HomeMutual FundsFund of Funds - How do they work? Should You Invest?

Fund of Funds – How do they work? Should You Invest?

Investing in financial markets can be daunting, especially with the myriad of investment options available. One such option gaining popularity among investors is theĀ Fund of Funds (FoF). In this article, we’ll explore what Fund of Funds are, how they work, and why they might be a suitable choice for your investment portfolio. So, let’s dive in and demystify the world of Fund of Funds!

fund of funds

What is a Fund of Funds?

A Fund of Funds (FoF) is an investment strategy that involves pooling money from investors to invest in multiple underlying mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In simpler terms, it’s like investing in a “fund of funds.” Instead of directly investing in individual securities, you place your money into a professionally managed portfolio that holds other funds. This unique approach offers several advantages, including simplified diversification and professional expertise in managing your investments.

Understanding Diversification

Diversification is a crucial concept in investing. It involves spreading your money across various assets to reduce the impact of any single investment’s poor performance on your overall portfolio. Fund of Funds takes diversification to the next level by investing in multiple funds across different asset classes, industries, and geographies. This approach aims to mitigate risk and potentially enhance returns by capturing opportunities from different market segments.

Advantages of Fund of Funds

Professional Management

One of the most significant benefits of investing in a Fund of Funds is the access to professional fund managers. These managers possess expertise in the financial markets, constantly researching and analyzing investment opportunities. By entrusting your money to them, you benefit from their knowledge and skill in making sound investment decisions.

Diversification Simplified

Diversifying a portfolio can be a challenging task, especially for novice investors. Fund of Funds solves this problem by providing instant diversification. Instead of hand-picking individual securities, you delegate the task to the FoF manager, who allocates your investment across a variety of funds, each with its distinct set of assets and securities.

Mitigating Risk

Investing always carries some level of risk. However, Fund of Funds aims to minimize risk through diversification. If one of the underlying funds underperforms, the impact on your overall investment may be cushioned by other funds’ better performance. It’s like having a safety net for your money.

Dissecting Fund of Funds

The Underlying Funds

A Fund of Funds is a multi-layered investment. The money you invest goes into the FoF, which, in turn, invests in several underlying funds. These underlying funds can be mutual funds, ETFs, or even other FoFs. Each layer represents a different level of diversification, adding to the overall risk management strategy.

Structure and Types

Fund of Funds come in various structures and types, each catering to different investor preferences and objectives. There are conservative FoFs that focus on stable income, aggressive FoFs aiming for high growth, and balanced FoFs offering a blend of both. Additionally, some FoFs are designed for specific asset classes, such as equities, bonds, or commodities.

Performance and Fees

The performance of a Fund of Funds is determined by the collective performance of its underlying funds. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess not only the FoF’s historical returns but also the performance of the funds it invests in. It’s essential to keep an eye on the expense ratio too, as it affects your overall returns.

When to Invest in a Fund of Funds

Long-Term Investment Goals

Fund of Funds are ideal for investors with long-term investment goals. Since they offer diversification and professional management, they can be suitable for building wealth over time. Investors seeking retirement savings or funding future expenses can consider including FoFs in their portfolio.

Time Constraints

Not everyone has the time to research and manage individual investments actively. Fund of Funds provide a hands-off approach to investing, making them an attractive choice for busy individuals or those with other commitments.

Risk Appetite

Investors with a conservative risk appetite may find Fund of Funds appealing due to their diversified nature. They offer a more cautious approach to investing while still providing potential for growth.

How to Choose the Right Fund of Funds

Historical Performance Analysis

When evaluating a Fund of Funds, look beyond its recent performance. Consider its performance over the years, comparing it against its benchmark and peer group. A consistently performing FoF may indicate a well-managed and stable investment.

Expense Ratio Consideration

The expense ratio is the annual fee charged by the FoF for managing your investment. Lower expense ratios can have a substantial impact on your long-term returns. Compare expense ratios of different FoFs to make an informed decision.

