The equity market has had some major changes in market operations over the past three decades. Digitization was definitely the most impactful change in the equity market. It facilitated ease in trading, transparency and quick settlements. During FY16 and FY21 alone, retail participation grew from 33% to 45%. With every year passing, brokers are competing with the best technology which not only offers ease in trading but also advanced analytics. It keeps getting better and better and follows reciprocation by retail investors which is reflected by the growth in participation each year.
Suffice it to say – digitization can push retail investment in every market. If it can facilitate ease in trading for investors in equity market, it can do the same for the investors in debt market too. We’ve seen the results of digitization in equity market and its only safe to assume that the results would be as favorable (if not better) in the debt market as well – given its size and potential.
Digitization would level the field between the debt and equity markets, making investing in debt as easy as equity. In this time and age where most of the services have adapted to tech to make it more accessible, debt still relies on over-the-counter methods which makes retail investors go an extra mile in order to invest. SMEST’s goal is to cut down this extra mile by making their services accessible to clients.
Debt market participation would not only minimize risks at portfolio level but also allow retail investors to earn steady returns. Every retirement plan requires a portion of savings to be allocated to debt but is the current earning population investing enough in debt? Not really. To facilitate retail participation, it is necessary for the challenges of debt market to at least be minimized if not eliminated completely. By collaborating the existing technologies with their services, SMEST is building a platform which allows investors across all categories to trade with ease. A platform that features real time settlement in order to level up from the current practice of OTC trades.
With all of the challenges of the debt market kept in mind, SMEST has created a platform to redefine the ways to invest in fixed income securities in India, a way that makes it easy for the retail investor to participate. An online portal with price history for every security for utmost transparency. It includes a detailed analysis for the issuer along with details for each ISIN issued by that issuer. Price transparency would allow investors to earn capital gains in the secondary market.
All the processes are carried out online to reduce paperwork, with digitization trading is possible on a single screen. Investors can directly invest by signing up on the SMEST platform and completing the paperless KYC. Minimum lot sizes at SMEST are as low as Rs.10,000 which makes it easy for retail investors to test the waters with a small amount at first.
The portal also features an advanced portfolio performance function with the help of which investors can keep a track of their gains and losses. Portfolio management could not get better than this – SMEST allows users to manage the debt portfolio of their entire families by linking the accounts of all the members of one family to a single master account. Investors can now request for early access to the platform at https://www.smest.in .
To facilitate the much-needed discussions about the debt market, SMEST is launching a dedicated open forum where individuals can engage in discussions about everything in debt. To join in the conversation on India’s first open forum for the debt market, visit https://www.whatarebonds.com
A rare bootstrapped start up with a mission to digitize the functions of debt market and educate retail investors to encourage participation. The SMEST team works tirelessly to improve client experience by committing to serve them even during afterhours via Ask-Smest. SMEST’s goal is to increase debt market participation especially of the unaware population of retail investors.
Words by the CEO, Mr. Harsh Punjabee:
“The advancement of the Fixed Income market is in a nascent stage and I believe we are at a point wherein, in the coming few years, the debt market will witness a similar transformation how the equity markets did in the 1990s. SMEST demonstrates our effort to facilitate transparency and ease in trading in fixed-income securities.”