Financial markets are full of potential, and choosing from various kinds of investment or trading can be difficult for novice traders. Amongst many types of investments and trading scenarios, Mutual Funds and Stock Trading are among the widely chosen and preferred methods in the world of investments. Here we will discuss both types of methods, their benefits, and drawbacks in a simplified way and help you determine which is a better investment opportunity.
Mutual Funds: What exactly are they?
Mutual funds are like a big collection of funds from retail investors (normal people like us) who want good and safe returns but do not have the skills to manage their money. Investment managers manage mutual funds, and they are the ones who will be doing everything – starting with choosing the assets and which funds to invest where. They will invest in various assets on your behalf, including bonds, stocks, and other securities.
On the other hand, Stock Trading involves buying and selling various types of shares of stock on a stock exchange. It simply means you have purchased a small piece/ share of that specific company whose stock you just purchased. The stock’s value will depend on the company’s performance and vary accordingly. Remember that numerous outside factors can influence stock prices, and depending on that, you will be benefitted or lose the stocks – in other words making or losing money.
Benefits of Mutual Funds:
Diversification and Lesser Risks:
Investing in Mutual Funds means you have a variety of assets that reduce risk by lesser exposure to associated risks. Especially for novice investors, diversification offered by Mutual Funds is a greater tool.
Expert financial advisors handle investments in Mutual Funds. They help make well-informed choices while choosing various factors associated with Mutual Funds, which can also lead to gaining experience in Mutual Funds for yourself.
Investing in Mutual Funds does not require you to start with huge investments; novice investors can start with relatively smaller amounts of as little as 500 rupees, and as you gain experience and knowledge, you can increase the capital later for future enhancements.
Having Mutual Funds for a longer period means you will have a steady income over the passing of time. So for investors who tend to have existential planning for future investments, Mutual Funds would be one of those golden opportunities which will get you higher returns over time.
Drawbacks of Mutual Funds:
Upkeep Fees and Charges:
They are known as expense ratios, which you need to pay for the professional management of your Mutual Funds. So consider these fees and compare a few before investing in Mutual Funds.
Unfortunately, not all Mutual Funds deliver higher returns, and some of the time might underperform depending on the market trends and fund management. So there’s little consistency guarantee of any kind.
As you will have the fund manager manage your Mutual Funds, you have partial control over each of the assets, leaving you without full control of any decisions. While this turns out good for most people, finance-savvy people may not like it.
Stock Trading: What You Need to Know
Stock trading means buying and selling various company stocks, and depending on the stock performance, they will be benefitting or losing stocks, i.e., money they have paid to purchase/ sell those stocks. It is a more hands-on approach; you can make decisions and carry them out as you see fit.
Needless to say, to gain profits – traders must have an eye on market trends and associated knowledge based on which they will be making all the vital decisions that will determine whether they will benefit from it or the opposite.
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Advantages of Stock Trading:
Buying a certain company’s stock indirectly makes you a partial owner because of the stock ownership. It would benefit those interested in owning the companies they believe will grow over time.
Higher Return Potential:
Predicting the correct stocks leads to greater profits, which means you have the potential to gain higher returns compared to Mutual Funds. While mutual funds give average returns of 13-20% percent, stocks can 10x, 100x or even 1000x your investment within a short or long span of time.
For investors looking for short-term investment and expecting to win quick profits, this would be an ambitious opportunity for them; if combined with market trends knowledge – it can result in a greater way of receiving higher benefits throughout the short term.
Drawbacks of Stock Trading:
Stock Trading involves comparatively higher risks, especially for beginners who have just started investing. It might result in a significant loss of capital if you make un-informed decisions without regard for the market analysis.
There can be various influencing factors such as global economic events, specific market conditions of an industry, and more which can easily create conflicts in the stock pricing and might result in losses. Fluctuations can be frequent, which may dishearten unprepared investors.
To make successful and profitable stock predictions, one needs to have deep market analysis by keeping up with the latest market trends. All such things, with market monitoring, take more time, and then there are chances that you will be able to keep up with the dynamics of the Stock Market Trading over time.
So, what’s the difference between a Mutual Fund and Stock Trade?
Investing in Mutual Funds means that you have pooled through diverse assets and then got to choose from a wide range – on the other hand, Stock Trading means you will be investing in an individual company only. So if the company is in profit, you will be making profits; if not, you will be at a loss.
Investing in Mutual Funds does not require specific expertise to get started and involved in it. Regarding Stock Trading, one needs to have active involvement and a deep understanding of the market trends and more – to choose the right company stock to invest in and benefit from.
Because there’s diversification in the Mutual Fund scenario, there’s lesser risk associated. Stock Trading increases exposure due to individual stock volatility, which means a higher risk is associated.
Every time you buy or sell a stock, you need to pay the brokerage, which is generally comparatively higher. On the contrary, for Mutual Funds, you will be able to negotiate lower fees with brokers due to being pooled together.
Mutual Funds offer higher returns over time, which would benefit those who want to invest for longer durations. Regarding Stock Trading, it is more suitable for investors interested in making quick profits and ready to get on with higher risks.
Both of these investments come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks, especially for novice investors. Depending on your individual financial goals, mindset, and risk tolerance, you can choose which one you want to go with. No matter which approach you choose, various dynamic factors will affect each.
Over time, as you continue exploring various investment opportunities, you will gain a wider and better approach toward what you want to continue with for future investments. It is always a smart choice to begin with expert assistance, and when you feel ready to take on your ventures by yourself, you can fly solo!