Fund Manager Expertise

Research the fund manager’s background, experience, and past performance in managing FoFs. A skilled and experienced manager can significantly influence the fund’s overall success.

Risks Associated with Fund of Funds

Overlapping Holdings

One potential risk with Fund of Funds is overlapping holdings. Since FoFs invest in multiple underlying funds, there may be duplications in the assets held. This could reduce the diversification benefit and increase exposure to specific securities.

Higher Expense Ratio

While the expense ratio can be an advantage, it may also be a drawback if it’s relatively high. High expense ratios can eat into your investment returns over time.

Market Risk

Like all investments, Fund of Funds are subject to market risks. Economic downturns or fluctuations in specific asset classes can impact the performance of the underlying funds and, consequently, the FoF.

Tax Implications of Fund of Funds

Capital Gains Tax

When a Fund of Funds sells its underlying assets at a profit, it may trigger capital gains tax. Investors may need to pay taxes on the gains made by the FoF, even if they haven’t sold their individual units.

Dividend Distribution Tax

Dividends received from the underlying funds are subject to dividend distribution tax. This tax is deducted before the dividends are passed on to the investors.

Fund of Funds vs. Mutual Funds

Key Differences

Fund of Funds and mutual funds have some similarities, but there are key differences. While mutual funds directly invest in individual securities, FoFs invest in other funds. Additionally, mutual funds may have lower expense ratios compared to FoFs.

Which is Better?

The choice between a Fund of Funds and a mutual fund depends on your investment goals, risk tolerance, and the level of involvement you want in managing your investments. Each has its advantages, so it’s essential to align your choice with your financial objectives.

Fund of Funds in Retirement Planning

A Smart Retirement Strategy

Fund of Funds can play a vital role in retirement planning. Their diversified nature helps reduce risk, which is crucial when preserving wealth for the long term.

Managing Retirement Risks

In retirement, it’s essential to safeguard your savings from market downturns. Fund of Funds can help manage this risk by spreading your investments across various asset classes.

Evaluating Fund of Funds Performance

Understanding Benchmarking

Benchmarking is comparing the performance of a Fund of Funds against a relevant market index or a peer group of similar FoFs. It helps assess the FoF’s ability to outperform the market or its peers.

Analyzing Risk-Adjusted Returns

Evaluating the risk-adjusted returns of a Fund of Funds is crucial. This analysis considers both returns and risk, providing a more comprehensive view of the FoF’s performance.

How to Invest in Fund of Funds

Through an Advisor

Consulting a financial advisor can help you find suitable Fund of Funds based on your investment goals and risk appetite. Advisors can also guide you through the investment process.

Online Investment Platforms

Many online investment platforms offer access to Fund of Funds. These platforms often provide tools and calculators to help you choose the right FoF for your needs.

Building a Diversified Portfolio with Fund of Funds

Complementing Individual Investments

Fund of Funds can complement your existing individual investments. By adding FoFs to your portfolio, you increase diversification further.

Balancing Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is the process of distributing your investments across various asset classes. Fund of Funds can be a valuable tool in achieving a well-balanced asset allocation.


Congratulations! You’ve made it through the fundamentals of Fund of Funds. Remember, Fund of Funds can be an excellent addition to your investment portfolio if you seek diversification, professional management, and a long-term approach to investing. Before making any investment decisions, carefully consider your financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Now it’s time to take the next step in your investment journey and explore the world of Fund of Funds!

Shitanshu Kapadia
Shitanshu Kapadiahttp://moneyexcel.com/
Hi, I am Shitanshu founder of moneyexcel.com. I am engaged in blogging & Digital Marketing for 10 years. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience, knowledge and help people in managing money. Please note that the views expressed on this Blog are clarifications meant for reference and guidance of the readers to explore further on the topics. These should not be construed as investment advice or legal opinion. We do not offer any stock tips, investment, insurance or finance product related advice. Please consult a qualified financial planner and do your own due diligence before making any investment decision.
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