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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  Should you have multiple brokerage accounts?
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Should you have multiple brokerage accounts?

If you are both trading and investing, having more than a single brokerage account helps.

A brokerage account helps you buy and sell shares in real time. (Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash)Premium
A brokerage account helps you buy and sell shares in real time. (Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash)

How many of you have multiple trading accounts that allow you to both trade and make long-term investments? While having several Demat and trading accounts is completely normal and legal, many new investors are unaware of the fact that you cannot have these numerous accounts with the same Depository Participant (DP) or brokerage house. This means that if you already have a Demat or trading account with a stockbroker, you cannot open another with them. For another Demat or trading account, you have to approach other brokerage houses. 

The choice of brokerage firm depends on the kind of service you are looking for. If you are adept in assessing company stocks using both fundamental and technical analyses, you may opt for the sample bot-assisted service. However, if you are looking for professional help to assist you in deciding which shares to buy, hold and sell along with their investment horizons, you may as well opt for professional brokers providing detailed investment tips. The fees depend on the kind and extent of service you are looking for. 

An investor opens a brokerage account with a registered brokerage business through which trades are executed.
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An investor opens a brokerage account with a registered brokerage business through which trades are executed.

About multiple brokerage accounts

 

Many people open multiple brokerage accounts that they use separately for trading and investment purposes. While the offers may be great, especially, those that come at a discount, the question arises if having them is worth the hassle that comes with it.

The benefits of having multiple brokerage accounts include:

  • Access to numerous kinds of services and assessment of multiple investment accounts.
  • The portfolio is divided into different types of investments through multiple brokerage accounts.
  • Facility to connect multiple brokerage accounts with one Demat account.
  • Different brokerage account benefits from different dealers.

Having multiple brokerage accounts have their downsides too. They are:

  • Maintaining accounts on different platforms can be time-consuming.
  • Securing multiple accounts mandate remembering different passwords. Forgetting any one of them means going through a rigorous process to retrieve the same.
  • Having multiple accounts translates to paying different fees, which means that you pay more towards maintenance.
  • Inability to maintain transactions in multiple accounts increases the chances of them being frozen or inactive. You have to pay extra to revive them.

Calculating taxes on a brokerage account

 

When you earn or lose money on your stocks in a brokerage account, you are liable to pay taxes on the money in the year of receipt and not in the year during which it is withdrawn from the account. You must consider the convenience of paying tax on profits and losses on sales of your stocks through your brokerage account(s). 

Vineet Patawari, Cofounder CEO, StockEdge & Elearnmarkets says, “Before filing tax, individuals will first have to classify themselves as a trader or an investor. The guidelines have been shared through the CBDT circular. To evaluate taxes, one should know in which head their income is falling under: - 

Long term capital gain - Short term capital gain - Speculative business income - Non-speculative business income And whether they are treating income from markets as Business income or other. 

To file your tax you will need a total turnover for the year. This is tricky as every broker will have a different format, but the most compliant way is calculating turnover trade-wise. You will have to ensure that all the data pulled out from the broker terminal is in the same format. You will also have to calculate the turnover of each script manually as you have multiple brokers providing data in different formats. This is the only difficulty you may face if working with multiple brokers."

Depending on your usage and your handling of stocks, you can choose between single and multiple brokerage accounts. While both single and multiple brokerage accounts, you must assess the benefits and disadvantages in both before deciding on the same. 

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Published: 22 Feb 2022, 09:39 AM IST
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