Difference Between Shares and Mutual Funds

Shares vs Mutual Funds Differences

Shares refers to the units of the ownership interest which a person holds representing the equal proportion in the capital of the company and they are more riskier when compared with the mutual funds as they are vulnerable to changes in the market conditions whereas the mutual funds refers to the investment schemes in which the amount of money is collected by the fund houses which are invested in diversified areas and the same are less riskier because of the diversification as the money is invested in the diversified areas thereby compensating the performance of one security with other and reducing the overall risk.

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Source: Difference Between Shares and Mutual Funds (wallstreetmojo.com)

When we invest in an individual share, the risk is higher. We expect the percentage to do well shortly, but if unfortunately, it doesn’t, we lose a handsome amount of money. Now, what if, as an investor, we invest the same amount of money in the mutual funds instead of individual share? It will be beneficial for us if one share doesn’t yield better returns, another will. The diversification will help us pare down the risk as much as we can.

Plus, investing in mutual funds is much more convenient. You don’t need to pick up the top 20 high-performing shares. The experts are hired by mutual fund companies to help you select. As a result, you pay a monthly amount, and at the end of a few years, you earn a great return on your investments.

At the same time, when you trade shares, you need to sell out the shares that aren’t doing well. For individual investors, the trading cost is relatively high. But for mutual funds, you don’t need to worry about the trading cost. The expenses for running the fund would be charged against the money investors invest in the mutual funds.

Mutual Funds vs Shares Infographics

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Source: Difference Between Shares and Mutual Funds (wallstreetmojo.com)

Key Differences

  • One of the key differences is the level of risk. When you invest in shares, you have more risk than when you invest in mutual funds. Why? A mutual fund includes many shares in the portfolio, and if one shares do poorly due to the poor manager/strategy/misfortune, other shares can back it up.
  • Investing in share isn’t a good idea for a newbie. It takes a lot of study, practice, and understanding of the share market to make good money. On the other hand, in mutual funds, anybody can make money since qualified fund managers manage the mutual funds.
  • Share investing isn’t very convenient. It would help if you did your due diligence before finding the right shares. Investing in mutual funds, on the other hand, is so easy. Just do some research, look through the stocks included in the funds, look at the records, and you’re done.
  • If you want to diversify your investments, you need to pick the right shares per your needs (more return-more risk, medium return-medium risk, etc.). For every mutual fund, diversifications come as a feature. You need to pick the right mutual fund.

Comparative Table

Basis for comparisonSharesMutual Funds
Reason for InvestmentReturn is higher, as well as risk.Return is somewhat lower as the risk is lower than investing in shares.
RiskRiskier than mutual funds.Less risky.
ConvenienceThere’s almost no convenience in investing in shares. It would help if you studied hard to know what shares to pick and what to sell out.Mutual funds are very convenient as mutual fund managers are there to think for your best interest.
ResearchTo pick the right shares, you need to do your research.Even for mutual funds, you need to do your research, but mutual funds don’t take much time.
DiversificationTo diversify, you need to find out the right shares or invest in them.To diversify, invest in the right mutual funds.
Trading costsTo buy and sell shares, you need to pay a lumpsum trading cost. Usually, trading cost remains on the higher side.There’s also an expense for mutual funds. The cost is recouped against the money investors pay for mutual funds.


Shares and mutual funds are different types of investments. And as per the need and the risk appetiteRisk AppetiteRisk appetite refers to the amount, rate, or percentage of risk that an individual or organization (as determined by the Board of Directors or management) is willing to accept in exchange for its plan, objectives, and innovation.read more of the individual, one should pick the investment. If one is confident that she can take a huge risk (and want to generate a better return on investment as a result), investing in individual shares is a good option.

On the other hand, if one wants to pare down the risk but want to generate better returns than fixed deposits, mutual funds are the best bet. You can also do both and see for yourself what works for you.

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This has been a guide to Shares vs Mutual Funds. Here we discuss the differences between Shares and Mutual Funds along with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles-

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