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An index fund is a fund that pools investors capital for the purpose of investing in securities, typically a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF), that aims to replicate the movements of an index of a specific financial market.
A well-managed index fund provides investors with a simple way to access such advantages as low costs, improved tax efficiency, style consistency and reduced manager risk. Investors should be mindful that not all index funds are low cost and that some indexes can be exploited by active investors when the indexes periodically reconstitute.
The key measure for accessing an index fund's efficiency is how well it tracks its benchmark index. (more...)
This week in financial history
- 1694 - The Royal Charter was sealed establishing the Bank of England on July 27, 1694. Source:Timeline: Bank of England
- 1866 - The opening of Cyrus W. Field's Atlantic Cable led to inauguration of arbitrage in which brokers profited by price differences between New York and London markets for U.S. shares.(Source)
- 1971 - Wells Fargo launched the worlds first stock-index fund with $6 million from the pension fund of Samsonite Corp. Source:Peter L. Bernstein, Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street (Free Press, New York, 1992), p. 247.
- 1990 - The Ho Chi Minh City Stock exchange officially starts trading. Source: Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (Vietnamese) (Google Translate)
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