Index Investing

DEFINITION of 'Index Investing'

A form of passive investing that aims to generate the same rate of return as an underlying market index. Investors that use index investing seek to replicate the performance of a specific index – generally an equity or fixed-income index – by investing in an investment vehicle such as index funds or exchange-traded funds that closely track the performance of these indexes.

BREAKING DOWN 'Index Investing'

Proponents of index investing eschew active investment management because they believe that it is impossible to "beat the market" once trading costs and taxes are taken into account. As index investing is relatively passive, index funds usually have lower management fees and expenses than actively managed funds. Lower trading activity may also result in more favorable taxation for index funds as compared with actively managed funds.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between an index fund and an ETF?

    Learn about the difference between an index fund and an exchange-traded fund and how index fund investing compares to value ... Read Answer >>
  2. Is it possible to invest in an index?

    First, let's review the definition of an index. An index is essentially an imaginary portfolio of securities representing ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why do index funds tend to have low expense ratios?

    Understand what an index fund is and why the nature of index funds causes them to have lower expense ratios than more actively ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are the disadvantages of an index fund over an actively managed fund?

    Read the advantages an actively managed fund has over its more staid compatriot, the indexed fund, and make your own decision ... Read Answer >>
  5. What's the difference between an index fund and an actively managed fund?

    Learn the difference between actively-managed funds and index funds. Explore the risks and benefits associated with each ... Read Answer >>
  6. Which mutual funds have the lowest fees?

    Discover why index mutual funds are generally less expensive than actively managed funds and learn about three of the lowest-cost ... Read Answer >>
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