Awareness for direct plans of mutual funds is increasing. People want to move to direct plans from regular plans and save on commission to distributor. I get many queries from investors on how to do same in a convenient way. There are multiple platforms available to do this. Today we will review Groww Mutual Fund platform for investing in direct plans of Mutual Funds. Groww is totally free platform as far as Mutual Fund investment is concerned. So no commission and no fees. Let us see if Groww lives up to its slogan. Easy Investing. For Free.
This article is to give overview of my experience of Groww mutual fund app and website. We will start with step by step guide as how to do setup with Groww. If you are using another platform which is equally good or better than Groww, do let me know in comments. This will help other readers to chose right one. Let’s get started with Groww. Please note many of screenshots are from their website but functionally it is similar to mobile app as well. So chose one that you are more comfortable with. Before we start, a note of thank to my new client Mayank Bisht for helping me with images as we did setup and investment.
1. Registration / Sign up with Groww Mutual Fund Platform
As with any platform, first step was to sign up with Grow Mutual Fund platform. So you should go to their website or download their app from Google playstore or Apple store for iOS. Process is more or less same.
Sign up with Email
Click on Login / register button in top right corner. Since all my mutual fund folios are linked with my gmail id, I used sign up with Google option. I suggest you also follow same in case you choose to go for this platform. This will help you easily import your earlier mutual fund investments in Groww platform. It will ask for email id and password in next two steps.
Mobile Number Verification
Once sign in is successful, it will ask for mobile verification. Refer image below.
Permanent Account Number (PAN) Verification
PAN is mandatory for investing with Groww. Please enter your PAN in next step. It will PAN and ask for your confirmation.
Basic Information section
Once sign up is successful, you will need to provide some basic information like date of birth, nationality, gender, marital status etc. You can refer image below.
Second step is to provide details of nomination as per below image.
Setting up Bank Account
Now we need to provide bank account details from where money would be invested as well as where money would get transferred when you redeem any fund. This is three step process.
Step 1 – Provide IFSC code available on your cheque. This helps identifying bank and branch.
Step 2 is to provide account number.
Step 3 – Sign. You can sign on mobile app with your finger. If you are on laptop, you can use mouse and click on confirm.
That’s all. We are done with setting up our account with Grow. You will see message like below to confirm same.
Setting up PIN
Groww allows you to login using 4 digit pin so you need not keep entering password again and again. A convenient feature. You can refer images below.
It asks for OTP (one time password) while setting up pin. This is good for your security. Also what I observed is that every time I tried to login from new device, it asked for OTP. Gave me sense of security.
Overall registration process was smooth and in line with other competitors. No issues whatsoever. All that you need is email, mobile number, PAN number and bank account details handy. So if you ask my rating for overall registration process its ***** 5 stars.
Let’s move on to next step…Importing Portfolio
2. Importing your portfolio in Groww Platform
If you already have mutual fund investments, first thing for you want to get all that imported in Groww Mutual Fund platform. How simple or difficult is it. Read on…
Now I would like to give full (really big) credit to CAMS, KARVY, FTMAI and SBFS to come together and offer feature of consolidated mutual fund statement. This is great way of checking your mutual fund investments at one place. All platforms nowadys use this to import your portfolio with their system. Grow Mutual Fund did not try anything different (I guess they did not have option as well). If you click on icon (in my case ‘M’ due to name starting with letter ‘M’), you will get option to import the portfolio. Refer images below. You have option to give Groww access to your gmail so it can do import automatically.
Once you click on ‘Connect with Google’, it confirms on auto tracking. Surprisingly, it says it takes 1-2 working days. That is bit long but okay.
If you don’t like to give Groww access to gmail, they give you second option as well. Here you can give them email id. A consolidated statement would come to your mail. You will need to manually forward it to Groww support mail to import the portfolio. This is good because in case your mutual funds are linked with some other email, then you can import that as well.
Its was quick and easy for me. Less than an 15 minutes to complete overall process. Next day I could see my dashboard with summary of all existing investments. Great.
Here too I will give ***** (5 star) to the process but I would have given same to other applications as well. Basically Groww is on par with its competitors in getting your existing mutual fund portfolio in their platform.
