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How to Invest in ETFs in India

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Created on
January 9, 2023


What’s Inside

Mutual funds have long been the stepping stone for investors before they take the plunge into direct investments and trading in the stock market.  But what if there was a step in between? What if you could trade mutual funds in the market? 

Mutual funds for trade

You cannot trade regular mutual funds like stocks on an exchange. They can only be purchased from Asset Management Companies (AMCs) using their website or mobile apps. But there is one kind of fund that can be traded on exchanges, just like stocks - Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). 

What are ETFs?

Like mutual funds, etf investment is a vehicle that invest in a basket of securities like stocks, bonds, other securities and money market instruments. You can buy units of ETFs on an exchange and profit off any upward changes in the net asset value (NAV) over time. 

Also, ETFs are generally passive funds that are benchmarked against various indices. So, they need not be actively managed by a fund manager. This means you can get the potential benefits of both stocks and mutual funds in one asset. They offer the diversification of mutual funds with the liquidity of stocks. 

Your guide to trading ETFs

Here is what you need to do to start trading in Exchange Traded Funds online. 

Step 1: Open a demat account and trading account

The first thing you need to trade ETFs online is a demat account cum trading account. Although you can open these accounts separately, many Depository Participants offer them as a combined product to make it easier for traders. 

Step 2: Choose a broker or an online platform 

Next, you must choose a brokerage partner to begin your trading journey. Choose a broker whose brokerage plans are affordable for you. It also helps if the brokerage partner you choose has a mobile app to make trading easier. 

Step 3: Have a trading strategy in place

Another key component is having a trading strategy. You’ll need to do some thorough research and figure out what works for you. You can even seek professional help from an investment advisor if needed. 

Step 4: Choose the ETFs suitable for your financial goals

Choose ETFs that are suitable for your financial goals. Like mutual funds, ETFs also carry different degrees of risk based on the securities they focus on. Select ETFs that align with your risk profile, so you don’t take on more risk than you can afford.

Step 5: Start trading

Once you have covered all the above, you can start trading in ETFs via the trading platform of your choice. 

Points to keep in mind before you trade ETFs

Here are a few key things to keep in mind before you start your fund trading journey. 

ETF category 

ETFs can come in various categories like equity, debt, international and gold ETFs. Compare your options, research the categories and sub-categories and make a plan before you start trading. 

Expense ratio

A higher expense ratio can drastically cut down the returns you can earn on your fund trades. Always check the expense ratio before you buy a fund and go for ETFs that carry a lower expense ratio.

Trading volume

ETFs with a high trading volume are generally more liquid. You will have much less trouble buying and selling them quickly when compared with funds that have a lower trading volume. 

Whether you wish to trade in these assets or invest in them over the long term, ensure that you choose a suitable fund trading platform or investment app to implement your financial strategy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I trade mutual funds like stocks?

No, you cannot trade mutual funds freely like stocks. Only one specific type of mutual fund, known as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), can be traded like stocks.

2. Are mutual funds publicly traded?

If you are wondering how to trade mutual funds online, you should know that, unlike stocks, mutual funds are not publicly traded. Only Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) can be traded via stock exchanges like NSE and BSE. 

3. How do I start investing in ETF?

You can head to the Fi app and invest in ETF Mutual Funds. It's simple and just a few taps away.

4. Are ETFs a good way to invest?

ETFs are low-risk investments due to their low-cost nature and diversified holdings of stocks or securities. They are ideal for building a diversified portfolio with lower expense ratios, greater tax-efficiency, and the ability to reinvest dividends immediately. So, it's a good way to invest.

5. How do you manage funds for trading?

To manage funds for trading:

  1. Set a budget: Determine the amount of money you are willing to allocate for trading, considering your overall financial situation and risk tolerance.
  2. Use position sizing: Implement a proper position sizing strategy, where you only risk a small percentage of your total trading capital on each trade to limit potential losses.
  3. Diversify and control leverage: Diversify your trades across different assets and control the use of leverage to avoid excessive risk and maintain a balanced trading portfolio.

6. What is the golden rule of trading?

The golden rule of trading is: "Never risk more than you can afford to lose." It emphasises the importance of managing risk and only investing funds that you can afford to lose without causing financial hardship. By following this rule, traders can protect themselves from significant losses and maintain a sustainable trading strategy.


Investment and securities are subject to market risks. Please read all the related documents carefully before investing. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and not to be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell securities, mutual funds, or any other financial products.
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