The hard truth is most of us don’t understand mutual funds enough to go through with selecting mutual funds and investing in them. Even if we do understand how mutual funds work, there are so many options out there we struggle to select one that suits us.
Here’s a look at the ET Money app for Mutual Funds. I have been personally using it for over two years and all my investments under mutual funds are via this app.
What is the ET Money App?
ET Money is a subsidiary of the Times Group, known for their Economic Times publications, Times Prime membership platform, Gaana and a shitty paper called Times of India (I hate that paper!). Still, ET Money happens to be one of their more awesome creations that is worth it for you and me.
The sole purpose of ETMoney App is to help you invest and track your investments in Mutual Funds, set up SIPs, NPS, ELSS etc. Apart from this, they offer a few other products such as Insurances, Instant Loans and a nifty expense tracker that helps you keep a tab on your expenses.
List of all things you can do with this app
You can start buying mutual funds for a lumpsum amount
- Set up SIPs, so money is taken out of your account on a certain date every month
- Open liquid funds that are a great alternative to Fixed deposits
- Apply for a Loan Pass from ETMoney to get instant loans
- You can buy digital gold or set up SIPs to buy Gold monthly
- Buy Insurance
- Start tracking your funds held outside of ETMoney via CAMS etc
- Start using their expense tracker to track your income and expenses
- Set up your National Pension Scheme (NPS) and manage it
- Get your credit score and credit report for free
Read on to look into each of these in detail.
How does ETMoney work?
The app is pretty straight forward. Once you install it, you need to complete your KYC. All of it is done remotely and pictures of the documents are sufficient.
One Time Mandate (NACH)
Once KYC is updated, you need to get a One Time Mandate (NACH, stands for National Automated Clearing House) set up. This is a clearing process for investments in Mutual Funds SIPs etc. It is a onetime process and is required for you to set up recurring investments on ET Money. To do this, you will be given a OTM form by ET Money. Print it out, fill it up and send it back with a cancelled check to them. They will get it set up in 2-3 working days.
Technically, this is only required if you wish to set up SIPs with ETMoney, however when I got my account 2 years back, I was asked to get this done even for buying for a single time.
Start Investing using ETMoney app
Once you have set everything up, you can start investing. Here are a detailed list of features and benefits from the ET Money app.
Buying Mutual Funds
Buying mutual funds on ETMoney is a breeze. I truly mean it. Within a couple of minutes you will have completed your first transaction.
Selection of funds:
The app has a large set of funds arranged by themes. Such as Funds that select investments like Warren Buffet, Arbitrage Funds, High Risk & High Returns etc. There are also Pre-selected set of mix of funds called Smart Solutions which are mutual funds that are pre defined for a goal. Eg: High Growth portfolio will have a set of 3 different funds spread across Small and Mid caps from different fund houses. This helps spread your exposures to sectors as well as fund houses.
Once you have selected what you want, simply choose lumpsum or SIP and make a payment. Payments can be made via UPI or Net banking for lumpsum. For SIPs, it is auto debited from your account based on your NACH Mandate.
You have two options when buying funds:
This is a one time investment where you buy the funds and it will be in your account till you sell them.
Monthly Payments (SIPs)
This is a SIP option, where the amount you choose will be taken from your account on a monthly basis.
- You get to choose how much money you want to invest every month
- You get to choose the date when you want the money to be taken from your account
- After this is all set up, you have an option to cancel the coming month’s SIP if you don’t want to pay it
Smart Deposit: Liquid funds vs Fixed Deposits
ET Money allows you to easily buy Liquid funds. This is a type of mutual fund that provides a lot of liquidity. Funds can be withdrawn anywhere between a couple of hours to 2 days depending on which fund. It gives a lot of flexibility as you maintain liquidity in case of emergency and still earn more than from a fixed deposit. There are no charges for selling funds in a couple of days.
On ETMoney, the default Smart Deposit is with Nippon Liquid fund that provides about 7.5% returns. Selecting this will allow you to withdraw sooners. But, you do have options to select other Liquid funds which operate the same way.
I personally had funds in both the default Smart Deposit and in other Liquid funds. Smart deposit returns are about 1% lower than a few funds that perform better. Withdrawing money from a smart deposit with Nippon Liquid fund would take a few hours during the working day. Other Liquid funds would take 1 to 2 working day.
National Pension Scheme
NPS is an alternate pension and investment scheme launched by the Government of India. The government has allowed multiple companies to take it to the masses. Apart from banks, ET Money, Paytm and several other platforms allow you to set up your NPS and contribute. Benefits of NPS needs an entirely different article.
As for investing in NPS via ETMoney app, there are no major benefits as such. It is the same as any other platform. But it does make sense to hold your NPS account with ET Money if your other Mutual Funds, ELSS etc are with them. So you have a holistic view within one app.