3. Setting autopay / bank mandate
Next step for you would be setting up bank mandate so your SIPs are paid automatically. You can access this option similar to above – by clicking on your login icon (‘M’ in this case) on dashboard.
Click on continue to start the process. You can either do verification by net banking or by debit card. Here I am showing steps for debit card because that is available with all users. But you can use net banking as well. You can enter debit card number, pin and date of expiry. Accept the terms and conditions and submit.
Call will go to your bank which will send OTP (One Time Password) for verification. Please enter same in next screen to confirm.
It will then show the mandate that is generated.
Please note mandate is for 1 Lac rupees. This is only area which I felt Groww could be better. They should have asked user to decide the limit than making it a fixed limit. Otherwise process was smooth and in 2 days, mandate was approved.
4. Switch from Regular plan to direct plan
If you are existing mutual fund investor, then most likely you will have investments in regular plan. You would like to switch to direct plan and save commission to distributor. Good news is you can do it with just few clicks. No need to take permission from your agent or so. One thing to note however is any switch in mutual fund is internally a redeem and invest. So basically you are redeeming units from Fund A regular plan and investing same money in Fund A direct plan. Since it is redemption, please understand the implication of tax and exit load for that fund before you do actual switch. You can click on ‘SWITCH’ option in front of your existing regular plan to initiated switch.
Once you click switch, it will show you how much you will save in 25 years with commission as well as any exit load. In below image it shows approximate saving of moving to direct plan as around Rs 22,000/- over 15 years. This is just for investment of around 1 Lac in that fund. That is significant. You can confirm to switch. It will take 2-3 days to get this completed. But overall its very simple. Isn’t it? You can repeat for rest of regular plan immediately or later based on tax and exit load implications.
5. Portfolio representation
Every platform has different way of representing your portfolio. To be honest, I am not impressed with details it shows. I will show few images to make my point clear.
a) Investment over period of time
If you see below image, it shows graph which looks like a snake over period of time. You can see it over 1 month, 6 month, 1 year and entire time. But I did not find any practical use. It is not really showing true picture to make any conclusion. If there is a drop or rise, you can not make out if it was due to market crash or you sold any fund.
b) Comparison with Grow user
Next section shows comparison with other Groww users. See image below. It shows comparison of your investment against other users. I don’t know what value it adds to user to know how much SIP others are doing or how much investment other users are having. Everyone will have SIP and investment as per their income.
c) Category Split
This section is little useful as it shows you at high level, split of your portfolio across Equity, Debt and Hybrid funds. However better representation would have been based on asset. A hybrid fund can have 70% equity and say 30% debt. So rather than showing us how much is hybrid fund, it should have calculated overall equity in all your funds as well as overall debt in all your fund and give us that split. That will truly give one asset level split.
c) Fund Split by Capital gain
In this section, it shows fund value based on capital gain. This takes into consideration type of fund and your holding to let you know how much of your portfolio qualifies for Long Term Capital Gain vs Short term capital gain. A useful insight but again I feel, equity and debt are treated differently from tax perspective. So not very useful info. Again, there was some glitch and both parts showed me zero value so not really able to comment much
c) Fund Updates
Last section was something unique and useful. In above image, you could see update of the funds you are invested in. You can see change in fund manager for schemes in which Manoj has invested in. Such information is very significant and I feel will add value to take any further decision for that fund.
Overall I am not impressed with view of portfolio. Except part where significant changes in funds were mentioned, rest did not live upto my expectations. I would rate it overall ** (2 star).
6 Transaction Management
Groww offers all the transaction types to perform. You can select your fund and invest more/start SIP/STP/SWP/Switch or you can go for all together new fund. In case you want to invest in more than one fund at a time, you can keep adding details and proceed to pay when choices are complete. Payment is possible via netbanking, upi, debit card. I tried lumpsum, SIP, STP, switch. All worked smooth as charm. You can see from below images, how you can perform various operations on existing schemes.
a. View Transactions
If you click on view transactions menu, it will show recent transactions on the fund.
b. Invest Lump sum or SIP
If you want to invest lumpsum, all you need to do is click on invest more option. Enter amount that you wish to invest. Click on One time or Monthly SIP button as per you needs.
You need not pay immediately. Instead continue it like shopping cart. Add other funds as well so you can pay in one single go.
