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What is a stock basket and how it works

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August 24, 2022


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Not long ago, in a family where money debates were a hush-hush topic, voicing your opinion and debating between investing in mutual funds vs fixed deposits was trailblazing. Now there is a new kid on the block. While many may have moved on from the internal dilemma of mutual funds and FDs, they’ve found themselves in a new quandary: mutual funds vs stock baskets. 

New investment possibilities become accessible to investors as time passes. One such option is a stock basket. A stock basket is a portfolio that concentrates on a particular topic, problem, or industry. They look like mutual funds, but they are not. This article talks about stock baskets in the share market, the difference between stock baskets and mutual funds and what may be the best choice when gauging the eternal question of stock baskets vs mutual funds. 

What is a stock basket in the share market?

Compared to traditional schemes, mutual funds have been gaining popularity amongst investors who aim to earn better with their invested money. Some investors cannot bypass the urge to invest directly in the stock market. Unlike huge institutional investors or high-net-worth people, others who lack stock-picking skills still invest in direct stocks and may trip up. 

An alternative for folks who don’t know the equity market is brokers and investment companies offering portfolio management services that directly invest in stocks. Still, these are very high-priced services that everyone cannot afford. 

So is there a way to invest in stocks as a rookie investor? Investing in themes-based baskets of stocks? 

Let’s say that you wish to invest in securities but are still apprehensive about starting as a new investor, and you want to invest in a manner that can calm those nerves - for you, theme-based stock baskets would be ideal. A stock basket is accessible to new investors through a basket of low-volatility equities. 

These stock baskets offer investors a new avenue of directly investing in stocks instead of mutual funds. However, does this mean that stock baskets can replace mutual funds? Should investors choose to only invest in stock baskets?

To get the answer to these questions, it is first essential to understand the differences between stock baskets and mutual funds.

Stock baskets Vs Mutual Funds: How are they different from each other?

Consider the following to understand the differences between mutual funds and stock baskets to understand both financial products better:

  1. Possession of an investment portfolio:

Since the stocks are housed in the investor's Demat Account, stock basket investing allows the investor higher control over investments. Keeping the stocks in a demat account allows customers to plan withdrawals and know where their money is.

The shares will be transferred to the Demat account, and any dividends will be sent to the investor's bank account.

Mutual funds, on the other hand, do not let investors tailor their investment portfolios. You may choose between equity, debt, and any subject or sector.

In a mutual fund, investors do not influence where their money is put. Instead of portfolio shares, investors are issued mutual fund units. The investor doesn't need to create a demat account.

This is the fundamental difference between a stock basket and a mutual fund. 

​​2. Investment portfolio diversification:

Stock baskets invest in a collection of securities that follow a single strategy, topic, or ideology. As a result, variety is constrained. Stock basket investments are ideal for investors wishing to invest in a particular region for a high dividend yield or a rapid growth rate. As a consequence, these are suitable for risk-taking investors.

Stock baskets are significantly riskier than mutual funds because they have less diversity and no built-in hedging processes.

Mutual funds, on the other hand, offer sufficient diversity for small capital investments. A mutual fund can invest in more than 100 companies, depending on its objective. As a result, it provides appropriate diversification and can act as a buffer against market crashes or high volatility scenarios.

On the other hand, mutual funds are restricted in the risk they may take. Fund managers adopt risk-mitigation procedures and conduct periodic reviews and monitoring.

  1. Revenue-to-Expense Ratio:

The expense ratio is a fee levied by investment firms. The stock basket expense ratio works in a slightly different way. Some stock baskets are accessible to the general public, while others need a subscription.

Internal teams develop some examples, while third-party analytics businesses create others. As a result, the fees differ. The investment amount does not include any fees.

Furthermore, you will be charged fees if you select a low-cost broker. In contrast, mutual funds have a low expense ratio. However, the expense ratio differs amongst mutual funds.

Fees account for about 1-2 % of overall investment. In the case of mutual funds, the spending percentage is not paid individually. Fund management costs are subtracted from the investment amount, causing the net asset value to be adjusted (NAV).

  1. Capital Requirements:

Stock basket necessitates a more considerable investment than mutual funds. It is similar to investing directly in shares, so each unit must be bought to build a portfolio. As a result, more financing is required. As a beginner, several stock baskets put ₹5,000 in ETFs. In contrast, this is akin to investing in mutual funds. Furthermore, the minimal investment might be ₹90,000.

On the other hand, mutual funds are appropriate for a wide range of investors. The minimum lump sum commitment is ₹5,000, and the monthly Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) contribution is ₹100. As a consequence, modest investors can also benefit from portfolio diversification.

Which is a better investment option in 2022?

Investors are typically conflicted when picking between stock baskets or mutual funds. Stock baskets are an excellent investment option for persons who understand the stock market but want to avoid paying fund management fees. This is because a stock basket delivers a professionally researched basket of companies without the expense ratio of a mutual fund. 

Furthermore, the recommended stock portfolio may be altered based on the investor's discretion and needs. Investors can change the leverage and remove or add stocks to their stock basket. A mutual fund does not provide investors with this amount of control. 

On the other hand, mutual fund investors do not need to be market experts. The fund managers will manage the portfolio, deciding when to enter and exit the market. All investors need to do is select a mutual fund that matches their objectives and risk tolerance.

When making the right choice between mutual funds and stock baskets, potential investors need to gauge their investor profile and objectives for the money being invested.

Wrapping up

Stock baskets are less expensive in terms of returns, but it's essential to have a deep market understanding. Stock basket investing is another alternative for individuals capable of managing their portfolios. Conversely, they benefit more from mutual fund investing. Investing is an art; knowing certain things about yourself, such as goals, risk threshold, and expertise is vital. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a stock basket?

A stock basket is a group of stocks traded as a single unit, offering investors exposure to multiple stocks in one investment. It provides diversification and convenience.

What is the difference between a stock basket and a mutual fund? 

A stock basket is a collection of individual stocks traded as a single unit, while a mutual fund is a professionally managed investment fund that pools money from multiple investors and invests in a diversified portfolio.

Who manages theme-based stock baskets?

SEBI-registered professionals create and update stock baskets. Every stock basket's constituents have undergone stringent proprietary filtration, so you don't have to worry about making precise choices.

Are stock baskets better than mutual funds?

Both stock baskets and mutual funds are financial products for investors with different goals and risk profiles. Those looking to invest directly in the market may opt for stock baskets, and those with lesser control over securities may opt for mutual funds. 


Investment and securities are subject to market risks. Please read all the related documents carefully before investing. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and not to be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell securities, mutual funds, or any other financial products.
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