[Last Updated 23/9/2014 ] Lately people have a lot of options while choosing a stock broker because of increase in number of stock broker in India. But still it is not easy to choose. You need to be sure of what is important for you before deciding on the stock broker. Some pointers to keep in mind are :-
1) Full service or discount broker : The main difference among them is full service broker would charge you brokerage as a percentage of your trade value(for ICICI it lies between .5% – .9%). while discount broker are much cheaper charging you based on the number of trade. Most of the discount brokers charges between Rs 15 to Rs 30 per trade irrespective of the trade volume. Find a detailed review about discount brokers.
2) Online trading vs Offline/Phone trading: Most have the brokers have started to provide online trading services to there customers. Some of them also provide trading on phone or even physically at there location. Decide what would be a good fit for you.
3) How often do you trade : Whether you are a trader or investor. If you are a investor brokerage generally won’t make a big difference in your returns while if you are a trader, brokerage can mean whether you end up making a profit or loss. By that I mean that brokerage adds up for traders.
4) Will you require advice to trade : Would you need financial adviser to trade or would you be trading on your own. If you need adviser, remember to get some historical data of how good the adviser is and would you be comfortable with giving him your money. Full service broker generally will provide you recommendation about stocks.
5) Internet savvy : Newer generation people are tech savvy and don’t mind to trade completely only. If you are like then, discount brokers would be a good fit and if you are someone who prefers to know the face of the brokers, this list would be of little use to you as I have not included any local brokers here. But if you do use local brokers, I would suggest that at least compare there brokerages with some of the new discount brokers to see how much money you are loosing by way of higher brokerage.
(Update 23/09/2014) In the last one year, With the increase in internet penetration, I have added some of the major discount brokers also in the top 10 list. They are not the largest but are giving full service brokers a run for there money and increasing there market share every quarter. I would suggest to read there reviews before finalizing your brokers. Times are changing and I think that in next couple of years more and more brokers would move from being a Full service broker to discount brokers.
Top 10 Brokers in India :
1) ICICI Direct : By far the biggest and most well know stock broker in India. They have decent service and easy to use user interface but there brokerage is really high compared to what other discount brokers are providing. There biggest selling point is there seamless integration with your ICICI bank account which make transfer/withdrawal of funds really easy and quick. Great for investor but not for tarder. You can find detailed information about ICICI Direct brokerage charges here.
2) Sharekhan : Incorporated in February 2000, Sharekhan is India’s 2nd largest stock broker providing brokerage services through its online trading website Sharekhan.com and 1950 Share shops which includes branches & Franchises in more than 575 cities across India. They are full service broker and provide various other services like asset management etc. You can find my detailed review for Sharekhan brokerage charges here.
3) RKSV : RKSV is a discount broker operating from Mumbai. They provide very competitive rates of Rs 20 per trade irrespective of the size of the trade, with 5 free trades per month for life. They also have unlimited tradings plan in which, for a fixed monthly fee, the customer can do unlimited trading at zero brokerage. You can find RKSV review here.
4) HDFC Security: They are one of the larger broking house in India and with there bank branches, they have one of the largest network which is only after ICICI. They have a vast network of bank branch in even smaller town. You can find detailed review about HDFC security here.
5) Kotak Security : They are one more well know name in Financial services and with there bank branches in big cities they are able to cater to clients in big cities. There online service is decent but brokerage is not that competitive. You can find detailed review about Kotak Security here.
6) Reliance Money: They came with a bang but lately have lost a lot of sheen from there name. There have been lots of question about there business practices. You can find detailed review about reliance money here.
7) Motilal Oswal : These are one of the decent broker operating in India. They are also full service brokers providing gamut of financial service to the customer. You can find detailed review about Motilal Oswal here.
8) Karvy : They are one of the oldest broking house operating in India. They are the brokers which your fathers used to use for buying there IPO and MF but there online service are not that great. Lately they are upgrading there online platform and there brokerage is also comparable to other full house brokers.
9) Zerodha : They are one of the new stock broker in India which have started discount trading in India. They have a very competitive brokerage structure and decent customer service. These type of discount brokers are new in India and providing tough competition to full service brokers. You can find detailed review about Zerodha here.
10) TradeJine: They are another discount Brokers operating out of Bangalore. They do provide NEST and ODIN platform and have a very competitive brokerage rate of Rs 20 per trade irrespective of the volume of the trades. You can find a detailed review of Tradejini here.
I understand that some of you would say that this list is missing some of the major Brokers in India but I have tried my level best to common up with this list. If you feel that I have missed someone, do let me know in the comments.
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If you still have some questions about the what would be the best broker for you, do put in a comment and I would try to suggest what would be the best fit for you.