Comparison of Direct Mutual Fund Transaction Portals

This year, direct mutual fund plans have taken off in a big way. This is exciting news not just because there is a single window to invest in direct mutual fund. In order to grow these portals must advertise*. Meaning commission-free investing will be the USP. Meaning more and more people will understand that their current online mutual fund investment platform is not free!

* with the exception of MF Utility which had to send out an reassuring note to sacred mutual fund distributors that it will not advertise. It will not, but hey, there is enough advertisement for it here and at Facebook group Asan Ideas For Wealth!

For example, Anish Mohan was kind enough to write a detailed guide: How to buy and sell direct mutual funds using MF Utility Portal

I had earlier announced the start of two such portals:

Direct Mutual Fund Investment/advisory Portal Invezta is now live!

ORO Wealth: Yet another Direct mutual fund investment portal! This had a partial comparison of direct mutual fund investment portals.

Now with Smart.Unovest.Co also live, it is time to a bit more detailed comparison, thanks to the efforts of Kishan Sen Laskar and Anish Mohan. This comparison is with the information available up to now and is likely to be modified as these portal evolve (and more come up!).

Background: In order to understand how these portals operate and their limitations, some background is necessary.

MF Utility is run by 25 AMCs. It is free and only offers transaction facility in direct plans.

Other portals are privately run and are either standalone (Invezta) or are dependent on MF Utility for Transaction.

All private portal will have a RIA no. That is, registered investment adviser no. This is like the mutual fund distributors ARN no which allows them to claim commissions on their clients transactions.

The RIA no is for direct plans alone and does not entail any commission.

They will be able to obtain feeds, that is the transaction statement to update portfolios only if a folio contains their RIA no.

So if you make a new transaction in a new folio via their portal, the RIA no will be automatically associated with it.

A new transaction in an existing folio can be made via the private portals only if 

  • existing regular funds are switched to direct funds with RIA no or
  • existing direct funds (which will not have ARN or RIA) have to be switched to direct funds with RIA code.

What about updating existing direct fund holdings which do not have the RIA code? The portals are trying to work out an arrangement with MF Utility to get the feeds with the permission of the account holder.

In the meantime, Unovest using an interface powered by a company called Accord Finitech has allowed users to upload all existing holdings using the consolidated account statement from CAMS.

Invezta is working on ways to do the same. Between me, Kishan and Anish, we have tried out,

Between me, Kishan and Anish, we have tried out,

Please note that all three of us are no associated with any portal. The only purpose of this post is the dissemination of information with a pinch of insight. Before taking a call on using such portals, be sure to read and understand all features.

Comparison of Direct Mutual Fund Transaction Portals

The image below is a comparison based on our current experience and details found at their site and is liable to be changed. If you are associated with any of the portals (owner/member), please do point out discrepancies if any and I will correct them.

Comparison-of-direct-mutual-fund-plan-portals-3
Please click on the image to enlarge

My recommendation

If you a regular plan investor, switch to direct!

If you have only a few funds and do not mind logging into individual AMCs, then look no further.

If you are a new/old investor looking for a plain vanilla transaction portal, choose MF Utility.

If you want goal tracking features and/or fund recommendations and don't mind robo-advisory, my vote would be Invezta. For new investors, there is no issue joining Invezta. Existing mutual fund investors will have to wait for Invezta to roll out their consolidation features.

The reason is, Invezta for the kind of goal tracking and portfolio insights it offers, comes at a pretty attractive price. The goal tracking at Unovest is a little too simple for my taste (at least for the moment). There are free online mutual fund screeners available at

If one has to pay for Unovest mutual fund screening (not yet live) then it better be better than these options (at the first two, forget freefincal).

I have not explored Bharosa Club and Oro Wealth and hence cannot comment on them.

If you prefer interacting with a fee-only SEBI registered advisor, stick to MF Utility. As robo advisor recommendations may conflict with that of the advisor.

