Index investing became available to investors in the 1970s and has since become universally adopted. Today, there are funds tracking virtually every global market.

There are two commonly used index investing vehicles: traditional index tracker funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs). The two are extremely similar – both are designed to deliver the performance of an index (minus the fee).

At BlackRock we offer over 300 index funds across index mutual funds and ETFs.

Equity funds

Below is a compilation of our index tracker funds and ETFs for key exposures:

Fixed Income funds

Below is a compilation of our index tracker funds and ETFs for key exposures:

Choosing an index fund

The fundamental difference between index tracker funds and ETFs is how and when you can buy them.

Index tracker fund ETF
How to buy
  • Trading platforms
  • A stock broker
  • Many trading platforms
When to buy
  • Single price and single trading point during the day
  • Any time during open market hours

Why BlackRock for index investing

BlackRock pioneered the indexing industry, establishing the first institutional index in the 1970s (originally Wells Fargo, acquired by BlackRock). Today, we are one of the world’s largest providers of both index tracker funds and ETFs and offer:

  • An extensive index offering, with over 300 funds across all asset classes
  • A disciplined approach focused on managing return, risk and cost
  • Outstanding client service
  • Strong operational technology platform

Benefits of index investing

Index funds aim to achieve diversification and returns in line with the market, with low management fees. The key benefits of index investing are:

  1. Diversification

    Index funds are made up of a broad portfolio of individual securities so they’re usually diversified in line with the index they track. This can help lessen the risk that comes with investing in a single security.

  2. Cost-effectiveness

    The average management fee of an index fund is generally lower than an active fund invested in the same market or sector.

  3. Transparency

    Index funds are transparent in their investment objective – to achieve results in line with the index they are tracking. They also tend to be highly transparent in their holdings. For example, iShares publish the holdings of each of their funds daily on their website.

  4. Consistency of market returns

    Index funds aim to deliver the returns of their chosen market by investing in the securities that make up the relevant index (less fees). However index funds won't provide the opportunity to outperform benchmark.

  5. Efficient building blocks

    Index funds can provide the foundation or starting point for a diversified portfolio, with low-cost exposure to a given segment of the market.

  6. Accessibility

    Both index tracker funds and ETFs are available on many platforms, and ETFs are listed on stock exchanges and can be bought and sold via a stock broker.

Insights and Resources


The Art

A detailed framework to help you perform thorough due diligence