Just like any financial product, investment funds have advantages and disadvantages.
Their main advantage is that they are managed professionally. Experienced professionals work full time on your behalf to manage a portfolio of securities. Investment funds also allow you to diversify your investments. They contain not only a wide variety of securities but also different types of approach: by fund category (equity, bond and money market), economic sector, geographical area, asset size (small and large caps) and level of risk (government debt, high-yield bonds, etc.). Management charges and entry fees tend to be fairly low. Lastly, it is very easy to buy or sell your fund units by getting in touch with the fund’s promoter, via a broker or a financial advisor from a bank or insurance company, or even online.
On the flip side, you have no control over investment funds: you cannot influence purchases and sales, and you never know the exact composition of the fund at any given moment. Moreover, you cannot track real-time changes in the value of your fund units, like you can with shares. When you buy or sell your units, you do not find out their value at the moment of purchase or sale until a few hours later because it takes the fund some time to work out the net asset value. You are obliged to pay management charges every year, even if the funds in which you have invested deliver negative results.
In summary, investment funds are unquestionably an interesting option but you need to know which ones you should be investing in. Consult your bank advisor and work with them to create your investor profile before making any decisions. This will spare you plenty of setbacks and disappointment.