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Mutual funds vs ETFs in Singapore

In the financial world, there are always a lot of different investment vehicles from which to choose. This is especially true in Singapore as it is considered one of the most financially-savvy nations. Two popular investment vehicles growing in popularity over the past few years are mutual funds and the exchange-traded fund or ETF. The following article looks at these two types of investments and their prospects for investors.

What are mutual funds?

There are many different types of mutual funds, also known as pooled investments. These can range from indexes to stocks and bonds to sectors and even other countries’ stock markets.

Mutual funds pool together large amounts of money from multiple investors allowing them to make more significant investments with lower fees than if they were investing themselves. The fund then divides the money up and invests it accordingly, thus giving investors a diverse range of investment options.

What are ETFs?

ETFs are similar to mutual funds as they are also pooled investments; however, they are traded on exchanges like stocks. This means they can be bought and sold throughout the day, just like any other stock. ETFs are made up of a basket of assets, which could be anything from stocks and bonds to commodities or currencies. Because they track an underlying index or asset, ETFs provide investors with exposure to a particular sector or market without purchasing all the underlying stocks or bonds.

Mutual funds vs ETFs

There is no straightforward answer when it comes to choosing between mutual funds and ETFs in Singapore. Both investment options have their pros and cons, and it ultimately depends on the individual investor’s needs and preferences.

Range of investment

One of the main advantages of mutual funds is that they offer a wide range of investment options to choose from. Investors can select a fund that focuses on a particular sector or market or choose a fund that invests in a mix of different asset types. This gives investors exposure to various markets and sectors, which can help diversify their portfolios.

Tax efficiency

On the other hand, ETFs are more tax-efficient than mutual funds. When an ETF sells underlying security, it does not have to pay capital gains taxes on the sale. This is because ETFs are considered more like stocks than actual funds.


 As far as expenses are concerned, mutual funds tend to have higher fees than ETFs. This is because most mutual funds need active managers who will purchase or sell various assets within the fund depending on market conditions. However, this fee advantage could change over time since major investment companies are starting to offer indexed ETFs with low fees, making them competitive with some types of mutual funds.

Risks and rewards

Mutual funds and ETFs are typically considered long-term investments, but they also come with substantial short-term risks. Mutual funds can be adversely affected by market volatility, while ETFs are always subject to the price of the underlying assets, which could fluctuate rapidly on any given day.

However, even though they may experience more fluctuations than mutual funds in the short term, ETF prices tend to reflect the value of their underlying assets better than mutual funds because they are traded like stocks on an exchange. This gives them greater transparency making it easier for traders and investors to keep track of their performance.


While there is no ‘better’ option, many investors find that a combination of these two strategies works best for them. It is important to consider your individual needs and preferences when deciding between these two types of investments. If you are still unsure which option is best for you, speak to an investment advisor who can guide you through the process. For more on reputable online brokers Saxo Bank, visit here and start trading on a demo account today.

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