Should you be buying stocks or index funds in Singapore?

There are two main types of investments in Singapore: stocks and index funds. Both have pros and cons, so it can be challenging to decide on a suitable investment for you. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of investment and help you decide which is the best option for you.

What are stocks?

Stocks are security that represents ownership in a company. When you buy stocks, you become a part-owner of that company and entitled to a portion of its profits. Stocks can be purchased individually or through mutual funds, which pool money from many investors to buy many different stocks.

Advantages of stock trading

The main advantage of buying stocks is its high growth potential. It has been shown that over the long term, stocks have consistently outperformed other types of investments such as savings accounts and bonds. However, this high return is not guaranteed, and investing in stock can also lead to significant losses.

What are index funds?

It’s a type of mutual fund that invests in various stocks within the same index (such as the S&P 500). Index funds track the performance of an index rather than beat it like active funds aim to do.

This means that they typically charge lower fees than actively managed funds since there is no need for research or analysts on staff. For investors who want diversification but don’t want to spend hours choosing individual stocks, index funds are a good option.

Advantages of index funds

The primary advantage of index funds is their low risk. Since they invest in several different stocks, the chances of losing money are lower than if you invested in a single stock. In addition, index funds typically have lower fees than other mutual funds. The disadvantage is that they usually do not offer as high a return as stocks.

Stocks vs index funds

So which is the better investment? It depends on your circumstances. If you want high potential returns with some risk, then stocks may be the better option for you.

If you prefer a more conservative investment with minimal risk, index funds may be the best choice. It’s best to discuss investment options with a financial advisor to find the best investment option for you.

Risks associated with trading index funds

Index funds pose a few risks, and new investors should be aware of these.

Lack of advice available

If you want advice on where to put your money, then an index fund may not be the right option, and it might be better off with a broker.


The most common form of index funds are tax-efficient ETFs, but there are some disadvantages to this, which you will need to check with your accountant before deciding on which one is best for you.

No research at all

If you want access to in-depth stock analysis, then an index fund is not the right option for you either. However, plenty of other options offer this, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing if you don’t mind doing your research before buying or selling shares.

Little control over investments

Compared to brokers who can allow their client’s direct influence over how their money is invested into the market, index funds generally have very little control over what happens to their money.


Both options have advantages and disadvantages. It ultimately comes down to which one is better for you. If you’re looking for a hands-off investment option with minimal fees, then an index fund may be the best way to go. Still, if you want more control over your investments and access to professional advice, then a broker might be the better option. If you want to know the best ETF to buy now, contact a reputable broker from Saxo Bank and start your investment journey.