Investing in the equity markets is a game-changer. You can earn some seriously high returns (we’re not going to put a number on it because there isn’t a limit) in a matter of weeks, or even days, making it miles better than traditional investment schemes like fixed deposit (FD) and provident fund (PF). To invest in the market, however, you need a Demat account and a trading account.
Founded over 60 years ago, ICICI Securities is a leading stockbroker who provides equity capital market products, like Initial Public Offering (IPO), Follow-on Public Offering (FPO), and non-convertible debentures, among others. Other financial instruments such as mutual funds, bonds, and loans against securities are also part of its catalogue.
ICICI Direct is one of its most popular services. It is basically an online trading platform that investors can use to buy and sell shares on the go. While it’s primarily an online service, it also has a list of branches spread throughout the country.
The best thing about the service is that when you open an account, you get the functions of a savings bank account, a stock trading account, and a Demat account in one.
So essentially, the ICICI Direct account is a 3-in-1 facility. It ensures smooth trading, real-time transfer of money from the bank to the trading account, and automatic transfer of securities from the Demat account.
Platform and brokerage plans
ICICI Direct has a website (Trader Racer Web) as well as a mobile application (Android as well as iOS) to facilitate trading. Both of them offer the full range of features like trading in securities, real-time stock data, and an easy fund transfer and payout facility.
Coming to the brokerage plans, you can choose any of the following:
- ICICI Direct Prime
- ICICI Direct Neo
- Prepaid Brokerage Plan
- I-Secure Plan
- NRI Prepaid Brokerage
- NRI Brokerage
The ICICI Direct Prime has a number of sub-plans within it. The cheapest one of them has a ₹352.82 annual cost. It is valid for 365 days and comes with access to exclusive ‘Research content’, which helps make better investment decisions.
As far as the ICICI Direct Neo is concerned, it has a flat ₹20 charge per order for Margin and Options traders. Futures trades, meanwhile, attract zero brokerage for unlimited trades.
The Prepaid Brokerage Plan has six different plans within it. The cheapest of them attracts a fee of ₹5,900, which has a lifetime validity of 15 years.
Pros and Cons
- An all-in-one account.
- Easy investment in securities and bonds.
- No human interference.
- Multiple brokerage plans.
- Investment in insurance is also available.
- Trusted by over 4 million customers.
- Commodity trading isn’t available.
- Minimum brokerage plan of ₹35 per trade is slightly expensive.
- Trading in penny stocks is also challenging.
- After the first 20 free calls in a month, you’ll have to pay ₹25 per call for each call & trade.
Trading through ICICI Securities is generally easy and quick. Since everything’s digital, the chances of losing your money is non-existent. That said, the brokerage is a bit expensive when pitted against its competitors.