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2 mins Read | 5 Months Ago

Best Index Funds To Invest in India in 2024

Best Index Funds to invest

 

Ever wondered about an easy way to grow your money without stressing over stock markets? That is where Index Funds come in! Index Funds have gained popularity among the investors in the recent years due to their low costs, diversification benefits and simplicity. They track a specific market index, such as the S&P 500 or the Nifty 50 Mutual Fund and provide broad exposure to various asset classes. For investors looking to invest in the stock market, several Index Funds offer a smart and efficient way to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks. This blog will discuss some of the best Index Funds to invest in India in 2024, their details and how you can leverage them to enhance your investment portfolio.

Understanding Index Funds & How They Work

Investors seeking consistent and predictable returns often opt for Index Funds as their preferred investment option. These funds track a market index, striving for near-perfect replication of the underlying index's performance. One distinctive feature of the Index Funds renders them highly appealing to conservative participants in the equity market.

The simplicity in a passive investment strategy makes Index Funds attractive to a majority of the investors. This contrasts the actively managed funds, where fund managers actively alter the portfolio compositions. Adopting a passive approach eliminates the risks associated with the subjective managerial decisions, catering to a diverse range of risk appetites.

While Index Funds provide a secure and predictable investment environment, it is essential to note that the gains may not surpass the index rate. For investors willing to embrace higher risks in pursuit of potentially larger returns, actively managed Equity Funds might be a more suitable choice.

Some Index Funds plan options 

  • ICICI Prudential Nifty 50 Index Plan - Direct Plan Dividend

  • ICICI Prudential Nifty 50 Index Plan - Dividend

  • ICICI Prudential Nifty 50 Index Plan - Direct Plan

  • ICICI Prudential Nifty 50 Index Plan

Best Index Funds in india for 2024

Index Fund

Minimum SIP Investment

3-year return

Expense Ratio

ICICI Prudential Nifty 50 Index Direct Plan-Growth

Rs 100

16.34%

0.17%

Motilal Oswal Nifty Small Cap 250 Index Fund Direct - Growth

 

Rs 500

33.64%

0.36%

Nippon India Nifty Small Cap 250 Index Fund Direct - Growth

 

Rs 1,000

33.50%

0.32%

DSP Nifty 50 Equal Weight Index Fund Direct - Growth

Rs 100

22.94%

0.40%

Canara Robeco Small Cap Fund Direct - Growth

Rs 1,000

37.33%

0.44%

Factors to consider when investing in Index Funds

When considering investing in Index Funds, it is important to understand the factors that affect their performance. Some of these factors have been discussed below.

  1. Passive management

Index Funds distinguish themselves through their passive investment approach. Unlike actively managed funds, these funds refrain from making frequent adjustments to their stock holdings. Instead, they strictly follow a predetermined rule, aiming to replicate the performance of a specific market index. This means that the fund managers do not engage in continuous stock selection and trading, emphasising the importance of understanding and appreciating this distinctive aspect for the potential investors.

  1. Risk and returns

The main aspect of the Index Funds is their stability, particularly during the market upswings. Their passive management style, characterised by a lack of frequent trading, contributes to a smoother ride through the market fluctuations. However, it is crucial to recognise that, despite this stability, Index Funds may encounter challenges. To navigate these challenges effectively, investors may find it difficult to complement their Index Fund investments with allocations to actively managed Equity Funds during the periods of heightened market uncertainty. This strategic blending helps strike a balance between stability and adaptability within an investment portfolio.

  1. Returns and tracking errors

The returns an Index Fund generates are directly linked to the performance of the underlying index it seeks to replicate. Monitoring the concept of ‘tracking errors’ becomes important for investors seeking precision in performance replication. Tracking errors represent the differences between the actual performance of the fund and the targeted index. Optimal decision making in selecting an Index Fund involves considering and minimising these tracking errors, ensuring a closer alignment between the fund's returns and the performance of the chosen index.

  1. Expense ratio

The cost-effectiveness of the Index Funds is a defining characteristic, primarily attributable to a low expense ratio. This ratio signifies the percentage of total assets that the fund charges for managing investments. The low expense ratio is a result of the passive nature of Index Funds, as they do not employ complex investment strategies that could incur higher costs. While the appeal of lower costs is evident, investors should conduct a careful review of the expense ratio. Understanding this ratio is essential, as it directly influences the cost efficiency, making Index Funds an attractive choice for those who prioritise efficient cost management in their investment strategies.

  1. Investment horizon

The suitability of Index Funds aligns particularly well with investors who maintain a longer-term perspective, ideally exceeding seven years. While short-term fluctuations are an inherent aspect of any investment, a more extended investment horizon allows these fluctuations to average out over time. This emphasises the importance of adopting a patient and strategic approach for long-term success with Index Funds. It underscores the significance of aligning investment goals with an appropriate time horizon, recognising that the benefits of Index Funds tend to manifest more prominently over extended periods. 

