Richard Montana | August 2, 2022
Zerodha is an online investment platform where you can trade and invest in stocks, derivatives, futures, options, mutual funds, and more. They provide you with a whole ecosystem of modern investment apps that are built from the ground up and tailored to your specific needs. If you are a beginner, you can browse a collection of free and easy to digest educational materials via Varsity to help set you along your way. I like how they share market insights from professional analysts. This can inspire investment ideas that you may have otherwise been aware of. I found the platform fees to be very reasonable and feel can be a good broker for anyone located in India who is looking for convenient access to a range of markets.
Pros & Cons
- Competitive trading and investing fees
- Modern and intuitive investing platforms
- Education via the Varsity app to help beginners
- Market news to keep you informed
- Get signals and price alert notifications
- Supports automated trading
- API to create customised tools
- Low $1 minimum deposit
- Only accepts clients based in India
- Limited funding options
- No managed accounts
Founded in 2010, Zerodha is the largest online stock broker in India (in terms of active clients) with millions of clients. They contribute to a large percentage of the total retail volume traded in India on a daily basis. The broker provides you with an intuitive platform for low-cost investing in a great variety of asset classes including futures, options, commodities, forex, stocks, IPOs, mutual funds and bonds. You can search through an impressive 90,000+ stocks and F&O contracts across multiple exchanges instantly. This makes it quick and easy to find your favourite stocks, bonds, metals, or derivatives, anything really, with absolutely zero latency.
I would consider them to be a discount brokerage with transparent pricing including flat fees and no hidden charges. In addition to a user-friendly platform, they also provide you with a good selection of trading tools which can help with your market analysis to find trading signals and automate your trading. There are lots of free educational materials including videos and guides. You can also communicate and share ideas with an active trader’s community via the brokers forum.
Zerodha is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The SEBI is in place to regulate the securities market and protect the interests of investors. Zerodha Broking Ltd is a member of NSE (National Stock Exchange) & BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange). Since they only operate in India, I think that regulation with the SEBI is enough to give users peace of mind that they can be trusted. If you don’t reside in India, I recommend checking out our broker comparison tool to find alternative brokers that do provide services in your country.
Zerodha provides you with a collection of sleek, modern, and intuitive platforms. Using each platform, you can do everything from analysing the markets to placing and managing positions on your account. I found the platforms very user-friendly and easy to navigate. I don’t think anyone would have a problem finding their way around. There are plenty of tutorials and videos which can help you to learn more about each platform and its functionalities. I usually find taking a hands-on approach can be the best way to learn how to use a platform. The one thing that bugs me slightly is that they do use a proprietary platform. This means that if you were to switch brokers at a later date, you would need to learn another platform from scratch.
Kite is their flagship proprietary platform that can provide you with fast and reliable streaming market data, and advanced charts for conducting complex analysis. It has a clean and intuitive UI, with a super fast and super light back-end for all your investment and trading needs. Buying, selling, analysing, and managing your portfolio, everything’s just a click away. I like how you can navigate the app seamlessly with intuitively designed keyboard shortcuts.
There aren’t as many indicators available as some other platforms such as MetaTrader and cTrader, however there should be enough if you are a casual trader that wants to setup a few basic templates to trade from the charts. I like that it has a user-friendly interface that offers many other features for a comfortable trading experience. Kite is compatible with your Android and iOS devices.
Some of the key features of the platform include:
- Search across 90,000+ stocks and F&O contracts across multiple exchanges instantly
- Sleek User Interface with everything a click away
- Exclusive access to level 3 data, or 20 market depth
- Hundreds of indicators, studies, and tools on a powerful and customisable charting interface
- GTT – Good Till Triggered orders
- Create, manage, and execute multi-stock baskets
- Cloud-based alerts for stocks, futures and options
- Nudge warns you of any risks associated with your account
- True P&L statements
- A clean, light, and fast app with an intuitive UI for all your investment and trading needs
- Build your own applications with Kite Connect APIs
Console is the central dashboard for those of you who have a Zerodha account. I like this platform as it gives you the ability to gain useful up-to-date insights into your existing positions and investments directly from within the console. One of my favourite aspects of the platform is that you can get in-depth reports of your activity, with a breakdown of your stocks by the trade from the day of acquisition. This can help you to identify what is working and areas in which you can improve. The multi-dimensional insights on your trades and portfolio are presented as easy-to-understand visualisations. You can even tag and track your trading progress. The console crunches tens of billions of rows of historical trade breakdowns to keep track of corporate actions, splits, transfers, and more to compute the most accurate profit and loss statements (P&L) for your portfolio.
With Coin, you can buy unlimited direct mutual funds without any commission charged. They are delivered directly to your dematerialized (Demat) account. Invest in 0% commission direct mutual funds and Govt, corporate, and gold bonds on India’s largest direct mutual funds platform. Coin is also developed specifically for Android and iOS devices.
In addition to the modern platforms, you also get free access to some powerful tools which can help to further enhance your trading strategies. This includes automated trading, signals, calculators and an API. I think they could improve by integrating with some third-party software solutions that are dedicated to market analysis such as Trading Central. If this is something that you are specifically looking for, easyMarkets have a great selection.
