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Should you invest in stocks or equity mutual funds?

by Lee Mark

Stock markets are one of the most beneficial investment options in the long term, as they provide the potential for high returns on investment. A clear indication of this potential can be seen in the growth of the Sensex and Nifty during the past five years. If you are a new investor or do not have the time or expertise to conduct in-depth research and selection of individual stocks, you may find that investing directly in stocks can be difficult. An alternative to this problem is the use of mutual funds. These funds allow you to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks at a single time. This offers you a way to gain exposure to a wide variety of stocks. Read on to find out how and find out the differences between directly investing in stocks and through mutual funds.

Mutual funds vs stocks

Buying a share of stock in a company is equivalent to purchasing a fractional ownership stake in that company. When you invest in a company through the purchase of stock, your returns will be determined by the success of that particular business. When a company is successful, the value of its stock usually increases, and the owners of shares of that stock are the ones who profit financially.

A mutual fund is an investment vehicle that pools together numerous stocks, bonds, and other types of assets into a single investment. When you invest in a mutual fund, rather than a single stock, you are purchasing individual shares of the many different companies that are included in the fund as a whole. This provides you with greater market exposure.

Since mutual funds are actively managed by an investment fund manager, who is the individual responsible for implementing a fund’s investment strategy and making the behind-the-scenes trading decisions, they make a convenient investment avenue for novice investors who prefer to leave the research and stock-picking decisions to an expert. This makes mutual funds a good choice for people who are just starting out in the investment world.

Advantages of investing in mutual funds

  • A mutual fund instantly diversifies your portfolio because you get exposure to a variety of companies, industries, and sectors.
  • Investing in a mutual fund minimizes risk. It’s unlikely that every company within the fund will fall at the same time.
  • Investing in mutual funds is convenient for new investors because experts handle complex research and stock-picking decisions.
  • Typically, passively managed mutual funds such as index funds or ETFs have a lower fee structure than actively managed funds.

Advantages of investing in stocks

  • You may see higher returns than average depending on the company’s performance.
  • Investing in individual stocks means you can choose your own companies instead of relying on a fund manager.
  • The management fees of actively managed funds are avoided when you self-manage your stock picks.

Stocks vs mutual funds – which one to choose?

In order to decide whether to invest in stocks or mutual funds, you need to assess your risk appetite and investment goals. If you are willing to take on greater risk for a higher return, stocks may be a good choice. A mutual fund, on the other hand, may be a better investment if you prefer a comparatively conservative approach. You can invest in both stocks and mutual funds, but your decision ultimately depends on what your financial situation and goals are. Prior to making any investment decision, you should consult a financial advisor.


Mutual funds and stocks both offer advantages and disadvantages. While stocks offer high returns, they also carry a higher level of risk. For new investors, mutual funds offer diversification, lower risk, and convenience. You should consult a financial advisor for guidance when deciding between stocks and mutual funds, based on your risk appetite and investment goals



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