I opened my demat account with ICICIDirect in year 2006. That time I did not have any idea of what category of the stock broker it belongs to.
I simply opened the account with them because I knew only about them at that time, thanks to their widespread marketing in TV and newspaper.
Stock broking industry has evolved a lot in these years and there are new kind of brokers called discount brokers have come up and are hugely popular now.
ICICIdirect and other brokers such as Sharekhan and Motilal Oswal are categorized as Full Service Brokers,
Who are Full Service Brokers?
Full service brokers are the category of Stock brokers in India who unlike discount brokers provide wide variety of financial services like demat account, trading account, investment in IPO and FPOs etc and have huge offline presence across India.
One can walk into the offices of these full service brokers for all kind of purpose like account opening, to place order and for any other account related issues.
They provide every customers with a dedicated Relationship Manager (RM) to assist in case of any issues.
Obviously, they charge more compared to discount brokers to manage the premium service they provide to customers.
Lets us look at some of the Pros and Cons of opening a demat account with Full Service Brokers.
Advantages of Full Service Brokers
- Personalized Service : As I mentioned, each customer is provided with a RM who discuss with them to understand their investment need, time horizon etc and suggest the investments.
- Wide Offline Presence: Discount Brokers provide support to customer only through online or at branches. Their branches are very less in number. But Full service brokers have huge network of franchises and branches and available at most of the major cities and towns.
- Research and Advisory: Full service brokers have dedicated Research Desk and send out frequent investment ideas to their clients.
Disadvantages of Full Service Brokers
- High Brokerage Charges: Brokerage is the biggest concern I had with ICICIDirect. Full Service Brokers charge the fees in percentage basis. Discount brokers charge flat fee around Rs20 irrespective of investment size resulting in huge savings.
- Strict Policies : They are governed by policies and expect you to visit them for every small modification request like bank account change etc.
Who are the Best Full Service Stock Brokers in India?
Below I am listing down some of the Best Full Service Brokers in India.
1) Angel Broking
Founded in 1987, Angel Broking is one of the largest Full service broker of India head quarter at Mumbai.
It has network of more then 8500 sub brokers across 900 cities.
Also number of customer having demat account with them is in excess of 10 Lakhs.
Sharekhan started their operation in year 2000 and is one of the leading brokerage firm in India.
With presence in more than 550 cities, Sharekhan has sub broker and franchise network of 2200+.
Sharekhan was acquired by BNP Paribas in 2015 for Rs2200 crores and at that it had a customer base of 12lakh+
ICICI Direct is the top broker with more than 35Lakh+ customers. Backed by banking giant ICICI Bank, it is instrumental in bringing out online trading concept in India.
Because it is owned by a bank, it is a 3-in-1 demat account that means trading, demat and savings account are all linked each other. It helps in seamless movement of funds between all three accounts.
4) Motilal Oswal
Motilal Oswal is also incorporated in year 1987 and has client base of more than 10 lakhs.
It has presence at more than 2200 different geographies.
The research research reports of MOSL is believed to be of high Quality. They spend around 10% of their profit towards research.
5) HDFC Securities
HDFC bank started their brokerage business through HDFC Securities in year 2000.
They have more than 260 branches across India.
Being the full service broker, they provide service across Equity, currency, FDs and Insurance.
I have demat account with both Discount broker and Full service brokers of India. What I feel is if you are beginner, it is better to open an account with a top full service broker and experience their service.
Once you get used to stock market, open account with discount broker to save on brokerage.