ETF vs Index Fund-Difference Between ETF and Index Fund in India-America-UK-Across World-FinancePlusInsurance

Difference Between ETF and Index Fund / ETF vs Index Fund

A few weeks ago, I was unfamiliar with concepts such as ETF vs Index Fund. Investors were confuse about the differences between ETF and Index Fund, as well and why ETFs seem so similar to mutual funds. The majority of portfolio management choices, such as which stocks to buy and sell, are made by individuals with training in financial planning and investing.

Continue reading for a brief explanation if you are experiencing the same issue. Active and passive investing are two of the most prevalent strategies to generate income from investments. An actively managed fund is one in which the investor entrusts a fund manager with the responsibility of constructing and monitoring a portfolio of investments based on his or her expertise and experience. Regarding passive investment techniques, there are two considerations to keep in mind. Mutual funds, often known as Index Funds, are an excellent method to diversify your investments. ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, are an additional way to invest.

What are an Index Mutual Funds?

You can invest in an index fund, which attempts to mirror the performance and composition of a financial market index as precisely as possible. You cannot directly invest in an index, but you can invest in a fund that tracks an index. To achieve this, you employ passive investing, which entails establishing guidelines for which stocks to include and then tracking them without attempting to outperform them.

Because they mirror a benchmark index, such as the S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds are less expensive than actively managed funds. If an investor want to purchase an index fund, he or she can do so via a mutual fund that attempts to mimic the index. This is how the majority of people do it. We will understand differences better in ETF vs Index Fund topic going further. You can also read difference between ETF and mutual fund to understand more about the topic.

What are an Exchange Traded Funds?

ETFs are mutual funds that invest in a variety of assets and trade on the stock market. These assets can be purchase and sold on an open market, exactly like traditional equities, as opposed to being price only at the end of the trading day, like mutual funds.

Another significant distinction between mutual funds and exchange-traded funds is the pricing structure (ETFs). The conclusion is as follows: Typically, investors in mutual funds are not require to pay transaction fees. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have fewer expenses, including taxes and management fees. The majority of individual investors will discover that index mutual funds are less expensive than exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs are chosen by institutional investors who do not wish to perform much labour.

Analysts believe that investing in index funds is a less strenuous means of generating income than investing in value equities. The majority of individuals concur that both of these investments should be made with caution and for the long term. Investors who are patient and willing to wait for a good deal frequently like valuation investing. If you purchase low-priced stocks, your chances of making money will increase over the long term. In order to outperform the market, value investors examine the market index and avoid investing in well-known firms.

ETFs or Index Funds – Which Is Better For You?

There are numerous similarities between ETF vs Index Fund. Consequently, the fund you select will depend on your investment objectives and strategy. Long-term investors who intend to hold their funds for an extended period of time may prefer more conservative investment strategies. Utilizing an Index Fund with the SIP feature is the optimal way to achieve this objective. If you wish to invest in turbulent markets, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may be a better option than mutual funds.

Some investors with a strong market understanding like to trade exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for brief periods of time when unfavourable news causes the stock market to fall. Even though these 3 percent fluctuations typically only last for a brief period of time, numerous individuals attempt to take advantage of them.

In the end, the choice between an ETF vs Index Fund boils down to which instrument is best suite for the task. ETFs have lower expenses and more investment possibilities, whereas Index Funds make it easier for investors to achieve a specified return with fewer trade-offs. Due of this, index funds are essential. When the market is turbulent, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may be employed more tactically than index funds.

Difference Between ETF and Index Fund

Exchange-traded funds and index funds presumably share many similarities. It has made it difficult for investors to determine which type of investment is ideal for passive investment. Let’s examine a few examples to illustrate the ETF vs Index Fund or difference between ETF and Index Fund.

Difference in the Expense Ratio

The expense ratios of exchange-traded funds and index funds are lower than those of actively managed mutual funds. This means that your funds are being managed for less by mutual fund companies.

The HDFC NIFTY 50 ETF has a lower expense ratio of 0.5 percent compared to its direct relative, the HDFC NIFTY 50 Index Plan, which has a 0.2 percent expense ratio. That is an additional 0.15 percent, or a 300 percent rise over the current price of an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

However, investors in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) should be mindful of two additional costs. The first of these expenditures is the commission that your broker, which is the trading platform, charges. Typically, a broker will charge a percentage of the total amount traded or a flat fee per transaction. This fee or commission covers brokerage expenses, STTs, stamp duty, exchange fees, and SEBI turnover taxes. This fee or commission is exclusive of any other charges or levies.

The bid-ask spread is the second expense associate with ETF trading. A tiny fee is incorporate into the pricing of the ETF. When trading ETFs, the commission is the initial expense. When calculating the entire cost of ETFs and comparing it, for instance, to the expense ratio of Index Funds, these costs must be considered.

Differences Between the Various Trading Methods

ETF vs Index Fund operate similarly to mutual funds, although exchange-traded funds (ETFs) more closely resemble equities. ETFs can be tradable continuously on stock exchanges, much like equities. Consequently, the price of the ETF fluctuates significantly throughout trading hours.

