There are a few basic requirements that need to be in place before an individual can start the process of buying, holding and selling shares. This document is a basic guideline to explain these requirements. Please note that this document does not provide any advice on what shares to buy or what investment strategy suits an individual. This is a getting started guide for individuals based on my own experiences.
The 3 basic things needed for getting started are:
* Dmat Account
* Trading Account
* Bank Account
A Dmat account is like a Bank Account, with the difference being that instead of cash, a Dmat account holds shares. So, if shares are bought, they are deposited into the buyers Dmat account and if shares are sold, they are reduced accordingly from the Dmat account. The shares that are deposited to or reduced from the Dmat account are electronic shares. For an individual wishing to trade in shares, it is compulsory to trade only in Dmat (dematerialized) shares. Physical shares cannot be traded. Dmat shares have many advantages in terms of ease of handling etc.
A Dmat account can be opened through most banks and financial institutions, after filling up the required forms and providing identity and address proofs. The usual charges associated with a Dmat account are:
1. Account opening charges
2. Yearly charges for maintaining the Dmat account
3. Recurring periodic charges for holding shares in the Dmat account
4. Other service charges based on transactions carried out. Usually, there are no transaction / service charges when shares are bought. The charges will be levied when shares are sold.
The above charges may not be the same across different service providers but a big part is likely to be the same as regulatory agencies like Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) specify certain norms.
A Trading account is required if an individual wishes to trade, i.e. buy and sell shares in the stock exchange. The 2 main stock exchanges in India are the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). A Trading account can also be opened with most banks and financial institutions, after filling up the required forms and providing identity and address proofs. The actual trading can be done by phone, internet or using transaction slips that are provided at the time of opening the account. Personally, I have found buying and selling using the internet fairly convenient. There are options to specify the price at which to buy or sell and it is easy to track the status online.
There is a brokerage charge that is incurred for both buying and selling of shares. This charge varies across different trading houses. Also, government levies like the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) will be incurred on such transactions.
Needless to say, a Bank account is required for carrying out various financial transactions associated with trading of shares. This is where the money on sale of shares will be credited or money for buying shares will be debited from. A normal Savings Account is enough and nothing additional needs to be done with the Bank account.
Once the Dmat account, Trading account and Bank account are in place, an individual is ready to start trading. While it is not necessary to have the Dmat account, Trading account and Bank account with the same organization, I feel that having it with the same organization offers additional convenience, especially for individuals trading using the internet. The following example of buying and selling using a Trading account on the internet illustrates the convenience of having the Dmat account, Trading account and Bank account with the same organization.
Buying shares: When an individual wants to buy a share, he/she logs into the Trading account and specifies the details like the Company name, no. of shares to buy and the price at which to buy. Depending on this information, the required amount from the Bank account is set aside for this trade. When the desired price is reached, this trade is executed and the amount (after adjusting for charges) is debited from the Bank account and the shares are credited into the Dmat account.
If the Bank account had been with a different organization, then for carrying out this trade, it would have been necessary to move the amount into the Trading account.
Selling shares: When an individual wants to sell a share, he/she logs into the Trading account and specifies the details like the Company name, no. of shares to sell and the price at which to sell. Depending on this information, the required no of shares from the Dmat account is set aside for this trade. When the desired price is reached, this trade is executed and the shares are debited from the Dmat account and the amount (after adjusting for charges) is credited to the Bank account.
If the Bank account had been with a different organization, then after this trade, it would have been necessary to move the amount from the Trading account into the Bank account.
Please note that apart from the charges that are levied by the Bank, the Dmat account service provider and the Trading account service provider, there will be additional government taxes like STT and Service Tax. Also, please make sure to read all the terms and fee details of the service providers before opening any account and be aware of the transaction costs involved with each transaction. Happy Trading!