Make use of unique trading features like cash management and thematic ETFs when you invest in the US through Stockal.
Stockal is a New York-based share trading platform that allows investors in India to invest in international markets.
Read this review to find out more about Stockal, what it can offer you and whether it’s the right trading platform for you.
What markets can I trade with Stockal?
Currently, Stockal only allows users in India to invest in the US stock market. It is, therefore, best suited for domestic investors there who are looking for a platform that offers low-cost investments into US stocks. Stockal currently has other markets in its product pipeline including Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa and countries in the Middle East.
Do note that Stockal also plans to introduce other global markets besides the US including Germany, Japan, India, UK and Hong Kong. As of Sep 2020, Stockal suggested that these markets would be unveiled in just 3 months, though there has been no update since.
Stockal’s primary Stockal account has the combined functionality of a Trading, Demat and Bank account. With this Stockal account, you can make trades and hold equities in your portfolio as well as invest in other customized Stockal products.
Stockal trading account features
Here are the features you can look forward to when using Stockal in India.
- A comprehensive range of financial instruments.
- Stocks and ETFs: Stockal offers access to more than 3,500 companies listed in US exchanges like the NYSE and NASDAQ. There is no minimum number of shares you have to purchase and Stockal also allows for fractional investing, similar to other well-known platforms in the US like Robinhood or Interactive Brokers.
- Stacks: Stacks are curated, ready-made thematic portfolios that are actively managed by fund managers and require a minimum investment amount. Similar to thematic ETFs such as those of Ark Invest’s, Stacks allow you to make bets on a certain sector or market niche.
- *Cash Management: Save, invest and spend using US dollars. With Cash Management, you can earn interest on your US dollars and avoid expensive currency conversion fees and international transaction fees if you primarily spend in USD. Do note that this feature gas yet to be rolled out but you can join the early access waitlist on Stockal’s website.
- Multiple trading platforms to choose from.
- Stockal Web. Stockal’s only platform is a browser-based trading interface that is simple, easy to use and polished. While this means that you can access the platform on any device with an internet connection without downloading any software, Stockal Web offers little customizability and few charting tools.
- * Stockal Mobile. Stockal also plans to roll out a mobile app on both iOS and Android in the future.
- Tools & Research: You can receive market updates through Stockal’s blog and by subscribing to their email list.
- Customer support: Stockal offers live chat support alongside telephone and email support.
What are Stockal’s fees?
Brokerage pricing plans and fees
Stockal offers three brokerage pricing plans.
- Basic: While the Basic plan costs ₹0, each trade will cost you USD 2.99 with limited access to Stacks and you will only be entitled to email support.
- Silver: For ₹3,999 in annual subscription fees, your trade commissions will be slashed to USD 0.99 per trade with full access to Stacks. Additionally, you will be entitled to both email and 24/7 support.
- Gold: For ₹13,999 in annual subscription fees, your trade commissions will be slashed to USD 0.01 per share with full access to Stacks. Additionally, you will be entitled to a dedicated support hotline, besides email and 24/7 support.
Do note that the fees above are not exhaustive, and will differ depending on how you use your broker account. You can refer to Stockal’s website for a detailed list of fees and estimate exactly how much you might end up paying.
Pros and cons
- Unique features such as thematic portfolios and cash management
- Transparent commission structure
- Limited resources in terms of analyst updates and market flow data
- No access to cryptocurrencies, bonds, derivatives, commodities or IPOs
- Brokerage commissions are generally more expensive than the industry standard
- Significant number of features are still in development
Is Stockal safe?
Stockal is owned by Borderless Investing Inc. and while Borderless Investing is not regulated by the SEC, your account itself is managed by DriveWealth LLC, a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
If Stockal shuts down today, your account will not be affected as DriveWealth is your account custodian, but if DriveWealth shuts down, your securities may be protected up to USD $500,000 as outlined in the Securities Investor Protection Act. These clauses are standard amongst all US brokerages.
Stockal is primarily backed by Angel investors and not major funds. Nevertheless, Stockal has signed multiple partnerships with major banks and investment platforms like MoneyControl, Geojit, HDFC, TipRanks and Fintso.
Therefore, Stockal is considered to be generally safe though there is some risk considering that the platform is still in its infancy.
Note: Investing and trading always carries risks that you should be aware of, so read up before you start investing. Do your research and compare brokers in India before signing up with any trading platform.
How do I sign up for an account?
You can sign up for a Stockal account easily online. Visit Stockal’s website for India and follow the steps below.
- Fill up Stockal’s online registration form. The details required may include your name, mobile number and email address.
- You will be prompted to submit supporting documents. This may include your Aadhaar card number, proof of income, photograph and PAN number.
Stockal is just one of the many platforms which have emerged recently, promising global exposure and diversification to their users. Other competitors include Zerodha, Paytm Money, Upstox, ET Money, Smallcase and Groww among others.
However, while competitors like Zerodha and Upstox have yet to offer access to US investing, Stockal has already rolled out this feature in its platform. If you are a domestic investor in India who wants to invest in US equities right now, Stockal is definitely a great option. However, if you’re willing to hold out longer, other competitors might offer a better bet with zero-commission trades, better research and tools and more trading platforms.
Compare share trading platforms in India
Not what you’re looking for? Sign up today with one of the following brokers in our comparison table below.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.