I am an NRI based in Dubai. I have been investing by SIP in various Mutual Funds through Geojit BNP Paribas Office here from my NRI account in India. My question is do I have the option of investing in Direct plan of Mutual Funds in future, or is it blocked for NRI investors?
Since you are an existing mutual fund investor and have fulfilled KYC requirements, you can invest directly with the fund houses. Direct plans are lower cost than Regular plans as they save on distribution expenses or commissions which are paid out of your money to distributors. Thus, the expense ratio is lower for direct plans as compared to regular plans. However this do-it-yourself approach has its own challenges. The disadvantage of taking the direct route is that you have to make all your investment decisions and complete the formalities on your own. With a Direct plan you won't have access to the services of an advisor on an ongoing basis either. This means you cannot turn to a mutual fund advisor for help -- be it for completing the formalities or legwork in buy/sell decisions. As an NRI, you need to evaluate if you can manage all this on your own. You should opt for direct plans only if they have enough knowledge about mutual funds and investments.