Mutual Funds

Groww app review: Easy, user-friendly, compact

Keerthi Sanagasetti | Updated on December 05, 2020 Published on December 05, 2020

It could do with some additions though. Read on to find out

Besides the tech-savvy investors, the pandemic — with its new norms on staying home and social distancing — has forced even the not-so-savvy ones to shift to using mobile applications for their mutual fund investments. Apart from reaping the benefits of investing in direct mutual funds, fintech apps allow investors to complete their investment transactions easily from their home in a paperless manner.

There are a host of apps that offer platforms for mutual fund investments. One can invest in the direct schemes of mutual funds using the apps of individual asset management companies (AMCs). However, these apps could limit your MF to schemes offered by a particular AMC.

If you wish to diversify your investments across fund houses, you can invest through mutual fund aggregators such as Paytm Money, Groww, FundsIndia, Fisdom and Coin by Zerodha.

Here we review the app of Groww. The app is among the high rated ones (4.5 stars) available on Google Play Store and has been downloaded by more than 5 million users from the Play Store.

Features

Groww offers investors more than 5,000 MF schemes to choose from. One can view all the mutual funds available as a list, search for a specific fund, or even view them based on pre-set collections in the app, such as high return, tax-saving and sector bets. The app also has ratings for most of the mutual funds, provided by Value Research online.

The on-boarding process, too, is quite simple, quick and requires minimum details such as email id, phone number, PAN, and primary bank account details. The completion of KYC verification process (using DigiLocker) also does not take much long and is a paperless process — even signatures are done electronically using Aadhar and OTP.

One can invest in mutual funds in the app, both in SIP and lump sums, using either net banking, bank transfer or UPI id (autopay for subsequent SIP instalments can also be done through UPI).

The app has several YouTube tutorial videos (in-house), that guide investors on how to use various features of the app and also about basics of MF-investing.

Besides keeping a tab on all your mutual fund investments, you can also use the Groww app for investing (and/or trading) in stocks and digital gold (24 karat gold sold by Augmont Goldtech).

What we like

The app’s user interface seems better than many other apps in the market, in terms of navigability, ease-of-use, charting, etc. A useful stand-out feature is the option to import your mutual fund investments made through other platforms.

Groww does this by scanning your Consolidated Account Statement (CAS) from CAMS or Karvy. This can either be done by granting them access to read such emails directly from your Gmail account, or you can manually forward the latest statement to Groww.

Once the app scans the statement (after which you would be notified by the app), you can view all your MF purchases at one place (returns, XIRR, etc). The app even gives you an investment analysis using pie charts — bifurcating all your existing MF investments based on category (equity, debt, hybrid, etc) and market-cap split.

Not only can you review all your MF investments in one place, but the platform also facilitates you to switch from regular MFs to direct funds within a few minutes. While the process is simple, investors should take note of the tax implications involved (as this would tantamount to sale and re-purchase for tax purposes), especially while converting ELSS schemes that have a lock-in requirement.

Also, unlike many of its peers, Groww sends timely notifications to investors on all transactions — debit of monthly SIPs and also when units are allotted by AMCs.

What could be better?

While the app does have various useful features, some improvement in the following areas could enhance user experience.

One, while one can view the returns of any particular fund on a chart in the Groww app, a comparison with the respective benchmark or other funds in the category would aid in the investor’s decision-making.

Two, while redeeming or selling an MF investment, the app currently only alerts an investor of the estimated exit load. A calculation of estimated tax liability (depending on short- or long-term capital gains) would, in our opinion, better aid the investor.

Three, most of the fintech apps that help in direct investments into mutual funds lack in-depth research and guidance and, hence, are recommended for only those who can do their research on their own or have good knowledge about MFs.

That said, the app displays all possible information about a particular fund, including sectoral exposure, asset holdings, and other important ratios such as sortino and sharpe. Even the scheme document can be directly downloaded from the app. It is, hence, up to the investor to make wise use of the information.

While the Groww app does take efforts to highlight the pros and cons of a particular fund, these are mostly just based on the returns generated by the fund in the past, or how it fares compared with the category average.

Four, most MF aggregators lack a proper grievance redressal mechanism, which can be a problem for many. While the Groww app does have many queries answered in their FAQs and a dedicated helpline number, a lot of existing users seem to be having trouble reaching the customer care services (based on feedback provided by many on the Play Store).

Five, Groww’s website has interesting calculators which can help a prospective investor plan ahead for various goals. However, most of these are not yet available on the mobile app.

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Published on December 05, 2020
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