Kite Connect API
This API lets you build your own unique investment apps to use for your own trading strategy and share with other users. You can create customised tools and experiences using the provided HTTP/JSON APIs. This is probably only going to be an attractive proposition to those of you with some programming knowledge but it is relatively easy to learn if you have the time.
Sentinel lets you create free cloud-based customised market alerts for any instrument that you wish to keep track of including stocks, futures and options. I think this is great as it allows you to be notified when price reaches your target price without needing to look at the charts all day. I often setup a price alert so that I know when I need to think about entering or exiting the market.
The broker does support automated trading if you are looking to take a hands-off approach to your trading. You can code your technical analysis strategies in TradeScript or choose from the other strategies that are already provided. I really like how they allow you to back-test your strategy on Pi to study its historical performance and take it live on Pi Expert Advisors to generate real-time trading signals with one-click execution. I am a big fan of automated trading using my own trading strategies as it gives me time to focus on other things.
You will find a useful set of trading calculators on the brokers website which can help you calculate trading costs and potential profit/loss. I think they can be quite useful for preparing your trades and money management.
The broker has some useful educational content that can bring you up to speed with their platforms and services. You can also learn more about the markets and investing online. I think it is good that they show support for new traders and want to encourage informed decision making.
Varsity Mobile provides an overview and detailed collection of stock market lessons with in-depth coverage that can help you increase your knowledge in this industry. I like how each lesson is broken down into three difficulty levels with easy-to-understand snippets and cool illustrations. There is a quiz at the end of each level which is a great way for you to challenge yourself by taking up the certification exam at the end of every module. This can be a great way to learn more about the markets in your own time and whilst on the move.
Pulse provided by Zerodha supplies you with the latest business, finance, and market news from the last 24 hours from all major Indian news sources aggregated in one place. The Pulse app is available for download on both Android and iOS from the relevant app stores. I think it is very important to stay up to date with what is happening in the markets. I always like to check the news before making any decision on my positions.
The broker has an online forum where their network of traders can ask and answer questions related to trading and the stock markets in general. I really like this service as it makes you feel like you are part of a community of people who share the same goals. It can be a great place to get inspired and share your ideas with other likeminded individuals.
Through Zerodha, you can have access to trade and invest in a good variety of asset classes including futures, options, commodities, forex, stocks, IPOs, mutual funds and bonds. I think they have plenty of instruments to create a diversified portfolio, with something for everyone to trade.
Zerodha offers free equity investments (NSE, BSE) and a flat ₹20 (Indian Rupee / INR) or 0.01% (whichever is lower) per executed order on intraday and F&O trades across equity, currency, and commodity trades. In addition to this, I like they also provide all direct mutual fund investments for free. For a detailed overview of all charges, I recommend you check out the “charges” section of the brokers website. Generally speaking, I think they have very competitive fees for anyone in India who is looking to trade online.
Equity & Derivatives Trading Account
An Equity & Derivatives Trading account is what you open with a Trading Member (Stock Broker) of a recognised Stock Exchange (presently NSE, BSE and MCX-SX in India). This account is for you if you intend to trade only Futures & Options and/or Currencies, be it Intraday or Positional.
Equity Demat Account
Dematerialized Account popularly known as Demat Account, is the account where you keep stocks in electronic format. This account is for you if you intend to take delivery of Stocks (buy and hold stocks overnight) along with trading in Futures & Options and/or Currencies. I haven’t seen this feature being provided by other brokers and so I find it intriguing.
Commodity Trading Account
A Commodity Trading account is what you open with a Trading Member (Commodity Broker) of a recognised Commodity Exchange (MCX, NCDEX, etc. in India). You will find this account useful only if you only intend to trade commodities.
You can open a real or demo trading and Demat account online or via the mobile application to start investing with Zerodha. I like how it only takes a few minutes to complete the signup form and is all done online. This means that you can get quick access to the brokers platform and tools without any of the long drawn out procedures that you can get from some other brokers.
The broker is based in Bengaluru with over 120+ branches and partner offices throughout India. Support is provided via telephone and email. Only existing clients can call support numbers by entering their Telephone codes. All lines close at 2:00 PM on Saturdays for the weekend. I would have liked to see them offer online chat and weekend support for extra convenience. You could check out Bold Prime for these features.
I found the brokers funding options to be very limited. You can currently only deposit and withdraw from your Zerodha account using bank transfer. Bank transfers may take a few business days to clear which is not ideal if you want to quickly act on some market news. I would prefer it if they could add support for some digital wallets as this would give you faster access to your funds. I also find it much more convenient. All funds deposited into your account must come from a source under the same name. If you are looking for more payment options, IronFX have a nice variety to choose from.
Overall, I think that Zerodha is a solid investment brokerage for traders located in India. You can buy and sell a generous range of instruments on modern and intuitive platforms. They help to make market access as easy as possible for all types of investor. You can trade manually, use automated systems and generate customised signals. The fees are relatively cheap compared to direct competitors such as Sharekhan. They also provide a good range of trading tools, educational materials for beginners and market insights to help inspire trade ideas. Despite the positives, I would prefer if they offered another platform such as MetaTrader as this would allow us to build even more complex trading strategies. They can only accept clients from India and account funding is limited to wire transfer. If you want to give them a try, you can open an account and start investing in stocks, mutual funds and more for free.