What Novice Investors Should Know About Index Funds
Investing can be something that is difficult to learn. You're not only trying to figure out what to do and what not to do, but you're using your hard-earned money at the same time. That's why new investors often look for a safe alternative rather than picking a stock and hoping for the best. As you start your journey with investing, it will definitely help to know why index funds can be a great choice.
What makes an index fund unique is that it is passively managed. This means that there is not a single person managing the fund and picking which stocks make up the fund in order to outperform the market average. Instead, an index fund is designed to replicate how specific stock indexes move on a daily basis. It makes selecting the portfolio of companies quite simple and takes away some of the human error that can come with manually selecting stocks.
There are many index funds that are incredibly diverse due to trying to replicate the performance of certain stock indexes or industries. You're not just picking one stock, but many stocks to diversify your portfolio. If one company goes out of business or has bad earnings in a quarter, your whole portfolio is not going to tank due to picking one company.
An investor may want to pick an index fund that follows the whole US stock market, which means if US companies do well, then your portfolio will do well. Another person may want to pick an index fund that is made up of oil and gas companies, and if that industry does well as a whole then so will you.
Ease of Use
It can be overwhelming to research individual companies to invest in. You really need to dig into the earning history and read about what they are up to, which is incredibly time-consuming. Index funds are much easier to research because they represent an entire portion of the stock market. While historical trends are not always an accurate representation of the future when looking at an individual stock, index funds will be much easier to understand once you realize what companies make up a specific fund.
It's always possible for one company to outperform the entire stock market. However, that is a risk you take, and the stock has just as good of a chance of losing value as well. Index funds are designed for long-term performance with steady returns. If you are close to retirement and want to ensure that your money will be there in a few years, you can invest in an index fund and know that you won't see huge losses if a small portion of companies in the fund performs poorly.
Contact a local service provider to learn how to invest in index funds.