Since direct plans bypass the requirement of an intermediary like a distributor, the commission paid to them is excluded from the expenses charged to investors. Thanks to this saving, direct plans lead to higher returns over the long term. But lack of awareness about the direct route, coupled with lack of knowledge as to the modus operandi and paucity of time are attributed to the lacklustre retail participation in direct plans. There are many online advisories that enable you to invest through direct plans in mutual funds. OROWealth, BharosaClub, Unovest, Invezta, Clearfunds are a few.