How to Start Stock Investing?: A guide by Arif Umarji Patel
To start investing in the stock markets, you need 3 types of accounts – Trading Account (to place buy/sell orders), Demat Account (to hold your shares in dematerialized form), and a Bank Account (for fund transfers).
An account similar to a bank account, to be opened with a ‘stock exchange registered stock broker’. This account is used for placing orders in the stock exchange (i.e. to buy/sell shares).
An account where shares are held in a dematerialized form (i.e. electronically instead of the investor taking physical possession of certificates). The demat account is required to receive/transfer shares when you buy/sell shares through your trading account.
Your regular savings or current bank Account should be linked to your trading account. The Bank account is required to transfer/receive money when you buy/sell shares through your trading account.
Typically, if you sign up with a stock broker, they will guide you on not only the opening of the trading account but also the demat account and linking of your bank account. Just like banks provide you with the facility to open and maintain saving accounts, in the same way the Depositories* provide the facility to open and maintain demat accounts. In India, the government has mandated two entities –National Securities Depository (“NSDL”), and Central Depository Services (India) (“CDSL”) – to be the custodian of dematerialized securities.
Most big stock brokers register themselves as a Depository Participant (“DP”) who act as an agent of the Depositories to make its services available to the investors. Effectively both your trading account and your demat account is maintained by your stock brokers (mostly through setting up of 2 different entities). In case of some stock brokers, they use the depository services of other bigger financial institutions or custodians and only provide the front end trading account. As an investor, no one approach is better than the other for you, as typically, it takes the same amount of time for shares to be deposited and withdrawn from the demat account in either case.
To open a trading / demat account, follow the following process:
- Approach a BSE and NSE registered stock broker.
- Fill up the KYC form provided by the stock broker.
- Attach the required documents – (i) identity proof and (ii) address proof.
- Produce the original PAN card during account opening.
- For Derivatives segment (i.e. futures and options market), 6 months account statement of your existing bank account is required.
- One cancelled cheque of the bank account you want to link to your trading account.
- 3 passport size photographs
What you should look at before opening Demat and the trading account schemes:
- Account Opening Charges: This is the fee charged at the time of opening demat and trading account.
- Account Maintenance Charges: This is the annual fee charged to maintain demat & trading account.
- Brokerage Charges for Intraday transaction: If you take a position (buy) on a stock and release (sell) that position before the end of that day’s trading session, it is described as intraday trading. The brokerage charges for intraday transaction are very nominal (mostly between 0.02%-0.05 % on the total cost of transaction).
- Brokerage Charges for transaction requiring delivery: If you buy a share and hold it beyond that trading session (i.e. for a term longer than one day) or when you sell a share you own and do not buy it back during a single trading session, the transaction qualifies as a delivery based transaction as the name of the owner of the share is changed with the Depository. The brokerage charges are higher in this case as additional processing is required (mostly they range between 0.08%-0.55% on the total cost of transaction).
- Brokerage Charges for Futures and Options transaction: The Brokerage fees applied on the transaction in the Futures and Options segment (mostly varies 0.02 – 0.05% on the total cost of transaction for futures and Rs 25 – Rs 100 per lot for option contracts).
- Apart from the brokerage charges, you may want to consider the software/ technology provided by the stock broker for online trading and if the stock broker has a good service standard for call and trade facility (to enable you to place orders over the phone.