Difference Between Discretionary PMS, Non-Discretionary PMS, and Advisory PMS in India

by Alina Khan

Published On Jan. 5, 2024

In this article

In the world of investment management, making the right choices can significantly impact the growth and performance of your portfolio. Portfolio Management Services (PMS) have gained popularity in India as a means of professional portfolio management. However, it's crucial to understand the distinctions among the different types of PMS offerings to align your investment strategy with your financial goals. In this article, we explore the differences between Discretionary PMS (DPMS), Non-Discretionary PMS (NDPMS), and Advisory PMS and help you determine which one may be the right fit for you.

What Are Portfolio Management Services (PMS)?

Before delving into the types of PMS, let's briefly recap what PMS entails. PMS is an investment solution provided by experienced Portfolio Managers who construct portfolios using a mix of financial instruments, including mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. The primary aim is to optimize returns while managing risks, tailored to an individual's financial objectives. In India, there are nearly 400 PMS services available, each with its unique approach.

Read this article to learn more about What is Portfolio Management Service - Types and Benefits

Types of Portfolio Management Services:

Portfolio Management Services come in 3 distinct types based on the degree of investment and execution control. Let's delve into each type of Portfolio Management Service (PMS) in more detail:

1. Discretionary Portfolio Management Services:


Discretionary PMS is a comprehensive investment management service where the portfolio manager is granted full authority and autonomy to manage the portfolio on behalf of the investor. This means that the portfolio manager has the exclusive right to make investment decisions, execute trades, and implement changes in the portfolio without the need for explicit consent from the investor.

Key Features:

  • Full Autonomy: The portfolio manager in DPMS operates independently and is responsible for all aspects of portfolio management. This includes asset allocation, security selection, buying and selling of assets, and rebalancing.

  • Quick Decision-Making: DPMS allows for swift decision-making and execution of trades, which can be especially advantageous in dynamic market conditions.

  • Professional Expertise: Investors who choose DPMS benefit from the portfolio manager's professional expertise, as they rely on the manager's skills and experience to optimize returns while managing risk.


DPMS is well-suited for investors who prefer a hands-off approach to their investments, trusting the expertise of a professional portfolio manager. This is especially valuable for individuals who lack the time, expertise, or inclination to actively manage their portfolios.

2. Non-Discretionary Portfolio Management Services:


Non-Discretionary PMS operates on a collaborative basis between the portfolio manager and the investor. In this arrangement, the portfolio manager provides investment recommendations, but the final decision to execute these recommendations rests with the investor. Without the investor's explicit approval, no changes to the portfolio are implemented.

Key Features:

  • Investor Collaboration: NDPMS involves a partnership where the investor actively participates in the decision-making process. The portfolio manager offers suggestions, but the investor retains the authority to approve or reject these recommendations.

  • Enhanced Control: Investors in NDPMS have a greater level of control over their investments compared to DPMS. They are actively engaged in the investment decisions, which can be beneficial for those who want to be involved in the process.

  • Risk Mitigation: NDPMS allows investors to carefully evaluate recommendations, potentially reducing the risk associated with unexpected portfolio changes.


NDPMS is ideal for investors who have some knowledge of investment principles and wish to retain control over their investment decisions. It's a suitable option for those who prefer collaboration with a portfolio manager while making informed choices about their portfolio.

3. Advisory Portfolio Management Services:


Advisory PMS represents the highest level of investor involvement in portfolio management. In this type of PMS, the portfolio manager's role is strictly advisory. The manager provides investment recommendations, such as suggestions to buy or sell specific assets, but the investor holds complete responsibility for accepting and executing these recommendations.

Key Features:

  • Investor Control: Advisory PMS gives investors the ultimate control over their investment decisions. The portfolio manager's role is solely to offer guidance, leaving all decision-making and execution in the hands of the investor.

  • Analysis and Execution: Investors in advisory PMS need to possess the knowledge and capability to analyze investment recommendations and execute trades on their own.

  • Highly Customizable: This type of PMS is ideal for investors who want a highly customized and individualized investment approach, as they have complete authority over their portfolio.


