According to Warren Buffet, the majority of individuals should index. If you only do one thing in the stock market is invest in index funds which are alternatives to buying individual stocks. An index is a representational figure of the market’s performance over the previous day. If you lift the covers and look beneath what is going on with an index, there is a huge dispersion of stocks, between those at any particular time, that are in favor and those that are out of favor with the market. As a market capitalization index, companies like Apple and Amazon with larger market capitalization have more influence in the S&P 500. The index averages the zigs and the zags.

Index funds mimic or merely replicate the performance of the index they are tracking. The S&P500, which tracks the  500 largest firms in the U. S., is one of the indices that is frequently followed. It serves as a  benchmark of the entire U. S. economy, and the swings reflect the turbulence in the economy. Russell 2000 tracks the performance of small-cap companies, and MSCI EAFE tracks large-stock companies in developed markets across Europe, and Australia.

The performance of other asset classes such as bonds and commodities can be monitored via indices. The Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond is a widely followed bond index in the U.S.; it consists of a mix of government, corporate, and mortgage-backed securities. The Vanguard Global Bond Index fund invests heavily in both global and international governments.

How to invest in an index fund

By purchasing shares of mutual funds or exchange Trades Funds( ETFs) that passively track the index, retail investors get exposure to world indices.

S&P500 Vanguard ETFs trade like shares and tracks the S&P index, HSBC FTSE 250 index fund tracks FTSE 250 and is made up of close to 170 equity holdings in mid-caps in the U.K. various mutual funds track Russell 2000.

How do investors earn by investing in an index fund?

Investors profit from dividends given out by S&P businesses, index fund price appreciation, and interest income from bond index funds distributed quarterly and annually to investors.

Pros of index funds

Investors who invest in index funds receive returns that are above average compared to those who pick equity portfolios for several reasons; buy at the wrong time, overpay for or purchase subpar businesses and incur excessive fees. Since the 1980s, nearly 50% of the companies in the Russell 3000 have lost money, but the index has provided a 73-fold return thanks to just 70% of companies in the index( like Apple and Amazon) who have done extraordinarily well.


The firms that make up different indices like the S&P500, FTSE 100, and Russel 2000 offer diversification to different sectors while drastically lowering their vulnerability to conversation risk. As opposed to investing in one firm and placing your eggs in one basket, the weak performance reported in some forms is offset by strong performance in other sectors.

Low fees

Since index funds are not actively managed, stock selection is not done by a fund manager. It is feasible to generate a larger return than actively managed mutual funds because of the low expense ratio, which is the continuing cost of investing in an index fund.

As an illustration, if 2 investors, Kasiva and Nakaya both invest $50,000 in index funds, with Kasiva choosing an actively managed fund with an expense ratio of 1.2% and an annual return of 7% annually, and Nakaya choosing a passive index fund which trades like shares with an expense ratio of 0.20 paying a 7% annually for 10 years, both will profit throughout the investment horizon, earning $87,867 and $ 96,535 respectively. The cost of active management is $8668.


Compounding permits dividend reinvestment into the index fund.

Investors have the choice to reinvest their annual dividends back into the fund, which allows them to increase their asset base and earn higher returns in the future.

Geographical exposure

Numerous indices monitor the performance of the global markets, allowing investors to invest cheaply abroad.

By purchasing index funds that track the S&P500 and FTSE 100 indices, investors from Africa can gain access to the American and U. K markets.

Due diligence.

Index funds track the performance of most companies and no due diligence is required by passive investors. Buying individual stocks entails serious deep diving into the company, its products, management, and industry, into at least the quarterly financial statement which is a lot of work to keep up and requires professional skills.

Negative aspects of indexing

Long term view

Index fund returns are lower than those from hedge funds that utilize sophisticated tools like short-selling and leverage not available to retail investors, therefor if an investor wants to make decent returns, they should adopt a long-term perspective.

Trading in and out seldom results in a profit.


Index Funds are not immune to market swings or crashes. If the market plummets as a whole, so does the index fund.

Individual equities have occasionally outperformed index funds, particularly in situations where there has been a significant market decline.

Ten years ago, if you had invested $1000 in the S&P500 10, your investment would currently be worth $2188.

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Kasiva Mutisya

MA Financial Services Consultants

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