02.How to invest
This article focuses on Australian share index funds; the table, details some of the main unlisted ones (not bought and sold on the Australian Stock Exchange like shares) and where they're available.
There are several avenues for investing in index funds:
Index funds from companies such as BankWest and Vanguard Investments are available direct to consumers. Go to our fund comparison table or more.
Wraps and master trusts
Most include index funds on their investment menus. However, this can be an expensive way to invest in the index, depending on what fees you negotiate. You probably wouldn't open a new master trust or wrap account just to access index funds; several are available outside these platforms, often at lower costs. Index investing through a master trust could mean you pay higher management fees and adviser commissions than if you invested in an index fund available direct to retail investors. Go to our fund comparison table and see our report on wraps / master trusts for more.
Many corporate super funds and master trusts (see above), as well as some industry funds, offer index funds on their investment menus. Check our table for the largest 20 super fundsoffering index options. We also compare new low-cost entrants like max Super and Virgin Superannuation which use indexing as their core approach.
Advisers, financial planners and discount brokers (but don't forget to check out their fees and commissions).
Exchange traded funds, a type of index fund that can be bought and sold like shares, are available through stockbrokers.