Investing in Mutual Funds is very easy! A lot of online portals are offering platforms to invest in direct plans of mutual funds. It’s now as simple as doing your online mobile recharge. These online mutual funds platforms are basically aggregators who help you to purchase a mutual fund scheme from various fund houses. Let’s discuss the best direct mutual funds platforms in India.
Caution: This one is going to be a long one, so better you grab yourself a cup of coffee.
What is a Direct Mutual Fund?
Direct plans are no different than the regular plans in terms of the investment strategy. The only difference between regular and direct plans is, indirect plans Asset Management Company (AMC) or mutual fund house does not charge any fees, distribution commission, or transaction charges. The scheme would be denoted as “Direct” at the end of the plan name.
These direct plans are suitable for those who can manage their portfolio on their own and have a thurst of earning 1% extra. There would be a separate NAV for direct plans and it’s usually higher than the regular plans because of the zero expense ratio.
Hope you are aware that investing in mutual funds via regular plans attracts commission paid to the distributor/advisor/middleman. This amount sucks your NAV value up to 1.5%. I will not go into depth as I have already written a detailed article on this. you can read it here.
Best direct mutual funds platforms in India
There are many platforms available through which you can invest in direct plans of mutual funds. They are charging flat monthly fees or per-transaction charges. Overall these charges are far lower than what you are paying to your broker or advisor.
One by one let’s take a dip dive and check which one is best for you. Choosing the best one from the list is not an easy task. I will take you through the platforms which are mainly cost-effective as our main aim to invest in the direct plan is to save cost.
In this article, we will discuss and compare below best direct mutual funds platforms
- Direct through AMCs
- Mutual Fund Utility
- Paytm Money
- Zerodha’s Coin
- Clear Fund
- Wealth Trust
- Bharosa club
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Through mutual fund website:
Nowadays all mutual fund companies are having their own website through which you can invest in direct plans of mutual funds. Go to the website, create your account. Choose the plan you wish to invest in, pay online and that’s it. You are done! The problem with this method is you have to create an account with each mutual fund house in which you want to invest. This is a cumbersome process and hard to manage if you want to invest in more plans of the different fund houses. You don’t have to pay a dime.
- Complete online facility for one-time registration
- Dealing directly with the mutual fund company
- SWP (Systematic Withdrawal Plan) and STP (Systematic Transfer Plan) is available
- You have to get yourself registered with individual AMCs for purchase
- One time registration and remember the password for all portals is difficult
- Managing your portfolio and account statement will be difficult as you will get the individual statement from each AMCs
- You need to download a separate mobile app for each AMC
- You will not get the consolidated capital gain statement
- Most of the AMC is not providing advisory services, so you will not get any recommendation
Mutual Fund Utility:
In India, there is a common platform for all mutual fund houses. go to http://www.mfuindia.com create your account, you will be assigned one common account number (CAN). Through this unique number, you can purchase mutual funds from any fund house of your wish. It is completely free of cost. Read more about Mutual Fund Utility here. it involves some amount of paperwork as you have to fill and submit the CAN form.
- You can invest in all the AMCs through this portal
- Get the consolidated account statement for all your schemes in one place
- It is completely free of cost
- You can set custom alters and triggers (you will get an email)
- The registration process takes the time of about a week
- Portal is not userfriendly
- Portal just gives you the current value of your investment, no further analysis is available
- No advisory support is available
- Customer support is not up to the mark
- Currently, it has the only Android mobile app (not user-friendly)
Goalwise is an online platform that provides goal-based investing in Direct Mutual Funds for free. The main USP of Goalwise is that you don’t have to a Mutual Fund expert to use it. You just pick your goal, personalize it by choosing your time duration and target and you get customized fund recommendations that you can invest in just a few clicks.
Every year, they review their Mutual Fund recommendations and if there are any changes, you get notified of the same. You can then rebalance your portfolio in just a few clicks to the new recommendations.
