How to Invest in Index Funds in Nigeria

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If you’re considering investing your money in index funds, you’ve come to the right place. This article will guide you on how to invest in index funds, provide an overview of what index funds are, and recommend some of the best-performing index funds to buy both in Nigeria and abroad.

What are Index Funds?

An index fund is a type of investment that pools money from multiple investors to buy a diversified portfolio of stocks that tracks a specific market index. By investing in an index fund, you can own a small percentage of a broad range of companies in the index, which can help you to reduce risk.

Index funds can include more than 100 companies in the index market, and they are a popular and passive investment strategy that seeks to replicate the performance of the underlying index.

Unlike actively managed funds, index funds are highly liquid, just like the stocks they track. This means you can buy and sell them easily and quickly, similar to how you would buy and sell individual stocks and equities.

Over time, index funds have been proven to perform better than the average investor or investor groups that use fundamental analysis to invest. This is because index funds provide exposure to a diversified portfolio of stocks, spreading out the risk of individual stock performance and impacting the overall return on investment.

In my view, an index fund performs well when the positive performance of good stocks outweighs the negative performance of bad stocks. However, there may be times when the majority of the stocks in the index fund perform poorly, which can negatively impact the fund’s performance.

It’s important to note that the yield of a typical index fund can vary significantly, ranging anywhere from 2% to 200% annually. This range indicates that, on average, index funds tend to produce positive returns. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to understand that past performance is not a guarantee of future returns and that there is always some level of risk involved when investing in the stock market.


Pros and Cons of Investing in Index Funds

As with anything in life, before you financially commit to something, make sure you review the pros and cons first.

Index Fund Pros:

  • Low cost fees
  • Predictable performance
  • Low turnover
  • High diversification

Index Fund Cons:

  • Less flexibility
  • Risk of underperformance
  • No outperformance
  • Limited control


  1. Low management fees: Index funds have lower management fees compared to actively managed funds because they don’t require a lot of research and analysis. This means investors can save more money in the long run.
  2. Predictable performance: Since index funds track a particular market index, their performance is generally predictable. Investors can expect their returns to be in line with the performance of the index it tracks.
  3. Low turnover: Index funds have a low turnover rate since they don’t engage in frequent buying and selling of stocks. This reduces transaction costs and can lead to more tax-efficient investing.
  4. Diversification: Index funds invest in a diverse range of stocks in different industries and sectors, providing investors with a level of diversification. This helps to spread out investment risks and reduce the impact of any one stock on the overall portfolio.


  1. Less flexibility: Index funds have limited flexibility compared to actively managed funds. This is because index funds aim to track a specific market index and cannot make any changes to the holdings.
  2. Risk of underperformance: Although index funds are designed to track a particular index, there is always a risk of underperformance. Economic downturns or other unforeseen events can cause the index itself to underperform, resulting in losses for investors.
  3. No outperformance: Index funds are designed to match the performance of the market index they track, and therefore, there is little to no possibility of outperformance.
  4. Limited control: Investors have limited control over index funds as they cannot make changes to the holdings. The fund manager’s role is to replicate the index, leaving investors with no say in the selection of individual stocks or the overall composition of the portfolio.

In my personal view, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Why Invest in Index Funds?

When it comes to starting your investment journey, there are various options available, each with its own set of pros and cons. However, among all the options, investing in index funds stands out as one of the most compelling choices.

Index funds offer a low-cost, safe, and diversified investment strategy that provides exposure to a broad range of stocks, making them an attractive option for both novice and experienced investors. In short, if you’re looking for a simple and effective way to invest your money, you can’t go wrong with index funds.

Top performing Index Funds in Nigeria

  • The Standard IBTC ETF 30
  • Vetiva Griffen 30
  • NGX Oil and Gas
  • NGX Afrinvest Div Yield Index
  • NGX Premium
  • NGX Pension
  • NGX Industrial

Top Index Funds in other parts of the World

  • S&P500
  • MSCI EAFE Index
  • FTSE 100
  • Russell 2000
  • Nikkei 225


How to Choose an Index Fund?

In Nigeria, the top-performing index funds are typically found in the oil and gas industry. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, such as the US, one of the most popular index fund is the S&P500. This particular index fund is widely used due to the fact that it consists of some of the largest and most developed companies.

As the name implies, the S&P500 index fund tracks about 500 companies. By investing in this index fund, you are automatically investing in all 500 of these companies, which are part of the index market.

This makes it an attractive option for investors who want to diversify their portfolio and gain exposure to a broad range of companies. In addition, the S&P500 has historically delivered strong returns, making it a popular choice among investors looking for long-term growth opportunities.

How to Invest in Index Funds in Nigeria

If you have made up your mind in investing in index funds, there are several crucial steps you should take to get started. Here are some of the most important ones to consider:

  • Step 1: Research different index funds: The first step to consider is researching different index funds. You will need to consider the fees, performance, and the fund’s investment strategy. I will suggest you select an index fund that aligns with your investment goals, risk tolerance, and investment time horizon.
  • Step 2: Open a brokerage account: After selecting a suitable index fund, the next step is to open a brokerage account. This is an account with a financial platform that allows you to buy and sell stocks. You will need to choose a broker that meets your investment needs, such as low fees, easy-to-use platform, and excellent customer service.
  • Step 3: Fund your account: Once you have a brokerage account, you’ll need to fund it. This means depositing money into the account, which will be used to buy index funds. You can fund your account through the payment options provided by your broker.
  • Step 4: Buy shares: With money in your brokerage account, you can now buy shares of your chosen index fund. This process is usually straightforward and can be done using the broker’s online trading platform. You’ll need to specify how many shares you want to buy and at what price.
  • Step 5: Monitor your investment: After buying the shares, you’ll need to monitor your investment regularly. This means keeping track of the performance of your index fund and comparing it to its benchmark. You’ll also need to evaluate the fund’s strategy periodically and make adjustments if necessary.
  • Step 6: Consider automatic investments: Finally, it’s a good idea to consider setting up automatic investments. This means automatically depositing a fixed amount of money into your brokerage account at regular intervals, such as every month. This can help you take advantage of dollar-cost averaging and make investing a regular habit.

That’s A Wrap!

If you’re a long-term, passive investor, index funds could be an excellent option. By conducting proper research and developing a sound investment strategy, index funds can make a valuable addition to any investment portfolio.

Interestingly, even Warren Buffet, one of the world’s wealthiest people, recommends index fund investing. So, why not consider it?

In my experience, many people have already begun investing in index funds, and I have personally found it to be a beneficial investment strategy.

So, if you’re thinking about it, there’s no time like today to start index investing. Your bank account will thank you in the future.

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