ETF vs Fund of Funds

ETF vs FOF: What are the differences?

There are multiple investment options available to investors in today’s market. Investors can select from these options based on their risk return analysis or their investment strategy. Among the many types of investment available, ETFs and FOFs are gaining a huge market over the years. This makes it important for the investors to get basic information or know about the basic differences between them.


leveraged funds

Inverse/Leveraged Funds

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are slowly gaining popularity in India, especially among investors who are looking to explore newer avenues for portfolio diversification. An ETF is similar to an index fund since it replicates an index. The key difference between the two is that an ETF is a closed ended fund, whereas an index fund is open-ended. Investors cannot make fresh redemptions or investments when an ETF is closed. ETFs are listed on stock exchanges and these can be bought and sold just like any stock/equity. However, ETFs can be bought only if there is a seller in the market and the same goes for selling these. One of the varieties of ETFs are leveraged ETFs. 

Here, we will explain more about Leveraged or Inverse funds to help new investors get a basic understanding of these.

Smart beta funds

What are Smart Beta funds?

ETFs have been gaining huge popularity in Indian markets over many years. They are considered to be a safe bet for investors who want to earn decent returns but at the same time do not want to take too much risk. However, ETFs do have their own set of shortcomings, one of the main being that they are not able to generate superior returns as they are passively managed investments.

This is where the smart beta funds come in. These funds are relatively new to the Indian markets but have been gaining a strong foothold in developed markets. Read on to know more details on smart beta funds.


Index funds vs Actively managed funds

Can index funds be better than actively managed mutual funds?

In the past few years, India has witnessed a significant shift from actively managed mutual funds to passive funds such as Index funds. Experts believe that the rationale behind such a shift is that the idea of actively managed funds outperforming their benchmark is not necessarily true. Thus, investors feel it makes little sense to pay comparatively higher expenses towards actively managed funds, and opting for index-tracking funds can reap greater benefits in the long run. 

In this blog, we will highlight the key features of both mutual funds and index funds for investors to make an informed investment decision. (more…)

Invest in etfs

How to invest in ETFs?

Invest in ETFs
Home » Passive Investing

How to invest in ETFs?

ETFs are Exchange Traded Funds, a relatively safer investment option of the stock market. These funds are a cluster of multiple securities that are formed usually in the same combination as the underlying index it tracks. The fund does not strive to generate excess returns over and above the returns of the index.

ETFs are also passively managed funds and do not require a horde of fund managers to manage the portfolio. These funds try to match the performance of the index it tracks. However, there might be some deviations which are known as tracking errors. 

Investors can choose the type of ETF they want to invest in based on many factors that are discussed below. The fund that gives maximum returns and has low tracking errors is the ideal choice of fund to invest in. 

Points to consider while investing in ETFs

There are many factors that influence the investor in their decision to invest in a particular ETF.  Some of such factors are mentioned below.

  • Select the right type of ETF

There are many types of ETFs available in the Indian market. Some of such options are,

  • Index ETFs
  • Gold ETFs
  • Debt ETFs
  • Sector ETFs
  • Currency ETFs

These options track the security or asset for its performance. Investors have to first select the type of ETF they wish to invest in before proceeding any further. You would need to take into effect various factors like your risk profile, expected rate of returns, investment time frame, etc before making an investment decision.

  • Pay attention to tracking errors

Tracking errors are the deviations that can occur in the fund while tracking the performance of the underlying security or asset. The investors should select the fund that has fewer tracking errors so the returns generated are relatively higher.

  • Higher trading volume of the ETF

The ETF fund having a higher trading volume will typically allow more liquidity which means that the investor can buy or sell the ETF more easily.  Hence, it is advisable to choose a fund with a higher trading volume and more visibility which provides more liquidity to the investors.

  • Lower expense ratio

The expense ratio is the cost to the investor for investing in the fund. ETFs being passively managed funds, the expense ratio for investment in ETFs is relatively lower as compared to investment in mutual funds. Investors can select the fund that has a lower expense ratio to maximize their returns 

How to invest in ETFs?

The process of investment in ETFs is fairly simple. After analyzing the market and choosing an ETF, the investors can invest in ETFs through the following steps.

  •      Opening a Demat account

ETFs are traded on stock exchanges. Hence, investors need to have a Demat account for investment in ETFs. This account is mandatory for holding the securities in digital form. 

  • Opening a trading account

The trading account is the online portal that is provided to the investors for purchasing and selling shares in real time. One of the most essential benefits of ETFs is trading in real time like stocks. A trading account is mandatory for such a benefit. 

  •      Documents needed to open the accounts

Opening a Demat account and trading account will require the investor to provide certain KYC Documents. These documents are an essential part of the account opening process without which the process is not complete. The documents needed to be submitted by the investor are,

  • Identity Proof

The documents that can be provided by the investor as identity proof are,

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • PAN Card
  • Address Proof

Documents relating to the address proof of the investor are,

  • Passport
  • PAN Card
  • Latest Utility Bills
  • Bank Details

Bank details of the investor are also an important part of the documentation. The investor has to provide details like,

  • Name of the bank
  • Branch name
  • Account number
  • IFSC Code

Modes of investment in ETF

After completing the above process of opening the necessary accounts, the investor is ready to invest in ETFs and trade on the basis of market research and analysis. Investors can invest in ETFs using the online mode of investment or offline mode of investment. These modes of investment in ETFs are detailed below.  

  • Placing the trading order through the online trading mode

There are many options for online trading portals today (for example, mobile or app based trading portals) where buying and selling of ETFs like individual stocks can be done in real time with just a few clicks. Investors can invest in ETFs through such portals and trade actively at their convenience. 

  • Placing the trading order through the broker/offline trading mode

The other option for the investors to trade in ETFs is the offline trading option, i.e. through brokers. The investor can contact the broker through the telephone to inform them about the trade specifications as well as seek their opinions to make the trade.


Investment in ETFs has gained huge popularity over the recent years and has become a very attractive investment option for investors, especially those that are risk averse or beginners in the stock market. ETFs have huge benefits and can be invested easily through online or offline modes which make it an easier option for investors to invest in.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes ETFs a safer investment option for beginners?
 ETFs try to match the performance of the underlying asset or the security that it tracks with minimum possible deviations. These funds do not try to outperform the underlying index and hence, do not carry a higher risk. The expense ratio of ETFs is also lower as compared to other types of investments like mutual funds. These factors make it a better or safer investment option for beginners. 

What are some of the advantages of ETFs?
Some of the most common advantages of ETFs are,
Lower expense ratio
Access to different markets
Lower risk
Higher liquidity
Real time trading

Is trading in ETFs similar to trading in individual shares?
Yes. ETFs can be bought and sold during market hours in real time just like individual shares or stock.

Can a person trade in ETFs through online modes?
 Yes. Many brokers provide online trading portals which allow the investor to trade in the ETF in real time.

Are ETFs actively managed or passively managed funds?
ETFs in India are passively managed funds hence do not require an active team of fund managers to manage the fund.

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Index. Sit Back. Relax

Anybody who has ever entered the stock market has only had just one thing in mind – to beat
the damn thing. Double the money, I say! Triple it! And do it before my next birthday. It’s ironic.
The market’s gone up and up these past many decades, and yet, strangely, no money manager
will ever say that getting the market’s returns is a worthy enough goal.

So then, how do you beat a system that has millions of participants, each playing by his own
rules, and all of them essentially blind to one another?

An easy answer is, well, you don’t. A better answer is, you could try. How difficult could it
possibly be? All you need to do is buy low, sell high. Time your entry and exit right. Right? (more…)