Being a goal-based investing platform, they also provide goal tracking features like on-track/off-track notifications and suggest ways to get back on track if required. Another advanced feature they provide is a glide path for your goals where your portfolio is moved from equity to debt as you get closer to your goal.
All this is available out-of-the-box to all investors automatically. They have family accounts as well as support minor and NRI accounts.
You can even get one-on-one personal finance advice by their in-house financial planners.
The app has one of the highest ratings on both the Play store (4.7) and App Store (4.8).
- best suited for busy investors who don’t want to do their own research
- completely online KYC
- end to end goal-based investing with advanced goal planning tools
- Mutual Fund and asset allocation recommendations based on your goals and risk profile
- Glide path – your investments are moved from equity to debt as your goal approaches
- One-click portfolio rebalancing
- Tax Gain Harvesting
- Goal tracking – on-track/off-track notifications and recommendations to get back on track
- great customer support
- highest rated app on the play store and Facebook
- Supports 25 major AMCs out of 42
- Completely Do It Yourself investors might find it somewhat restrictive
Register transfer agent:
CAMS and Karvy are the registered transfer agent for mutual fund houses. You can go to their respective website, get your self-register, choose the plan you wish to invest in, pay online and you are done. The problem here is, there are some fund houses that are linked with CAMS, and others are linked with Karvy. So in that case, you have to get yourself register for both the platform. You will not get the consolidated account status in this case. These platforms are free of cost.
- They provide charts and graphs and some analysis on your portfolio
- Completely free of cost, no matter how small or big is your investment amount
- SWP and STP facilities are also available
- Both Karvy and CAMS are supporting limited numbers of AMCs (some are with Karvy and others are with CAMS)
- You need to have at least 2 accounts one with Karvy and another is with CAMS to transact in all mutual funds
- Initially, you have to do a lot of paperwork, like first time registration, KYC, SIP mandate, etc
- you will miss advisory services
- CAMS and Karvy doesn’t have a good mobile app for mutual fund portfolio tracking
Paytm Money ∗∗∗∗∗
Paytm Money is the latest entry in the direct mutual fund platforms. The platform is feature rich and customer-centric, truly a Last but not least.
Like other direct mutual fund platforms, Paytm Money offers direct mutual fund plans on its platform with zero fees to customers. But the platform offers much more than the existing platforms.
Going an extra step, the mobile-based platform offers the investment advisory which no other existing platform is offering the way Paytm Money is offering. It will help the investors in a great way by helping them in choosing the best and most suitable plans for their needs. For this, they have tied up with Valueresearch.com and morningstar.com which are the market leaders in the mutual fund industry.
The investor can start investing for as low as Rs. 100. This is a good feature for beginners who want to try their hands on the platform until they completely trust the company. Also good for the investors who want to test the suggestions before going big and investing a huge amount via the platform.
Another outstanding feature of the app is that offers a truly digital KYC for first-time investors. It helps you do your KYC in few minutes and you can start investing with the app instantly.
It provides suggestions for the top-rated mutual fund schemes by industry leaders like CRISIL, Morningstar, and Value research. So to ensure that you get the best recommendation in any situation.
- Top-rated schemes by industry leaders like CRISIL, Value Research & Morningstar
- Insights of fund managers and scheme
- Smart search
- Supports liquid funds
- Performance tracking
- Account statement
- SIP management (start/pause/stop)
- e-KYC in minutes
- Track your goal
- Historical performance of the scheme
- Fund category performance
- Risko meter to alert you about the scheme’s risk
- Scheme’s investment in the sector and even into companies
- Suggested SIP dates so that you can get the maximum returns
- No charges for investment and no hidden cost
- Provides digital KYC on mobile for faster account activation
- Know your risk appetite for free
- Login with 2-factor authentication
- Fingerprint and PIN enable login
- Supports 25 major AMCs to start with
I have written a detailed article on Paytm Money, check it for the complete details.
Kuvera is a completely free online portal for investing in direct plans of mutual funds. They are truly FREE. There is no catch or hidden charges for investing in direct plans of mutual funds. There is no trial period or any bundled offer. They are offering a free portal for investing in mutual funds regardless of the portfolio size. They also provide free financial advice.
