Investing online is all about convenience: saving time and paperwork. You can invest in stocks and mutual funds through online broking websites and robo-advisory platforms. If all you want to buy is mutual funds, then you can also buy them directly from the website of the fund house. Mint explores the various ways of investing online.
Pick the platform you want to invest through. Robo-advisory websites currently offer you a choice of mutual funds. Some larger format robo-advisors also offer access to bonds, insurance products and loans. You can either pick a robo-advisor that only enables you to transact, or choose one that has some investment advice to offer as well. If you choose to go through an online broking website, it will give you access to products like mutual funds, equity stocks, derivatives and bonds. If you are investing through a mutual fund website, you can choose to invest in all schemes of that particular fund house.
For some online platforms, especially robo-advisories and mutual fund websites, the entire process can happen online. You need to have your identity proof, address proof and a photograph to scan and upload. Fill in the details asked and upload your documents. Electronic know-your-customer (eKYC) could require an in-person verification through a video call. Permanent account number (PAN) and Aadhaar number are essential to complete online account opening. Opening a comprehensive online trading account with a brokerage may entail further documentation.
The last step is to link your bank account, with which you intend to transact ON the online platform. You will have to keep your bank details like account number, bank branch details and the IFSC code handy. In some cases you may have to go to your bank’s website and add the intermediary as a beneficiary. This process can take up to one business day to complete. Once these formalities have been completed, you should be able to buy and sell mutual funds, equity stocks, derivatives and bonds of your choice, without having to fill up paper forms.