Researching the market to give a good profit
Most collective investment schemes are actively managed. The fund manager is paid to research the market, so they can buy the assets that they think might give a good profit. Depending on the fund’s objectives, the fund manager will aim to give you either better-than-average growth for your investment (beat the market) or to get steadier returns than would be achieved simply by tracking the markets.
Passive management – tracker funds
You might prefer to track the market. If the index goes up, so will your fund value, but it will also fall in line with the index. A ‘market index tracker’ follows the performance of all the shares in a particular market. In the UK, the most commonly used market index is the FTSE 100, a group of the 100 biggest companies based upon share value.
If a fund buys shares in all 100 companies, in the same proportions as their market value, its value will rise or fall in line with the change in the value of the FTSE 100.
Funds that track an index are called ‘tracker funds’
Tracker funds don’t need to be managed so actively. You still pay some fees, but not as much as with an actively managed fund. Because of the fees, your real returns aren’t quite as good as the actual growth of the market – but they should be close.