Index Fund

Many people new to investing typically come across index funds as an investment option. While they may sound complicated, they are not, and they remain an excellent way for new investors to start investing and building wealth.


What Is An Index Fund?

An index fund is a fund that tracks the returns and performance of a specific market index. For example, the FTSE 100 tracks the performance of the largest 100 companies in the UK. An index fund is passively managed, offers exposure to a broad market, and has low fees due to low operating expenses.

Since they track the performance of specific indexes, index funds typically return similar levels to the tracked index. 

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Investing In An Index Fund?

Since they allow investors to invest in numerous securities simultaneously, index funds are an excellent option for diversification. This level of diversification allows them to reduce the risk of relying on a single stock or asset.

Because they are managed passively, they typically have lower fees than actively managed funds. Their passive management means they do not require as much research and analysis from fund managers.

Index funds are easy to invest in as investors can purchase them through a broker or an online investment platform. They also have great returns, as many index funds have performed well and have consistently outperformed actively managed funds over the long term. Lastly, the holdings of index funds are transparent and readily available, allowing investors to know exactly what they are investing in.

The main downside of index funds is that they provide limited potential for an upside. Because they are a safe option as they follow a specific index, they typically do not provide the potential for the high returns individual stocks or actively managed funds can provide.

Another downside is that investors do not have control over the holdings in the fund. They have no control over the specific stocks or other assets held in an index fund, as they are determined by the index being tracked. Additionally, investors cannot customise the holdings of an index fund to align with their specific investment goals or risk tolerance.

Index funds are also susceptible to market volatility. If the sector that the specific index they follow fluctuates or the whole index fluctuates, the index funds that follow their performance will be affected. This means the performance of the index being tracked determines value.

Lastly, some index funds are susceptible to concentration risks. This happens when indexes are heavily concentrated in a particular industry or sector, leading to concentration risk if the performance of that industry or sector declines.

How Do Index Funds Work, And Are They A Good Investment Option For Beginners?

Since they are passively managed funds, investors pool their money into an investment when they buy shares in an index fund. The fund manager then purchases assets that duplicate the performance of a given index that the index fund is tracking.

Index funds can be a good investment option for beginners just starting to invest in the stock market. The reasons are that they are easy to understand, have low fees,  provide excellent diversification, do not require much research from beginners, and have great long-term performance.

What Is The Difference Between An Index Fund And An Actively-Managed Mutual Fund?

An index fund tracks the performance of a specific stock market index by holding a portfolio of stocks, assets, or commodities that represent the index. On the other hand, an actively-managed mutual fund is managed by a fund manager who actively selects and manages the portfolio of stocks or other assets to outperform the market.

Index funds typically have lower fees than actively-managed mutual funds, as they do not require as much research and analysis from fund managers. Over the long term, many index funds have performed well and have consistently outperformed actively-managed mutual funds. This is because index funds generally have lower fees and are not subject to the fund manager’s performance.

Investors have no control over an index fund’s specific stocks or other assets. In an actively-managed mutual fund, the fund manager controls the specific stocks or other assets held in the fund.

What Are The Fees Associated With Investing In An Index Fund?

Some of the fees include management fees, platform fees if you are using a platform to buy and sell index funds, transaction fees and spread, and the difference between the bid price and the asking price.


Index funds track the performance of a specific index using underlying assets and investment options. They allow investors to diversify their portfolios but don’t give them much control over the underlying assets.