Zerodha is the pioneer of the discount broking concept in India and is the largest discount broker in terms of active clients. It is well known for creative advanced and intuitive platforms and it’s transparency.
Zerodha has very a simple pricing structure. They offer free equity delivery trades and charge a maximum for Rs.20 for intraday equity, F&O, and commodity trades. Their brokerage calculator makes it quite easy to calculate charges; again a concept introduced in the country by Zerodha.
Pricing Verdict: The Zerodha pricing suits everyone; be it a beginner, or a hardcore trader. Free equity trading will be a good draw for beginners.
Zerodha is best suited for:
- Frequent traders
- Mobile users
For equity intraday, Zerodha provides margins up to 20X on F&O stocks and up to 2X on other stocks.
They provide margins up to 2X for intraday futures and shorting options and 1X for buying using MIS, bracket and cover orders in intraday. They provide margins of up to 2X for all commodities.
Zerodha provides margins only for intraday across all segments; none for equity delivery and overnight positions similar to other discount brokers. They’re expected to come out with margin funding soon.
Zerodha also provides a margin calculator to make it easy for traders to calculate their margin requirements. You can use this tool to calculate your comprehensive margin requirements for intraday and delivery/overnight positions.
Zerodha is best known for its intuitive platforms. They offer Kite and online trading platforms, Kite Mobile for Android, Kite Lite for IOS and Pi for the desktop.
Kite is a minimal online trading platform which is easy to use and easy on the eye.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned trader, Kite is the platform for you. It is a pleasure to use it since it is polished and has no clutter whatsoever. You can create multiple watchlists, analyze and compare charts, share them and more. Kite allows you to create 5 market watches and has over 100+ technical indicators. It offers bracket and cover orders which have become common these days but the limit cover order which is available on Pi, the desktop tool, is not available on Kite and the Kite mobile app yet.
Zerodha offers Kite on mobile and it pretty much resembles the web version. Although the app looks beautiful, you get a feeling that it’s still a work in progress. The user experience is a pleasure, no complaints on that front.
Charting is as good as it can be on a mobile device but one feature that regular traders would immediately notice is the absence of charting tools on the app. Lack of push notifications is also a downside because some people tend to get confused with the order status. The app doesn’t allow you to withdraw funds which is a disappointment.
Zerodha offers a desktop tool called Zerodha Pi. Essentially built on top of tried and tested Nest. Pi has an impressive array of features. It offers advanced charting with over 80+ indicators.
Expert advisors: You can code your own strategies in Tradescript and save them in the platform to generate buy and sell signals.
Backtesting: Pi also has a backtesting module to test your strategies.
Pi Bride: You can connect platforms such as Ami Broker, Ninja Trader, Meta Trader etc.
Scanner: Pi also has this handy feature that allows you scan for trading opportunities.
With such unique feature Pi is definitely one of the best desktop platforms in India.
Cons: The biggest drawback we see in Pi is the lack of stability. Users seem to experience niggling issues with the application. This aside Pi is one of the best platforms if you are a hardcore technical trader.
As the saying goes “Know yourself to improve yourself”.
Quant is one of the best platform Zerodha has ever created. It is your personal trading analytics tool which essentially plots all your trades and so that you can learn by analyzing your good and bad trades.
Zerodha recently launched their direct mutual fund’s platforms called Coin. You can now invest in the mutual funds without paying any commissions. The expense ratio is a percentage of the total assets used for managing a fund’s expenses, such as advertising, operational expenses etc. The expense ratios in regular funds will be higher because of the commissions paid t0 the distributors by the AMCs. In the case of a direct fund, you will be dealing directly with the AMC and there won’t be any intermediary involved, so the expense ratios will be lower. In the long run, this translates to higher returns with direct funds.
With Zerodha Coin you can customize your SIP’s, compare funds, do historical analysis etc. You can also have a flexible SIPs wherein you can play pause your periodic investments whenever you want without any hassle.
Where Zerodha falls short
Overall Zerodha is undoubtedly one of the best brokers in India. They seem to have hit a sweet spot in terms the cost and the benefits they offer. Having said there are a few thing missing.
- It is not possible to apply for an IPO directly. Clients have to visit a bank or apply via Applications Supported By Blocked Amount (ASBA).
- Zerodha Q their current back office is a pain to use, it keeps crashing constantly. The good thing is that their CEO has committed to replacing the old system in a couple of months.
- Margin funding is a sorely missed product at present.
The final word
Zerodha being the original pioneer of the discount broking model in India is definitely the real deal. They have hit a sweet spot in terms the cost and the benefits they offer. No other broker is even comparably close when it comes to innovating. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an experienced trader, Zerodha should be at the very top of your shortlist. Their learning initiatives such as Varsity, TradingQnA, and Educate are the only comprehensive initiatives towards investor education in India.
- Great pricing
- Well crafted platforms
- Tools such a margin and brokerage calculator
- Unparalleled learning resources
- No margin funding
- Not possible to apply for an IPO directly