Index funds are simple, low-cost ways to gain exposure to markets. While stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate have been around for centuries, index funds have revolutionised how investors access these assets and build portfolios to seek outcomes that matter to them.

Index funds are made up of a broad portfolio of individual securities and can help lessen the risk that comes with investing in a single security.
Index funds are straightforward and transparent in their investment objective – to achieve results in line with their market benchmark. The methodology of the underlying benchmark indices and in most cases, the holdings in the index funds are publicly available.
Index funds aim to deliver the returns of their chosen market by investing in the securities that make up the relevant index. So an investor who wishes to gain exposure to the Swiss Market Index (SMI) can expect to receive returns (less fees) in line with that index.
Index products can provide the foundation or starting point for a diversified portfolio, with low-cost exposure to a given segment of the market. In other words, using index funds in your portfolio can free-up funds for other investment.
Index funds offer a cost-effective route to many markets which would otherwise be expensive to access, for example emerging markets equity.