Kuvera is a direct-only mutual fund platform. They have an industry-leading 36 AMCs onboard. The amazing part is that they don’t charge anything on the purchase of direct mutual funds. And it is not their promotional offer, they will never going to charge a dime for the purchase of direct mutual funds.
When you leave your house for going to your office or any other place, you select an appropriate road to that destination. So in a way you draw a route map to your destination in your mind. Imagine what will happen if you do not know the road which leads to your destination? you will be lost! So if we are drawing a roadmap to reach our destination, why not for our financial goal? Why there is no roadmap to reach your financial goals?
Goal-based investment is the key feature of Kuvera. Every investment has a purpose. Knowing this purpose right before you start investing. It will set the right path for your financial freedom and goal achievement. Kuvera also helps to determine the associated risk with each type of fund. A mutual fund as a product is very complicated for a layman.
Another great feature Kuvera is offering is the one-click switch from regular mutual fund plans to direct mutual fund plans. They have a system in which you can import your existing plans easily. It is super easy to switch from a regular plan to a direct plan.
Wait, it’s not over yet. How about having a single account for all your family members? isn’t it great to have one account to manage all investments of all your family members? Sign up, add your family member’s details and start investing. You can even manage your joint account too.
They offer services like fund selection, goal planning, tax optimization, portfolio rebalancing, etc. All these services are absolutely free. They claimed to offer the largest selection of direct mutual fund schemes.
Kuvera is available on the desktop/laptop as a web application. they have theand .
- A very nice and clean user interface, easy for the layman
- You can sign up with Facebook and Google
- you will get scheme recommendation based on your profile
- Supports almost all the mutual fund house
- Single account for all your family members
- Provides service like tax optimization and portfolio rebalancing
- Offers goal-based investment planning
- Easy and user-friendly mobile app
- Sometimes gives you an irrelevant recommendation
- Supports 36 major AMCs out of 42
As an investor, if you are looking for MF (Mutual Funds) or Stock investment, you can consider Zerodha as your preferred broker. As Zerodha offers both Direct and non-direct( Regular ) Funds.
Zerodha Coin is a platform that lets you buy mutual funds online, with no commission passback, directly from asset management companies. Your mutual funds, stocks, currencies, bonds, and more, all in your Demat in one place. They are basically a discount broker hence the brokerage is very less as compared to traditional brokers.
They have a product called Coin for mutual fund investment. They charge yearly maintenance fees of Rs.300/- The best part about Coin is the simplicity of the portal. Anyone can easily find the mutual fund scheme, check its performance, buy a lump sum or set up an SIP. The
First 25000 of your portfolio is free, after that fees of Rs. 50/month irrespective of investment amount or mutual fund schemes. It is the truly an unlimited plan at just Rs. 50/month. You can view your investment in a state of art mobile app as well. The Zerodha has recently announced its direct mutual fund platform completely free of cost no matter how big is your investment amount. I think this step is taken to safeguard its customer base from the upcoming player Paytm Money which is about to launch in September’s first week. Zerodha’s coin has already 1 lakh customers invested more than 2000 crores via Coin.
Easy SIP. Start/stop/modify your SIP as and when you want with just a click. Simple and single profit & loss statement and capital gain statement. If you have a Zerodha account you can invest in the direct stock market with the same account. As per me, this is one of the best direct mutual funds platforms in India.
- Buy/sell mutual funds along with stocks, all in one account
- Completely free, no matter how small or big your investment amount is
- It’s backend software “Q” provides various reports and the statement you would need
- Set customize alerts
- Start/pause/stop SIP on the go from anywhere
- Intuitive and easy mobile app for Android and iOS
- It doesn’t provide any advisory service, you have to find the schemes on your own
- You have to keep an adequate balance in your Demat account on the date of your SIP
- Doesn’t provide an SIP calculator
Clear Funds ∗∗∗∗
This is another portal that offers direct plans of mutual funds. They only deal with direct plans of mutual funds. They charge Rs. 999/- flat for 1 year. Purchase can be done via net banking or autopay. One time the bank mandate needs to be set up for this. (nothing new). They offer a wide range of funds from 36 AMCs.