I request users of these portals to provide feedback here so that it can help the community.

Credits: Kishan Sen Laskar and Anish Mohan for promptly responding to all questions and editing the above table. Thank you guys. Such posts will not be possible without your support.

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43 thoughts on “Comparison of Direct Mutual Fund Transaction Portals

  1. Apoorv

    I've been trying these portals myself and I found both Invezta and Unovest very prompt in resolving my queries.

    For me, the big deal is reporting. I want to be able to slice and dice my holdings so that I can find out things such as how many of my liquid funds are say more than 1 year old.

    I've transferred some of my holdings to Invezta and will soon know how good it is for existing holdings. As you mentioned, the process involves changing RIA in those existing funds. I just sent them my folio numbers and they generated all the forms etc for me. Now waiting for AMCs to actually make that change.

    I uploaded my CAMS account statement on Unovest and i'm not entirely happy with the outcome. Many transactions show an error and so my Unovest portfolio doesn't match with actual one. But I am not giving up yet. Will try a few more times and then see.

    I also tried Orowealth but it just opens an MFU screen for every transactions and there’s not much by way of reporting.

    Reply
    1. Anish Mohan

      You can bet on Invezta in the matter of reporting. Sharad Singh, CEO of Invezta is a great mind being from IIM-A alumnus and known him through a common friend who happens to be his junior. The reporting and analytics part is already on his radar and he will surely evolve it based on your feedback. Being a systems guy myself with core ERP implementation and Business Intelligence background, I know how important are data analytics and I am sure he will not let us down.

      Reply
  2. Apoorv

    Great post, as always.

    I've been trying these portals myself and I found both Invezta and Unovest very prompt in resolving my queries.

    For me, the big deal is reporting. I want to be able to slice and dice my holdings so that I can find out things such as how many of my liquid funds are say more than 1 year old.

    I've transferred some of my holdings to Invezta and will soon know how good it is for existing holdings. As you mentioned, the process involves changing RIA in those existing funds. I just sent them my folio numbers and they generated all the forms etc for me. Now waiting for AMCs to actually make that change.

    I uploaded my CAMS account statement on Unovest and i'm not entirely happy with the outcome. Many transactions show an error and so my Unovest portfolio doesn't match with actual one. But I am not giving up yet. Will try a few more times and then see.

    I also tried Orowealth but it just opens an MFU screen for every transactions and there’s not much by way of reporting.

    Reply
    1. Anish Mohan

      This is a comparison of portals that provide you the service to buy Mutual Funds in Direct plans as known as Transaction Aggregator. Quantum is a AMC or Mutual Fund house and hence outside the scope of this review.

      Reply
  3. Sai

    Very nice compilation in a single place and sheet, thanks a lot for all the efforts in bringing financial wisdom to the audience...

    Wishing you most and more..

    Reply
  4. Kamal Garg

    I am not able to understand why there is a rush for offering third party operated direct mf investment sites.
    When MF Utility is already available. At all the sites, I am required to have a CAN. As long as I have CAN, I can very easily and effectively do my transactions on MFU. MFU also has features of 'consolidation' of all accounts and schemes which you require for at a glance kind of view, analysis and decision.
    Further why pay some fee for a so called 'premium features' when it is all available free.
    All the more, why pay a fee for availing 'robo advisory' services.
    It does not take more than half-an-hour to do all kinds of analysis through any good site, like MFU, VRO and take your own decision.

    Reply
    1. Anish Mohan

      Well, people like plain dosa, but there is a section who will want masala dosa, cheese onion dosa, masala cheese dosa and even chicken dosa ! Hence it is up to the individual's taste. The companies must have seen enough traction to offer such services. Therefore let the individuals have dosa as per their wish ! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Anish Mohan

      Absolutely this is also a method many people like. Don't know if the PPFAS have been interfaced in perfios.

