Monthly Archives: August 2017

Some Disadvantages of Index Fund Investing

Index funds are created to mirror the investment results of a specific market index. It can consist of either stocks or bonds in its portfolio, and these mutual funds differ in the strategies that they use to achieve returns parallel to their chosen index. Index funds oppose with non-index funds, which seek to improve on market returns instead of aligning with them.

There are advantages and disadvantages of using stock indexes and the index funds that trace them. An index fund is an imagined portfolio of securities signifying a specific portion of the wider market. It is typically made using the shares of leading companies in the economy or in a particular area of the economy. Today, this article will be tackling some of the disadvantages of index fund investing to help you widen your knowledge about this type of investing.

  1. Absence of Drawback Protection

The stock market has ascertained to be a great investment in the long run, but over the years, it has had its fair share of ups and downs. Investing in an index fund, such as one that traces the S&P 500, will give you the advantage when the market is performing well, but also makes you totally exposed to the drawbacks. You can decide to limit your exposure to the index through shorting the index, or buying a put, an option contract providing right to the owner to sell a specified amount of an underlying asset at a set price within a specified time, against the index.

  1. No Huge Gains

An index fund doesn’t have the ability to outdo the market the way managed funds do. This means that if you invest in an index fund you are disregarding the possibility of a huge gain. The top-performing non-index funds in a given year work better than an index fund in a year. However, the top-performing non-index funds may differ from year to year, so that under-performing years can stop the over-performing ones, while index fund’s performance remains more stable.

  1. No Control Over Holdings

Indexes are set portfolios. If an investor purchase an index fund, he or she has no control over every holding in the portfolio. You may have certain companies that you want to own, such as a favorite bank or food company that you have found on the net and want to purchase. Likewise, in daily life, you may have events in your life that lead you to believe that one company is notably better than the other, maybe it has the best brands, management or customer service. As a result, you may want to invest particularly in that company and not in its rivals.

  1. Reduced Personal Satisfaction

Investing can be distressing and nerve-wracking, especially during times of disorder. Choosing a certain stock may leave you constantly looking after quoted price, and can keep you awake at night, but these situations will not be prevented by investing in an index. You can still find yourself constantly checking on how the market is performing and being worried sick about the economic landscape. Above all these, you will lose the satisfaction and excitement of creating good investments and being profitable with your journey.

Few Categories of Funds You Need to Know

Funds are broken down into different categories. Fund category is a way of differentiating mutual funds in accordance to investment goals and main investment characteristics. This categorization permits investors to expand their money around in a mix of funds with different risk and return features. With stock funds, the basic categories are defined by the size of the companies in which the fund invests, large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap, and investment style, value, growth and blend of value and growth. In addition, specialty stock funds and international funds provide additional opportunities.

In this article, you will learn a few of the fund categories to help you further widen your knowledge about stock funds.

  1. Stock fund is categorized by size

You might want to buy stock funds that invest in companies of different sizes, such as small-cap, mid-cap and large-cap companies, for the best diversification process. You can actually do this by selecting three different funds that invest in each sized company, or you can pick one wide fund that invests in all of them at once, maybe through a stock index fund.

  1. Stock fund is categorized by type

You could invest in a fund that chooses only growth stocks, if you think that small growth stocks will outperform the market. On one hand, you could choose a fund that invests in value stocks, if you truly feel and think that they are the way to go.

  1. Stock fund is categorized by region

You might also want to buy stock funds that invest in companies, not just in your country, but internationally as well. You can actually do this by adding an international fund to your mix. Just always make sure that you are completely aware what you are buying. An international fund might invest in stable regions like Europe, or it might invest in riskier developing market regions, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and mainland Asia, or it could be all of the mentioned regions.

  1. Stock fund is categorized by sector

You could also try to invest in a sector or a specialty fund that holds stocks in just one industry, such as energy, technology or financial. There is nothing wrong with placing a percentage of your total stock holdings to such funds, as long as you remember that a hot sector one year could actually crash the succeeding year. If you do choose to purchase such funds, make sure the rest of your stock fund holdings are well diversified. That will restrict your overall risk.