Like other Robo advisories, clear funds identify funds that are delivering consistent returns across economic cycles and market conditions. They do data crunching and suggest best plans based on the 2-year returns on equity plans with minimum volatility. The same exercise will be done every fortnight. The minus point is that they do not have a mobile app.
They have partnered with Morningstar who is the leader in fund analytics, to give you information, scheme ranking, and ratings on each mutual fund scheme.
The minus point is they don’t offer an SWP (systematic withdrawal plan) and STP (systematic transfer plan).
- Provides scheme recommendation based on your profile
- You have to give the one-time mandate for all your future transactions
- You don’t need to keep money in their account
- Completely free of cost, however, they will insist you opt for the premium plan of Rs. 999/year
- You have to go through one-time paperwork for giving bank mandate
- They don’t provide an SIP calculator to know the investment amount
Groww is no different than the other portal which is offering direct plans of mutual funds. They are offering funds from around 37 AMCs. Which is quite a good number? The portal is quite clean and easy to use. The best part I found here is the detailing on each script. They use an objective evaluation of the mutual fund’s process and do not advise or give any scheme recommendations.
They have dug a dip into the data and provided all the possible data points which can help you to make a decision on your investing. I am impressed with the data points like performance comparison with other schemes in the same group. The pie chart on the holding analysis is eye-catchy.
Another unique thing which I have noticed is the Group. They have created financial groups on various topics to discuss ideas and answer queries of the members. Members can help each other in deciding the best scheme based on the user profile. Members can invite other people via group link.
- Easy and user-friendly portal and mobile app
- They use the Objective evaluation method instead of any random suggestion
- Very detailed data analysis and provides almost all the data points a user requires
- They have Group on various topics to help users get the answer to their queries (its like a forum)
- They don’t provide any SIP calculator, so the user will not be able to know how much they need to invest
Wealth Trust ∗∗∗
Wealth Trust offers mutual fund investment for free under its basic plan. The basic plan covers mutual fund portfolio tracking, fund explorer. It also offers a premium plan @ 39/month and a Smart advisory @ Rs. 999/year +0.25% commission.
Apart from offering direct plans for free, it also offers your existing portfolio tracking just by providing a registered e-mail ID. It will then collect the data from the various emails from AMCs and update your portfolio accordingly. The entire process is automated. This is the unique feature I have found here for the first time. Their fund explorer seems like an online shopping cart where you can filter the product based on the various parameters.
- Track past performance of the schemes
- Analytics to take the decision on your portfolio balancing
- Dealing with fewer AMCs, not all the AMCs are listed on the portal
- Doesn’t provide SIP calculator to know the investment amount
It is free for the first 50k on investment. If you are a beginner you can use the service as there are no account opening charges, excellent interface. They offer a referral program under which if your friend joins Invezta using your code, your free investment limit will increase from 50k to 75k. It has an option for SIP pauses and stops as and when you wish. It offers advisory services at an additional cost of Rs. 30 over and above the monthly fee of Rs. 79.
So overall it’s a good platform and it provides an opportunity for an investor to complete KYC by yourself.
- Provides suggestion based on your profile
- You can upload your existing portfolio held with any other distributor
- Track your goals
- Doesn’t have the mobile app so far
- It charges after a certain amount of investment
Bharosa Club ∗∗∗
Bharosa Advisor is a SEBI Registered Investment Advisor. They offer unbiased and quality advisory that helps you make more. In addition, they charge bare minimum charges for mutual fund transactions unlike other depository companies like sharekhan, Iifl, etc.
You need a CAN number and PayEzze for transacting on Bharosa.
Benefits of investing in best direct mutual fund platforms
- Best platforms for the corporate house and pro investors as they have in-depth knowledge of the market so can take their own decision.
