ETFs vs. Mutual Funds

Mutual Funds are when a group of individuals are paid to create a portfolio of stocks or bonds, often in an attempt to beat a market index.

Mutual Funds hold around 50-100 different stocks at a time, and their thought process is likely, "Should we buy or sell Apple today?" The average Mutual Fund charges 1.19% and you'll never see a bill - they just take it.

You often don't get what you pay for with Mutual Funds. A recent study showed that on average 92% of Mutual Funds underperform their benchmarks (i.e. S&P 500).

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) do not have a group of people trying to outperform a benchmark, it merely tries to be the benchmark.

For example, you can buy the S&P 500 ETF, and it will hold the 500 stocks that Standard and Poor's select. For the most part, an ETF aims to provide returns of the benchmark, after fees. ETF fees are generally much lower than Mutual Fund fees, some charging as low as 0.05%. 

Our portfolios are comprised 100% of ETFs. All things being equal, we favor the lower cost ETFs. The ETF fees we use cost around 0.35%. To us, that is the cost to play the game.