. Wealthy earns a part of this fee from the fund manager.
Now that you've invested in a mutual fund using one of these platforms, why don't you come on over to SimpleMoney and track your portfolio? Sounds like a great idea!