      Reply
  5. bharat shah

    is there any problem having direct AMCs' ONLINE ACCOUNTS and CAN, MFUtility being used for access to other AMCs where i have no online accounts?

    Reply
    1. Anish Mohan

      yes, absolutely and why not ? This is a perfect method and many people are using it that way. Its upto your convenience and comfort-ability.

      Reply
  6. Renga

    Wondering why the individual AMC portal way of investing is missing in this table? 🙂 Does it mean its not best to use the individual AMC's website to make an investment?

    Reply
    1. Kamal Garg

      Making transactions through individual MF portal/sites is most easy, convenient and secure way of making the transaction.
      I also wonder why the blog has not mentioned this already existing alternate way of making transaction.
      Even no CAN is required.

      Reply
    2. Anish Mohan

      The portals mentioned here are "Transaction Aggregators" which is a new layer in the MF eco-system. The individual AMC is a portal which offers a window to buy their own funds only. But these portals are for open for ALL AMC's and the comparison is targeted for such portals. It is absolutely wrong to draw the conclusion that individual websites are not the best option and neither we are making that point at all !! We want to bring forward the new players of the eco system like RIA and Transaction Aggregator.

      Reply
  7. kkrao

    Why not we directly buy the funds by registering on their web portal?
    Some of the funds are offering direct purchase, can log in to buy.
    Only if they provide advices thru robo analysis, one has to think off.

    Reply
    1. Anish Mohan

      It is a matter of convenience. One may feel convenient to do ALL purchases thru a single window and another may want to hop from one URL to another. None of the options is right or wrong, better or worse. it is to the individual's taste and freedom. This post is a comparison of those players who are a single window to MF basket and that too with Direct Plans.

      Reply
  8. taqiuddin

    Dear Mr.Pattu

    Can i invest through using 2 online portals with different mutual funds, just to try out , eg from invezta & oro-wealth . will there be any problem with that. kindly advise

    Reply
  9. Ashish

    Can you share screenshots or functionalities of goal tracking, rebalancing, etc.? Want to understand this comment better

    > Invezta for the kind of goal tracking and portfolio insights it offers, comes at a pretty attractive price. The goal tracking at Unovest is a little too simple for my taste (at least for the moment).

    Reply
  10. Pranav Date

    Post is informative. Thanks for the detailed comparison. If possible add one more feature of Referral.

    In case of Invezta, if your friend joins via your referral he gets additional 25k + you get 3Y free (Option 1 plan with 79 a month). This is very powerful. I referred two of my friends and I have 6Y with me now.

    Reply
  11. Kirit Joshi

    Dear Pattu Sir,
    Your atricle is superb as usual. Very informative. My status is NRI and I tried to log in on invezta but they have not yet started services for NRI’s. Anyhow, I wanted to raise a point to you so that you can consider it one also while comparing. Invezta (or any other such site) allows to open accounts based on email id. So, if I opened one account in my wife's name and another in my name with different email id, then it would be a problem for us. CAMS provide consolidated statements based on registered email id's. So for a family, if investments are made through different email id's, it won't come in a common statement.
    I have raised this point today to Invezta also. I am told by them that they would look into it.
    Do you have any clues??
    Regards,

    Reply
    1. taqiuddin

      Mr.Kirit Joshi , As i am also NRI and i have registered and created id with Invezta and they said they are providing services for NRI also. I have to complete my KYC 1st then ill be able to invest through them.
      Regarding your query for email ids i have no clue but mr pattu may be able to give you answer & also on my query too.:)

      Reply
    2. Sharad Singh

      Hi Kirit,

      Thanks for bringing this point.

      This is Sharad, founder of Invezta.

      We are looking at various such aspects in which we can help investors aggregate their portfolios/folios easily. Common email-id and phone number is one of them.

      We shall find the best possible way to make it available and implement the same.