  1. Tax implications

Tax considerations play a crucial role in optimising the gains from the Index Fund investments. Dividend distributions and capital gains within Index Funds are subject to taxation. The mechanism involves a Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT), a fixed rate of 10% applied when dividends are distributed. Additionally, capital gains tax is contingent on the holding period. Short-term capital gains (realised within a year) are subject to higher tax rates compared to long-term capital gains (held for more than a year). A proper understanding of these tax implications is necessary for investors seeking to maximise returns while managing their tax liabilities effectively.

  1. Diversification

Seeking a well-rounded mix of different stocks within a single investment? Index Funds, particularly those tracking broad market indices like Total Market Index (TMI), offer an extensive level of diversification. The TMI and similar benchmarks consist of a wide range of stocks across various sectors, contributing to a diversified portfolio. Investors interested in achieving a balanced and diversified investment strategy should see the inherent diversity associated with funds tracking these broad indices. This diversification not only helps reduce risks associated with the individual stocks but also contributes to a more comprehensive investment portfolio.

Benefits of Investing in Best Indian Index Funds?

Index funds are an attractive option for investors aiming to build a strong portfolio in the financial sector. Moreover, investing in the best Indian index funds comes with a wide range of benefits:

1. Cost Efficiency:

The best Indian index funds offer cost-effective investment opportunities and passive management strategies. Compared to actively managed counterparts, they boast lower expenses. Yet, they can potentially yield higher returns for investors due to their passive management approach. This is because a significant portion of their management is dedicated to tracking market indices, thereby reducing the need for costly active management.

2. Diversification:

Index funds give exposure to their investors and come with a variety of stocks within the index they track. With this diversification, investors can have risks spread across other profiles and companies, making the investment worthwhile. It also reduces the risk and impact of a single stock's performance on the overall portfolio. Investors in this fund are exposed to a broader market without spending excessive time on research plans.

3. Accessibility and Simplicity:

Investing in the best Indian index funds is very simple and easily accessible to investors.  Whether through online platforms or traditional methods, there is no stress in the process as it is straightforward for every investor.  Irrespective of the fact, you can have the best index fund in easier steps.

4. Transparency and Stability:

Index funds are processed with full transparency due to their transparent and accessible features. Furthermore, this is also easy for investors to handle. This transparency provides investors with a clear understanding of their investment, including their fund management. Additionally, the passive nature of index funds results in lower portfolio turnover, which comes with stability and avoids sudden changes in investment strategy.

How do I Choose the Best Indian Index Fund to invest in?

You can check for the given factors and make an informed decision on selecting the best Indian index fund for your investment portfolio:

  • Expense Ratio: Go with funds with lower expense ratios which helps you maximise your returns.

  • Tracking Error: Look for funds holding minimal tracking error so you can have closer return to your mirror index.

  • Investment Horizon: Choose funds that align with the financial and investment goals you have set, including the timeline, mostly long-term for index funds.

  • Risk: Assess your risk tolerance and go with the funds that align well with your financial conditions.

  • Financial Goals: Ensure the fund aligns with your financial objectives and risk appetite.

  • Performance History: Evaluate past performance and consistency in delivering returns.

  • Fund Manager Reputation: Research the fund manager's track record and expertise.

  • Transparency: Prefer funds with transparent holdings and regular portfolio updates.

Who should invest in Index Funds?

Index Funds provide an attractive investment avenue for a wide range of investors:

  1. Index Funds are ideal for long-term investors due to their consistent and cost-effective approach to market-aligned returns during a specific period.

  2. Risk-averse investors prefer Index Funds, as they hold lower risk levels compared to actively managed funds, which gives them a sense of stability in their portfolios.

  3. Investors who are looking for diversification benefits can also choose Index Funds, as they provide instant diversification across multiple sectors, reducing the impact of a single stock.

  4. Investors who prefer a hands-off approach when it comes to investing find Index Funds appealing due to their less active involvement along with market exposure.

  5. Cost-conscious investors go with these Index Funds for their broad diversification which comes with a low cost making them an attractive option providing an all-around investment profile.

How to start investing in Index funds with ICICI Bank?

ICICI Bank offers an easy, paperless, and digital investment experience, which allows you to diversify your portfolio conveniently.

To start investing in the best Indian index funds with ICICI Bank:

  • First, check out and go to your ICICI Bank Net Banking account. Visit the Investments and Insurance section and select "Buy Mutual Funds."

  • Choose the option for Index funds from the given categories.

  • Then, select the specific Index fund in which you plan to invest and proceed with the process.

Conclusion

The transparency and dependability inherent in ICICI Bank's Index Funds position it as a premier choice within the rapidly evolving nature of the Indian investment market. This 2024 guide directs investors to the funds promising growth in line with the market.

While active management may seem attractive, picking Index Funds ensures stability and low costs, offering a chance for steady growth. Including the Nifty 50 Mutual Fund adds to this stability. It is crucial for the investors to be careful, assess risks and consider wealth goals before entering the dynamic financial environment.

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