Index funds can only be purchase or sold once per day, at the end of each trading day, at a predetermine price. This is not something about which long-term investors should be concerned. Investors that attempt to time the market by utilising intraday trading, stop losses, and order limitations might benefit greatly from ETFs.

Difference in Strategies to Manage Finances

ETFs, on the other hand, can be manage actively or passively, depending on the fund’s objectives. Actively managed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) account for approximately 20% of all ETFs in the United States. In other words, the ETF is manage by a group of investors. They conduct company research and determine how to construct the ETF’s portfolio, including which stocks to buy and sell.

It is feasible that the construction of these active exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will be novel and distinct. If you were to create an ETF, for instance, you could simply replicate the portfolios of renowned investors like Warren Buffett or Rakeshjhunwala. Cathie Wood manages the ARK Innovation ETF, which is another future-oriented ETF.

The ETF focuses on “disruptive innovation,” which includes investments in DNA technology companies, industrial innovators, health technology firms, and Internet companies of the next generation, among others. Due to this, index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are both regarded as passive investments, although not all ETFs are.

Difference in the Liquidity Rule

Adding to the assets under management (AUM) of an index fund requires little effort. The fund then executes its mandate by purchasing securities that correspond to the benchmark. When it comes to Index Funds, liquidity is not an issue because the converse is true when you wish to withdraw money.

On the other hand, the lack of liquidity of ETFs is cause for concern. Why? ETFs are more popular than index funds since they can be purchased in the same manner as ordinary stock shares. Suppose you wish to sell 100 shares of your ETF but cannot find a willing buyer. Since ETFs have a liquidity problem, you will be unable to sell any of your ETF units at the price you desire until the problem is resolved.

However, despite these issues, the liquidity of several ETFs in India is beginning to improve. Due to this, many sectoral and smart beta ETFs have low trading volumes, causing liquidity concerns among investors.

Difference in Minimum Investments Requirement

ETFs are frequently purchase in groups of two or more. Similar to purchasing ten or twenty shares of a corporation, you would need to purchase one unit of an ETF. Additionally, you could purchase one, seven, one hundred, or more ETF units. Therefore, if the unit price of an ETF is Rs. 40, you must invest in multiples of Rs. 40 in order to profit. Index funds, on the other hand, frequently require a minimum investment amount to purchase a single investment unit. Alternatively, you invest 500, 1,000, or 2,000 rupees in a mutual fund that tracks the benchmark index.

The minimum investment required for each of these financial instruments is dependent on their unit and monetary value comparisons. Investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and the majority of other trading methods is limited to a single unit. One unit of the fund ICICI Prudential Bharat 22 ETF, for instance, costs approximately Rs 40. One unit of the ICICI Prudential Bharat 22 ETF costs Rs. 40, hence one unit can be purchased for Rs.40.

To purchase units in an Index Fund, all mutual fund firms require a minimum order of Rs. 100. Some asset management company (AMCs) have a Rs. 500 minimum order amount for SIP and lump payment operations.

Difference in Ways to Avail SIP Services

Regular investors have invested more than Rs. 8,000 crore in SIPs over the past three months, constituting a consistent flow of funds. In contrast, index funds frequently include a SIP option, but ETFs do not.

Therefore, the difference between ETF and Index Fund is that that ETFs lack the SIP method is a significant issue. The SIP route is a very discipline and consistent approach for investors to participate in the stock market, but ETFs lack it. Consequently, if you wish to invest in equities using a systematic investment plan (SIP), index funds may be your best option right now.

Difference in Track of Various Faults

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can more accurately track an index than index funds due to their lower tracking error. Index Funds retain a little amount of cash on hand at all times in case they need to make a payout. Regarding exchange-traded funds, an asset management organisation is unnecessary.

ETFs are tradable similarly to stocks, so they can be sold if someone want to purchase them. The AMC has no control over the current situation. Index funds have slightly greater tracking error than other forms of products due to their greater liquidity.

When investors contribute small sums to Index Funds, it takes time to invest funds. Consequently, index funds have a substantial amount of cash on hand. The NIFTY 50 Index Fund is a fantastic illustration of what I mean. The Index is comprise of 50 equities, and each has a unique weighting in the index. When investing in an Index Fund, you must put your money to work daily in the same manner as the index.

Alternately, suppose the fund manager needs Rs. 15 lakh to purchase the same amount of shares in each NIFTY 50 business as the index. Even if Rs. 10 lakh receive in a single day, the fund manager must wait for Rs. 5 lakh more in order to purchase all 50 NIFTY 50 securities in the same proportion as the index, which would cost an additional Rs. 10 lakh.

Exchange-traded funds are not affected by this (ETFs). When purchasing ETFs, you also purchase a percentage of the available units. This means that if the index is a solid investment, the asset management business does not need to hold your money or wait until it has sufficient funds to purchase stocks in the same proportion as the index.


Understanding the distinction between ETF vs Index Fund is crucial when studying the fundamentals of investing (index fund). There are a number of advantages to using exchange-traded funds (ETFs) rather than mutual funds. Mutual funds and index funds are not traded like ETFs on the stock market. ETFs are more difficult to trade on the stock market than mutual funds.