[This is the first installment in a series examining index funds. We’ll discuss the managed mutual fund market first to form a basis of comparison with index funds. In Part II, we will look at how an index is calculated and what an index fund is. In Part III, we’ll consider how to evaluate index funds and where to buy them.]
We can’t predict the future â so when it comes to investing, minimizing risk is the name of the game. One highly effective strategy to help limit investment risk is through diversification, and most of us achieve it by investing in mutual funds.
Mutual funds, and their close cousins, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), achieve diversification by buying a wide variety of different bonds, stocks, or whatever investments they focus on. You and I typically don’t have enough money to achieve that kind of diversification on our own, but we can get it on our limited budget by investing in a mutual fund.</