      Regards,
      Sharad

      Reply
  12. Srinivasan

    I was probably one of the first few to get started with MF Utilities. So much so that when I went to the local Karvy office to get my CAN number - they had to go through their learning with me.
    Having said that, I should say my experience with MFU has been very good. Excellent response.
    The only gripe that I have is that there are a few AMCs which are still not part of the consortium - most notably Mirae. So that led me to drop Mirae's funds from my list to invest!
    Some of the facilities like making a transaction across multiple fund houses in one transaction slip are a big welcome relief - especially when you have funds that are supported by CAMS, Karvy, FT, and SM.

    Reply
  13. Suresh

    Dear Pattu Sir,
    Your are GREAT!!!!!!.
    There is no WORDS to express my gratitude for your blogs and articles. Your every blogs and articles are so relevant to Portfolio management that can't be left unread. When I read your article, I find several links which takes me to another IMPORTANT, RELEVANT and MUST to READ article.
    I have been a MF investor since 2012. Unaware of the difference between Regular and Direct Plan I have investing in MF through a broker who once only helped me in filling up the MF application. Whatever some basic knowledge on MF today I have its all due to your seamless efforts towards your financial Literacy campaign.
    After knowing the importance of portfolio management for achieving various goals of life, I am in the process of taking the services of one Fee-only-SEBI registered certified financial planner. He has prepared a Comprehensive Financial Plan for me and for which I made the payment. He has not recommended any scheme or plan under that Comprehensive Financial Plan. I have understood the importance and convenience of MF investment through online transactions portals/Platforms viz: Funds India Advsor, Ifast and MF Utility. For Direct Mutual Funds my financial planner is advising to go for Ifast platform giving the reason that Ifast has a developed platform whereas MF Utility is still in the process of developing and some features like reports and feeds are yet to take shape. But on going through yours and others reviews in favour of MF Utility I am in the favour to go for MF Utility.
    Sir, I shall be pleased and great full if you help me in choosing the best of theses two in the perspective of an investor.
    Thank you so much
    -Suresh

    Reply
  14. Anush

    I have a Rs 5000/- pm sip in Hdfc top 200 which I changed to direct around a year back. But when I compare the returns today, the amount is less than the amount projected had I continued in the regular scheme. Any particular reason for this?

    Reply
  15. kamalgarg1958

    It simply can't be. What is your "projected amount" is not clear and not material also.
    What is important is the NAV on any day. Is the NAV of direct scheme is higher than through distributor option or not. And that's your extra gain by investing in direct schemes.

    Reply
  16. Bhaskar

    I just wanted to share my positive experience with Invezta, I am an NRI and have opened 3 separate joint accounts with three separate email ids but they have shared same email id and mobile number for all 3 accounts while opening folios, you need to raise a ticket for such a facility as it is not available online as of now, Sharad, CEO is very helpful and happy to answer queries when ever raised and they also offer facility to raise ticket online for any queries and their response time is very quick usually within 24 hours. Their fund recommendations and goal tracking etc., services offered online are very classy and worth trying, their data analytics is premium as well, over all, it is a very satisfying experience with Invezta so far and I would recommend investors who are looking for robo advisory based on goals with fund recommendations, then Invezta is best place as it offers services at a very low cost.

    Reply
  17. Minu

    Hi ! I am an NRI and I presently hold and transact through Private Wealth Management Firms. Since they are commission based Ditributors, I am always wary of their advice since I feel it may be biased.
    I would like to shift to Direct Plans and have applied and received CAN with MFU. But I do require professional advice and reporting on my Portfolios. Please advise whether
    1) MFU offers active Advisory Services even if for a fee
    2) MFU offers Tax reports (Annual transaction Reports & Capital Gains Reports)
    3) MFU offers Holdings reports on demand.

    If not, then can you suggest any other suitable platform which will fulfill my requirements. Is there a platform which offers only portfolio tracking, advice and reporting if I continue to transact through MFU.

    Thank you.

    Reply

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