5 benefits of demat account every Indian investor must know about

Learning how to open and operate a Demat account is Investing 101, and it’s essential you know everything about it before you enter the stock exchange. So how does it work?

7 things on demat account every Indian investor must know about

In India, if you want to invest in financial instruments such as shares, bonds or mutual funds or carry out any sort of transaction on the stock exchange, you need to have a demat account. Let’s look at few things you must know about a demat account. First and foremost, let’s understand what it is.

What is demat account? 

With a dematerialised or a demat account, investors need not take physical possession of their security documents; instead the financial instruments are held electronically in the demat account, with a registered depository participant. Opening up a demat account makes it possible to have easy trading for the users, it holds all the investment that an individual makes in shares or mutual funds etc.

What is a depository?

A depository is an organisation that holds securities shares, debentures, bonds, government securities, mutual fund units etc. in an electronic format. A depository is very similar to a bank, it also provides security and liquidity Presently, two depositories -- National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CDSL) -- are registered with SEBI. NSDL works for the National Stock Exchange (NSE), whereas CDSL works for the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

What is the purpose of demat account?

A demat account is an electronic vault that maintains a ledger entry of purchases and sales made for various investments such as stocks, mutual funds, debentures, etc. Now you can even hold your insurance policy in dematerialised form. In that sense, a demat account works just like a bank account. You can also perform trade right from you phone or desktop 

Your demat account is linked to a trading and banking account. Every time you put in a ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ request, your DP forwards it to the stock exchange which in turn finds a buyer/ seller for your request and in turn helps facilitate the trade. Correspondingly, your demat account is then debited or credited basis the transaction.

How to open a demat account?

To open a demat account, you should approach a registered Depository Participant (DP). A DP is an institution that serves as an intermediary between the investor and the depository. Commercial banks, stock brokers, state financial corporations among others can register as a DP with SEBI. As of 2018, 851 depository participants were registered with SEBI. You can find this list on the websites of NDSL and CDSL.

What are the documents required for demat account?

To open a demat account, you need to submit the following documents to your depository participant.

  • Passport size photographs
  • Verified copy of electricity/phone bill 
  • Proof of Identity (Driving licence/passport/Aadhar card/voter id)
  • Proof of residence (Driving licence/passport/Aadhar card/voter id)
  • Copy of your PAN card

Upon submission of an application form along with these documents, it takes 1-2 weeks to open a demat account.

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What are the advantages of a demat account?

  • Here are eight primary benefits of a demat account.
    1. A safe and convenient method to store high-value securities such as stocks, mutual funds and bonds
    2. Instant transfer of securities to the investor
    3. It is a single platform that holds debt and equity instruments 
    4. Elimination of risks related to physical transfer of documents such as delayed deliveries, fake documents, thefts, etc.
    5. The paperwork required to trading is not monotonous 
    6. Any bonus shares get credited automatically to the demat account without any paperwork
    7. No need to change address with all the companies in which you are an investor; any change of address with the DP is communicated to all the companies
    8. Helps hold all types of investments, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds in a single account

What are demat account charges?

The charges of opening a demat account vary according to depository participants. While most DPs charge an account opening fee, certain private banks do not charge any fee for opening a demat account. Apart from account opening charges, there could be few other charges such as an annual maintenance charges (AMC), credit charges, mailing charges for statements, etc. AMC for a demat account ranges from Rs. 200 to Rs. 850. The amount of AMC can vary by the number of transactions.

To encourage investment in the stock market, SEBI has introduced a Basic Services Demat Account that is a no-frills account with limited services. There is no annual maintenance charge for holding investments up to Rs. 50,000 in a basic services account. For investments between Rs 50,001 and Rs 2,00,000, the AMC charges Rs 100.

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A demat account is necessary if you want to reap the benefits of investing in the stock market. Before opening one, do a thorough research of the fees charged by various depository participant and understand the various features offered. If you’re a new investor, a Basic Services Demat Account will be adequate for you.


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