An index fund is a mutual fund in India that mimics an index’s portfolio. These mutual funds are also referred to as index-tied or index-tracked mutual funds. Because index funds are not actively managed, they have low expenses. They do not seek to outperform the market, but rather to follow an index. They aid investors in managing or balancing the risks in their investment portfolio. Let’s take a closer look at index funds and their benefits and drawbacks.
Advantages of Index Mutual Funds
The primary benefit of index investing is that it requires a disciplined investment approach, and investors/fund managers do not typically attempt to time the market.
Because the portfolio is based on a specific index, there is less churning of the portfolio, resulting in lower brokerage costs. Expense ratios are also kept to a minimum due to the minimal involvement of the fund manager.
Index funds India, in addition to having lower expense ratios, are also extremely tax-efficient. In contrast to active funds, an investor does not need to switch funds based on their performance. This helps to save a lot of money on taxes (short term capital gain taxes).
While index funds provide good exposure to large caps, there are fewer indices that provide exposure to small and mid-caps. Small, medium, and multi-cap index funds provide good exposure to large caps in this case; however, there are fewer indices that provide exposure to small and mid-caps.
As the index funds are not actively managed and most indices are market-weighted, a stock that is performing exceptionally well may receive a higher weightage in the index. This makes the fund reliant on the performance of that specific stock.
Furthermore, because index funds have lower expense ratios, they are not as aggressively distributed as active mutual funds investing. This is due to the expense ratio being the primary source of income for mutual fund houses. Mutual fund houses have little incentive to aggressively distribute index funds because they have a lower expense ratio (lower income for fund houses).
We have discussed the benefits and drawbacks of Index investing, the bottom line is that it is always preferable for a beginner to begin his or her investment journey with Index funds. Depending on their risk tolerance, investors can move up the ladder with active mutual funds and then direct equity investments after investing in index funds. You can get to know more about Mutual Funds from here.