- Huge money saving on commission paid to distributors in the long run.
- You can have access to all your funds in one place. It is easy to manage the entire portfolio.
- Some of the platforms are offering an SWP (systematic withdrawal plan), STP (Systematic Transfer Plan) between the schemes. so you can take advantage of a diversified portfolio.
- On the move transactions via mobile app and online portal accessible from anywhere.
- Platforms like Karvy, CMS, and MF Utility are providing this facility free of cost.
- These portals are providing free advisory on your portfolio.
Here is the comparison chart of the best direct mutual funds platforms that are offering direct plans of mutual funds.
Best direct mutual funds platforms
What you should look in for Best Direct Mutual Fund Platforms
Once you visit these websites, you will feel WOW! It’s like finding a treasure. They have a wonderful and interactive interface. Each of these platforms has one or other features like advanced technology, ease of use, free account, and low cost to lure you.
In the past 2-3 years, there are plenty of platforms that offer direct plans of mutual funds at a very low cost. So it becomes difficult to find a suitable platform when there are lots of options available around you with almost similar features.
- Identify your goals and time horizon
Financial planning is a unique thing and differs from person to person. Every individual has different needs and situations. Most of these platforms are based on the automated system which provides you suggestions based on the inputs you are giving to it.
Sometimes they are not equipped to handle the needs of an individual, but the person doesn’t know it and blindly trusts the suggestions given by these platforms. So deciding on the proper platform requires a little work.
These platforms are here to automate your financial planning, but may not be adequate to design your financial planning. It is good for the first-time investor or at the very initial stage. But once you reach the level of advanced financial planning, you may seek help from a certified financial planner. These so-called Robo Advisors are just there to automate your execution.
- Take your time to check the platform
There is no hard and fast rule that you have created an account with any of the above platforms so you must have to start investing immediately. Check the portal thoroughly for few days before committing your money be investing through the portal.
Many of these platforms are offering a free trial up to some time or some investment amount capping. Try them and check which one suits your needs as these are going to be a long-term commitment. There is no harm in taking the test drive before you actually buy the car, isn’t it?
- What are they offering?
These portals are offering a wide range of services like goal-based planning, scheme recommendation, user risk profiling, and so on. Some of them are offering portfolio rebalancing, start and stop SIP as and when you want. Go for the service which provides you with all the facilities you are looking for.
Keep the future needs also in your mind as this is not going to be a one-time activity. You are going to use them for years to come.
- Unbiased advice
The platform must offer suggestions based on data-driven and past performance. There should be backup data and good reasoning for the given suggestions. This will help you to select the right mutual funds and the chances of going wrong are very less.
There should be extensive qualitative and quantitative parameters that need to be considered before deriving the best suitable mutual fund schemes. Test the suggestions given by the platform by checking its past performance and backtesting.
- Customer Support
These platforms are mainly used by the user by themselves without any human intervention. But there are instances where you are stuck up or may need help. Look for the service support of the platform which is I think a key feature to shortlist the platform.
Good customer service can take care of all your queries and questions within a stipulated time frame. After all, you are putting your money at stake, you must ensure that it meets all your requirements and you feel comfortable dealing with them.
Cost is certainly a major factor while choosing the best direct mutual funds platforms. The different company offers different schemes. Choose the one which is charging a fair amount of fee without compromising the quality parameters.
There are mainly two types of charges prevailing in the industry.
- Subscription-based fee
- Transaction-based fee
The subscription-based fee is the one where the company is charging you a fixed amount every month or year for let you use their platform to buy and sell the mutual funds. This is the fixed cost/month you need to pay to use the platform irrespective of the transactions or amount you do in that period.
While the transaction-based fee means you need to pay a commission on each transaction you do through their portal. This is generally in terms of the fixed percentage of the invested amount.
Usually, the subscription-based fee is better than the transaction-based fee.
Please share your feedback on the best direct mutual funds platforms comparison and please share this article with your friends.