Index trading is defined as the buying and selling of a specific stock market index. Investors will speculate on the price of an index rising or falling which then determines whether they will be buying or selling.
Since an index represents the performance of a group of stocks, you will not be buying any actual underlying stock, but the weighted average performance of these stocks, not every stock has the same per cent impact to an index. Big market cap stocks heavily affect the direction of an index. When the price of shares for the companies within an index goes up, the value of the index increases. If the price instead falls, the value of the index will drop.
The ability to go "long" or "short" means that you can take advantage of stock indices prices falling or rising with the help of CFDs or options derivatives.
Diversifying your portfolio among so many companies, by investing money into just one index fund, ensures that the value of your portfolio is not overly correlated with the fortunes of any one company listed in the index.
Lower turnover ratio
The turnover ratio measures the percentage of a fund's holdings replaced in a single year. Index funds have a lower turnover ratio than actively managed funds. Index fund turnover ratios are usually about 1% to 2% per year, compared to 20% or higher for some actively managed mutual funds.
Lower taxes on capital gains
If a fund sells a stock for profit, then the difference between the initial purchase price and the final sale price is considered a capital gain. Funds with higher turnover ratios accrue capital gains more frequently, which results in more taxes owed by the fund's investors.
A major benefit of investing in index funds is that the costs, including taxes and management fees, may be lower than those associated with other types of investment funds.
Individual companies both outperform and underperform the market, but, in general, the overall stock market increases in value over time. As a result, the index can help you identify the trend direction and filter individual investing actions, which makes them an excellent value for any investor.
How Does Index Trading Work?
Pick an index
There are hundreds of different indexes you can track using index funds. The most popular index is the S&P 500 Index, which includes 500 of the top companies in the U.S. stock market.
Choose the right fund for your index
Once you've chosen an index, you can generally find at least one index fund that tracks it. For popular indexes like the S&P 500, you might have a dozen or more choices all tracking the same index.
To buy shares in your chosen index fund, open a brokerage account with one of our brokers that allows you to buy and sell shares of the index fund you're interested in.
Enjoy the Investing Journey
Index funds offer investors of all skill levels a simple, successful way to invest. If you're interested but aren't excited about doing a lot of research, then index funds can be a great solution to achieve your financial goals.
Features of our Index Trading Platform
Global & EU Regulated Network (Soley CFDs for index trading)
ZuluTrade is established globally, it is trusted by millions of users worldwide and is regulated in the EU.
With features like Stop Loss/Take Profit, Negative balance protection and Trailing Stop you can manage your losses and profits at the levels predetermined by you.
The Trading Community
Join the ZuluTrade community, discuss trading ideas and opportunities, or simply follow other traders.
24/5 Live Support
You are our priority! Our friendly Customer Support is always by your side, ready to answer your questions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Trading Forex CFDs, derivatives and other financial instruments involves substantial risk and there is always the potential for loss. Your trading results may vary. Because the risk factor is high in the financial markets including foreign exchange market trading, only genuine "risk" funds should be used in such trading. If you do not have the extra capital that you can afford to lose, you should not trade in the financial markets including foreign exchange market.
Past performance is not indicative of future results.
Hypothetical performance results have many inherent limitations, some of which are described below. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown. In fact, there are frequently sharp differences between hypothetical performance results and the actual results subsequently achieved by any particular trading program.
One of the limitations of hypothetical performance results is that they are generally prepared with the benefit of hindsight. In addition, hypothetical trading does not involve financial risk, and no hypothetical trading record can completely account for the impact of financial risk in actual trading. For example, the ability to withstand losses or to adhere to a particular trading program in spite of trading losses are material points which can also adversely affect actual trading results. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results and all of which can adversely affect actual trading results. Please check our full disclaimer.