Advisory PMS is tailored for highly sophisticated investors who are well-versed in investment strategies and have the capacity to analyze, evaluate, and execute investment decisions independently. This type of PMS is not recommended for individuals with limited investment knowledge.

Read this article Portfolio Management vs Wealth Management: The Key Differences

Comparison of each type of PMS

To summarize, the three types of Portfolio Management Services can be distinguished as follows:

  • Discretionary PMS: Offers complete control to the portfolio manager, making it suitable for investors who prefer professional management with minimal involvement.

  • Non-Discretionary PMS: Involves collaboration between the portfolio manager and the investor, providing enhanced control to the investor while benefiting from professional advice.

  • Advisory PMS: Grants the highest level of control to the investor, with the portfolio manager serving as an advisor. This is ideal for experienced investors who want maximum autonomy.

The choice between these PMS types should be made considering your level of investment knowledge, risk tolerance, and the degree of control you desire over your portfolio. Each type caters to a specific investor profile, ensuring that there is a suitable PMS option for everyone, from those seeking full professional management to those who wish to be hands-on in their investment decisions.

Interested in finding the best Quant & AI PMS portfolios in India? Learn more about Wright's top PMS portfolios.
Explore Now

Differences Between Discretionary PMS and Non-Discretionary PMS:

The primary distinction between Discretionary PMS and Non-Discretionary PMS lies in the level of control and decision-making authority. Here's a breakdown of the key differences:

  • Portfolio Recommendations By:

DPMS: Portfolio Manager

NDPMS: Portfolio Manager

  • Is Investor Consent Required?



  • Can Investors Suggest Portfolio Changes?



  • Transactions Executed By:

DPMS: Portfolio Manager

NDPMS: Portfolio Manager

Which Type of PMS Should You Choose?

Your choice of PMS should align with your understanding of investments and your desire for control over your investment decisions.

Discretionary PMS:

If you prefer to entrust your portfolio entirely to a professional portfolio manager and have limited expertise in investment analysis, Discretionary PMS is the most suitable choice. The portfolio manager has the autonomy to make decisions that align with your financial goals without seeking your approval.

Non-Discretionary PMS:

Thismay be the right choice if you possess investment knowledge and wish to retain some level of control over your portfolio. While the portfolio manager can suggest changes, you have the final say in approving or rejecting those recommendations. However, it's essential to have sufficient understanding to evaluate these suggestions effectively.

It's crucial to understand that delayed approvals in NDPMS can affect the outcomes. For example, if a recommended stock is expected to rise from ₹1,000 to ₹1,500 in two months, but you approve the investment decision after a week when the price has already risen to ₹1,200, you may end up buying the stock at a higher price. This scenario is less likely to occur in a DPMS where the portfolio manager acts promptly.

Advisory PMS:

Advisory PMS is designed for highly sophisticated investors who have a strong understanding of investments and the capability to analyze and execute decisions independently. In this setup, the portfolio manager merely offers recommendations, leaving the investor in charge of the investment process.

Learn more about Portfolio Management with our Complete Guide on How to Choose the Best Portfolio Management Services for Your Investments

Interested in finding the best Quant & AI PMS portfolios in India? Learn more about Wright's top PMS portfolios.
Explore Now

To Sum Up:

Portfolio Management Services offer a spectrum of choices to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of investors. Understanding the distinctions between Discretionary PMS, Non-Discretionary PMS, and Advisory PMS is critical to making an informed decision about your investment strategy. Depending on your knowledge, comfort level, and desire for control, you can select the type of PMS that aligns with your financial goals and investment approach. By choosing the right PMS, you can ensure that your investments are managed effectively and in line with your unique requirements.

Want to learn more about PMS? Here are some interesting articles related to Portfolio Management Services in India:

  1. What is Portfolio Management Service - Types and Benefits

  2. What is the Minimum Investment Ticket Size for Portfolio Management Services (PMS)?

  3. Complete Guide to Factor Investing & the Wright Factor Fund PMS

  4. Fee Structure for the Wright Portfolio Management Service

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