June 06 , 2012
There is no hard-and-fast definition of retail investor, but it usually means a small investor investing in the markets directly (without using vehicles such as mutual funds and insurance). In case of IPOs, an investor putting up upto Rs 2 lakh is defined to be retail, but there is no such cut-off in the secondary market.
All the media noise about retail investors notwithstanding, as an individual, unless you are knowledgeable about the stock markets, it is probably safer to not be a retail investor. A lot of people make their money taking such retail investors for a ride.