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Created on 19.02.2018 | Updated on 13.05.2019

What types of fund are there?

Not all funds are the same. As with other types of securities, there are also different types of funds. Find out about the most important ones.

Explanatory video on funds: a fund is like a beautiful bouquet of flowers consisting of several securities. It is arranged and looked after by a professional fund manager.

What different types of funds are available?

  • Equity funds  invest money in shares. They often focus on particular sectors, regions or countries. Equity funds entail slightly higher risk than other types of funds but can also generate better returns .
  • Bond funds  invest primarily in corporate and government bonds. There are also bonds for more cautious investors as well as those wishing to assume more risk. However, bonds with a good rating  are particularly well suited to more careful investors.
  • Asset allocation funds  invest in shares and bonds which are sometimes supplemented with commodities and real estate. Investment in different investment classes spreads the risk even more widely. 
  • Real estate funds  invest in real estate companies, housing developments, other real estate funds or plots of land. This means investors can gain a foothold in the real estate market even with small amounts of money.
  • Hedge funds invest in an even wider array of specialized investment products and sometimes carry out short sales which can generate profit even when prices are falling. When investing in hedge funds it is vitally important to understand what the fund manager’s investment strategy is and what fees are charged. Investors then have to decide for themselves whether this will enable them to achieve positive performance.

The various types of funds can also be managed actively or passively. Here are the differences:

Active and passive funds

  • Active funds are actively managed by their fund managers , i.e. more of certain equities or bonds are purchased. The objective is to exceed the performance of a particular index . However, this is not always achieved. Active funds can nevertheless enable you to generate the same return with lower risk than the index in some cases.
  • Passive funds precisely track a selected index, such as the Swiss Market Index (SMI) in Switzerland. This precise tracking is known as passive investment. The fund’s performance is therefore almost identical to that of the index. There are no charges associated with the index, but fees are incurred for the investment in passive funds. Well-known examples in this group are exchange-traded funds  (ETFs), which are usually managed passively.
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