You can only hold one NPS account. You can port your NPS account to a different provider later.
If you don’t have an NPS account and are opening it for the first time, there is an account opening fee of Rs.200+18% GST. There is a 0.25% Convenience Fee+GST for money you put into your NPS account with ETMoney. Pretty much the same for other NPS platforms too.
Money and Expense Tracking
I personally am not a fan of this feature. Maybe because I have other similar trackers that do this in a far better way. But if you do not have an expense tracker, give this one from ET Money a try. It is definitely worth it considering it is free.
What it does is it, keeps track of all your SMS’ that show details on your transactions. Based on the content of the SMS it will make an income or expense in your account. You get some pretty good dashboards and insights on your spends, categories etc.
ETMoney Loan Pass
This is another great feature I like on the app. Think of the Loan Pass as an overdraft facility. Based on your credit score and other criteria, you are given a Credit Limit and a credit card linked to the Loan Pass.
You can use the card to withdraw money when you need it and pay back this money between 1 to 36 months. The interest you pay is 13% to 18% depending on your profile. Your credit limit is also decided on your profile.
Applying for the pass was pretty easy and straight forward. There are several lenders such as RBL Bank, Fullerton, Bajaj etc. I chose RBL as they gave the least interest and seemed flexible in terms of paying back, card etc.
There is a 2% processing fees on the loan you take, factor that into your calculations when using the loan pass.
Buying Insurance via ET Insure
The insurance on the app is a tie up with ET Insure, a sister concern of ET Money that deals with Insurances. I personally have not used the Insurance services, so I will not give my comments. But a cursory glance shows that it is pretty much the same as other Insurance providers there are on the market in terms of choice, prices and coverage.
Check your credit scores and credit report
One of the smaller benefits of this app is that it allows you to check your credit score within the App. It is free and takes a few minutes. You can only check your credit score, don’t try putting your bosses number, because a verification message will be sent.
You also get the full credit report from Experian. Difference is that the score will only tell you what your credit score is on a scale of 300 to 900. A report on the other hand gives you all details that led to the score, loans, credit cards, accounts etc will be mentioned in the report. A score above 750 is good. Mine is 869 BTW 🙂
Checking your credit score or report is free via ET Money app.
Getting the ET Money App
They are a complete App based platform, meaning, you will not be able to access your accounts from their website. You need to download the ETMoney app from the Apple store or Google Play store for android users. Once you install it, registration and KYC is a breeze.
Reporting and your Investment Portfolio Overview
This is one of my most favorite features of the ET Money app. Their reports are simple, elegant and shows you your portfolio and values quite easily.
You can compare how your funds are doing against sectors. Trend of fund performances are available with multiple timelines. Dive into an individual fund to see how it has been doing, how money invested in it would have performed over the past x number of years. You can also compare other mutual funds similar to the one you are considering, seeing which is the best performer etc.
Navigating around these are pretty simple and the learning curve to adapt to the app is very low.
Fees, charges and Value for you
There are no fees or charges. They charge the mutual fund houses, banks and insurance providers a commission. This makes it a great choice for you as you will be able to invest 100% of your money without worry about fees.
Considering other similar services that charge 0.5% to 1%, you can consider this as direct savings by using ETMoney. This is one of their main selling points.
For the loans taken under their Loan Pass, there is a processing fee of 100+GST for loans under Rs.5000 and 2% of loan+GST for loans over Rs.5000. This may vary with the lender account you have taken under your Loan Pass.
There is a 0.25% fee+GST for adding money into your NPS account. If you are opening your NPS account for the first time, there is a Rs.200 account opening fee too.
Offers on ETMoney App
As they are under the same umbrella, ET Money App users who choose to track their expenses on the app and continue tracking it get a free membership to the Times Prime membership program. This is worth about Rs.700 if you ask me. But this is only for new users to TimesPrime and only works if you have not taken the Times Prime subscription earlier.
Review of the ET Money App
Some questions you may have on ET Money
Yes. ET Money is a registered vendor run by the reputed Times of India Group. They are a registered platform with market authorities as well and have lakhs of investors across India.
You will be able to withdraw your money from ETMoney directly into your bank account that is connected with your ET Money account. Money will be credited in your account in 2-3 business days usually.
No, there are no fees or commissions charged for buying Mutual Funds, Insurance etc from ET Money.
ET Money charges a commission to the Mutual Fund houses and Insurance providers for the sales they make. This keeps them profitable and brings your cost of investing down.
You absolutely can. The app allows you to select individually and add to your portfolio or even connect and link your CAMS account for auto updates.
Yes, you can get a free subscription to Times Prime memberships if you use the expense tracking on ET Money. This is only for new users to Times Prime.