This is biggest advantage of such platforms. You can place orders across different Mutual Fund houses in one go and make single payment. Below you can see example of placing orders across ICICI and Axis Mutual funds in one go. This will save you lot of time in long term.
Like shopping cart, you can add / modify / remove these items. Once you are done, you can click on ‘Proceed to Pay’ button. You can pay via UPI, netbanking, debit card so more or less all online options are available. SIP payments would get deducted automatically from your account based on mandate provided.
Redeem or selling is also simple and straight forward. Just select redeem option against your fund and enter amount to redeem.
It will show you exit load for your redemption. This is good as you know upfront before taking selling decision.
d. SWP / STP / Switch
Even Systematic Withdrawals, Systematic Transfers or one time Switch is simple. Just go to your fund in portfolio and select appropriate option. You can select amount (and based on that, it will calculate how many times you can withdraw or transfer) and date. That’s all. Once set, you can also cancel it later (after a week or so).
Overall I would rate ****( 4 star) as all the features are available and work like charm. Reason for one start less is you can not do STP, SWP or Switch from mobile app. You need to use website for same. Strange approach. But lumpsum, SIP, redeem are available in app as well as website.
7. Other features in Groww Mutual Fund Platform
Every platform has some new features to differentiate them from others. What I found in Groww platform are below ones.
Smart Save – Grow has tie up with ICICI Mutual Fund for investment in their Liquid fund to get you better returns than saving account as well as instant redemption. You can read my article on Liquid Fund vs Saving Account to check if using liquid fund is beneficial for you.
NFO – You can invest even in New Fund Offers via Groww. You can check out my reviews of NFOs on this blog.
Compare Funds – If you are confused in selecting between couple of funds, you can use this feature to help you. It gives side by side comparison. I found it very useful and will use it in my selections going forward.
Stock Investment – You can use Groww to directly invest in stocks as well. It needs opening of demat account. I am not intending to use it but from review perspective, this is good feature. You can have stocks and mutual fund in one platform. That too with zero fees for Mutual Fund.
Digital Gold – Option to buy digital gold. I have not used it so far and will add details in future.
After short use, I feel we can give them **(3 star) for features of Stock, Compare Funds and Smart Save.
8. Customer Support of Groww
We are dealing with money here. So good customer support is a must. In my short duration with Groww, I am yet to face any issues. So I have decided to be neutral here. Please watch out for more updates. I will update details here.
9. Areas Groww should improve on
- Main area where Groww should work is getting all the features on website available on mobile app as well. STP, SWP, switch features are common requirements now days. Especially person using direct platform has some understanding of mutual fund and will need all the features on mobile. We can not expect user to use mobile as well as website.
- Making enhancements in Portfolio view would help. They have put lot of information but there is little of real use. Showing your stock allocation across funds, showing exact equity, debt and commodity allocation, adding goal based plans etc is either not there or hidden somewhere which is not coming out quickly.
- Family account – most of families have one person generally managing investments. Having view of all family members (of course with their consent) will be useful.
- Few reports like LTCG, STCG in a year will be helpful from tax filing perspective. If this feature is there, somehow it is not easily visible so far.
- Bank mandate is of fixed amount 1 Lac. They should give option to users to chose amount. Not all users are comfortable with such high limit.
So time to conclude review of Groww Mutual Fund platform. I think Groww is a descent platform for doing investment in direct plans of mutual fund. Main thing is that it does basic things like investment, SIP, redemption and payment without any hiccups. These basic things work like a charm. So users would be happy with that. Fund comparison is good feature. Making features like STP, SWP and switch available in app would help a lot. Lot of users just use mobile nowadays. So restricting some features only on website is not a good strategy. However coming from Kuvera platform for investing in direct plan, I feel Kuvera is much feature rich platform if you want to focus only on Mutual Funds. You can read my review of Kuvera here. But if you want single platform for Mutual Fund as well as Stocks, may be Groww offers that to you. But I must agree all the steps for investment were easy and free. So Groww lives up to its slogan. Easy Investing. For Free.
If you like the article and wish to open account with Grow , please use referral link here and help the blog. Thank You.
Hope this was helpful for you in some way. If you like the information, please subscribe to blog. This will help you get notified when a new article is written. It will also motivate me and keep me going. Also share blog within your network if you think it could benefit them.