Mutual funds vs ETFs is a debate going all over the world especially in the United States. In this post, we have a look at mutual fund vs etf performance, performance and how to chose one over the other.
In last few years actively managed mutual funds have not been able to outperform passive index funds. This has called into question high fee mutual funds charge. Current mutual fund fee in United states is about 1 %. While the passive funds charge about 0.05%.
A similar debate has also started in India on whether ETFs can challenge and replace Mutual funds. Let’s first understand both investment options.
Exchange Traded Funds aka ETFs.
ETFs are a class of security freely traded in the market.ETFs are pegged to or track a particular index, commodity or some other asset class in the market.ETFs are traded on the stock market like a common stock. ETFs as they are freely traded behave like stocks and hence have fluctuating prices.
Mutual funds are actively managed investment schemes which pool together money from individual investors. Which in turn is invested in securities as per the objectives of the scheme.Based on objectives of the scheme mutual funds can choose to invest in equities, debt securities or a combination of the two.In India, mutual funds are legally structured as trusts. Investors are allotted mutual funds units against their investments. The price of the unit popularly called as NAV is decided every day at the end of the market.
Mutual fund vs ETFs ( Comparison)
ETFs are low-cost passive investments which require a trading account to invest. Price discovery happens dynamically in the stock market. Mutual funds, on the other hand, are actively managed investments which can be directly bought from the fund house. Because of active management, mutual funds have a higher fee and in some cases also levy exit charges. There are no entry or exit charges for ETFs.
The mutual fund’s transaction price is the end of the day NAV. ETFs on the other hand have dynamic trading price as the transaction price.You would need to have a trading account to invest in ETFs while mutual funds can be directly bought from fund houses and hence do not require a trading fund.
The mutual fund’s transaction price is the end of the day NAV while ETFs have dynamic trading price as the transaction price.You would need to have a trading account to invest in ETFs. Mutual funds can be directly bought from fund houses and hence do not require a trading fund.
|Management||Mutual funds are actively managed funds||ETFs are generally track an index and hence they are passively managed|
|Fees/Expenses||Mutual funds have high fee can range from 1% to 3%||ETFs have lower fees can vary from 0.1 % to 0.2 %|
|Price Discovery||Price discovery happens at the end of the day.||Price discovery is dynamic|
|Entry/Exit Fees||There are exit fees for mutual funds in India||No entry or exit fees|
|Transparency||They disclose holdings at the end of the quarter||Diauly disclosure of holdings|
|Transaction Price||Daily NAV is the transaction price||Transaction price is the current traded price|
|Trading Account||No trading account is required to buy mutual funds||A trading account is required to buy the mutual fund|
|Brokerage||you do not pay brokerage fee as no trading account is involved||a brokerage fee needs to be paid for every transaction|
Mutual funds vs ETFs in India
- Mutual funds have generally performed index ETFs in the market.
- There are no extra tax incentives for ETFs as in US market hence lower popularity
- Low fees in ETFs means not may people are interested in distributing ETFs in the Indian market.
- The breadth of ETFs available in Indian market is very low.
For more details read my post on 7 reasons why ETFs are not popular in India