What to Look for When Choosing the Right Trading Platform

What to Look for When Choosing the Right Trading Platform

What to Look for When Choosing the Right Trading Platform In this age of the Internet and smartphones, buying and trading stocks has become easier and more convenient than before. There are all kinds of websites and apps where you can create your own trading account and start investing in stocks that you think can offer high returns. The question is, how do you pick the right platform?   The following are some of the things that you need to look for in an online trading platform: Investment Options A good stock trading India platform will allow you to invest in a variety of products. For instance, you may get the option to invest in not just stocks and bonds but also real estate investment trusts, mutual funds, etc. Remember, the more options there are, the better. User Interface Most stock broker companies give their customers a wide range of tools and services so that they can invest their money wisely. These include detailed graphs and charts of popular stocks that record their performance, easy comparison of multiple stocks, etc. However, these tools aren’t for everyone, and if you are a beginner, then you may want to look for a basic Demat and trading account that doesn’t overwhelm you with tons of information. Mobile Support Once you have learned how to open trading account online, you want to create and maintain a portfolio on the go. For that, easy access to your account is a must, which is where your smartphone comes in. Since you carry your phone with you everywhere, it makes sense to check the performance of...
7 things you need to know about a DEMAT Account

7 things you need to know about a DEMAT Account

What is a DEMAT Account? DEMAT is short for ‘Dematerialization’. This term is used in the context of shares. It is often also referred to as a ‘Share Market DEMAT Account’.Shares earlier used to be bought and stored in the form of physical share certificates, which involved lengthy paperwork, and storage methods that were prone to the risk of loss or theft or damage. Thus, the intangible cost of holding ‘material’or ‘physical’ shares was quite high, which needed to change. DEMAT Accounts did just that. With a DEMAT Account, you could hold shares in an electronic form, save on tedious paperwork, and protect yourself from the risk of losing your precious shares. This also allowed the shareholder to trade in shares safely, easily and electronically. A DEMAT Account is similar to a bank account in which you hold deposits while the bank records the credit and debit of that account for you. A DEMAT Account can hold all your important investments like equity shares, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, bonds, and government securities. A DEMAT Account can be opened even without possessing any shares. You can open a DEMAT Account with a zero balance. Why do you need to create a DEMAT Account? You need to keep your precious investment-related documents like certificates, safe. A DEMATAccount helps you do just that by storing your physical documents like share certificates etc. in a digitised format. DEMATAccounts are managed by various depositories in India like SAS Online. DEMATAccounts are easy to use and allow investors to access stocks, Mutual Funds, bonds, ETFs, IPOs and much more. Your DEMATAccount will allow you...

Build an equity-heavy portfolio to meet child’s education or marriage goal

Only this will ensure that you are able to meet the escalation in costs over a 15-20 year horizon For Indian parents, providing the best education that they can afford to their children is a very important goal. Getting a girl child married into a good family is another important one. In fact, many parents start saving and investing for these goals right from the day the child is born. However, besides saving adequately, having the right asset allocation and choosing the correct investment instruments is equally important. These are aspects where many parents go wrong. Before you begin to save for the education or marriage portfolio, first buy adequate term insurance for your family. This will ensure that even in the case of an unfortunate event, there will still be money for the children’s education and marriage. The next step is to begin saving any extra money that comes your way. Children get small sums of money on several occasions from relatives and friends. Parents often squander this money because they consider the amounts to be too small to be worth saving. However, if such sums are saved diligently, they can add up to a tidy sum by the time the child is ready to go to college or get married. Next comes the task of constructing the right portfolio for these goals. Since they are very significant goals, parents often err excessively on the side of caution and invest all the money in fixed-income instruments, such as recurring deposits. Actually, you should invest the bulk of the portfolio in equities, for two reasons. One, these goals would...

Adopt a safety-first principle in debt funds

At present you should stick to funds that avoid both duration risk and credit risk ? Debt funds are sold to investors as a less risky alternative to equity funds. However, investors should not make the mistake of equating these funds with instruments like fixed deposits where there is no risk of loss of capital. In debt funds, investors can suffer erosion of their capital, owing to a variety of risks. The first type of risk in debt funds is interest-rate risk. When interest rates are falling, prices of bonds rise. This results in capital gains within mutual fund portfolios, which boosts their returns. But when interest rates are rising, prices of bonds within debt fund portfolios decline. Such losses are higher in case of bonds of longer tenure, and lower in bonds of shorter tenure. Over the past year and a half, interest rates have been on the upswing in India. In such a scenario, investors should stick to debt funds that have a low average maturity. Liquid funds, ultrashort term debt funds, and short-term funds are some of the categories of debt funds that investors should stick to in a rising interest rate environment. The second type of risk that debt funds face is credit risk. When a bond that is held within a mutual fund portfolio gets downgraded, or defaults, the net asset value (NAV)of the fund declines. This is what has happened in the case of IL&FS and its group companies. This company and its subsidiaries currently have a total debt burden of around Rs. 90,000 crore. Of this mutual funds hold around Rs 2,282...

Keep your SIPs going

It is when the markets decline that you reap the real benefit of SIP by being able to buy more units of a fund Recent news reports suggest that one in three SIP-related request this year has been for closure of SIP accounts. Earlier, a report from UBS had also warned that SIP-based inflows into the equity markets could stall if historic returns turn negative. With the markets turning volatile, there is very much a risk of that beginning to happen now. Whatever others may do, you should not stop your SIPs as this could do a lot of damage to your long-term investment plans. Novice investors, who entered the equity markets in the past couple of years, when there was a bull run in progress, are most likely to stop their SIPs when the markets decline. These are usually investors who have not fully understood the risk in equities. They have not internalised the reality that equity markets tend to be highly volatile in the short term. But if they hang on to their investments, they will be rewarded with high returns in the long term. Many investors also tend to stop their SIP investments because there is a mismatch between the ideal investment horizon for equities, and the time horizon with which they entered this asset class. The ideal time horizon should be at least 7-10 years. If you came into the markets expecting to make money within a year or two, you are likely to be perturbed by the interim volatility in the markets. Recalibrating your time horizon will enable you to deal with markets turbulence better....
Avoid NFOs, stick to tried and tested funds

Avoid NFOs, stick to tried and tested funds

If you go to the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) website, you will be able to see the list of new fund offers (NFO) that are currently available (https://goo.gl/rMMLio). Your friendly neighbourhood mutual fund agent may also be pestering you to buy a hot new fund which, according to him, has great prospects. Before investing in an NFO, you should do a little research. An NFO is basically a new fund that a fund house has just launched. Such launches are typically accompanied by an advertising and marketing blitz. Often, mutual fund agents are offered high upfront commissions on these new products, which is why they urge you to buy them. The biggest drawback of buying a new fund is that it does not have a track record. In an existing fund that has been around for a long time, you can check how it has performed vis-a-vis its benchmark and also compared to its category peers. If the performance is sound, and the fund manager who was responsible for earning these returns is still there at the helm, you can invest in such a fund with a certain degree of confidence. Since an NFO does not have a track record, investing in it is akin to taking a blind bet. In bullish market conditions, certain sectors tend to outperform others. In such an environment, fund houses launch NFOs for sectoral and thematic funds. Investing in such NFOs can be even more dangerous than investing in the NFO of a diversified equity fund. When the hot streak of that sector ends, such sectoral and thematic funds take...