How Long To Hold Index Funds?

Key Takeaways

  • Consider long-term investment when deciding how long to hold index funds.
  • Align the duration of your investment with your financial goals.
  • Take advantage of the diversification and low fees offered by index funds.
  • Some experts suggest holding index funds for life.

Long-Term Investment

When it comes to index funds, a long-term investment approach is often recommended. However, the specific length of time can vary depending on individual financial goals and circumstances. Some experts suggest a minimum investment horizon of at least 7 years, while others recommend staying invested for a decade or more.

Please align the investment horizon with your specific goals and regularly evaluate the performance of the index fund.

Align with Financial Goals

The duration of your investment in index funds should be determined by your financial goals. Consider factors such as the amount you want to invest and the timeframe in which you need the funds. It can be helpful to review the historical returns of the index fund and evaluate its performance over a period of time to determine the appropriate investment horizon.


Index funds offer a high level of diversification, which helps to reduce risk. By investing regularly and ignoring short-term market fluctuations, you can have confidence in the long-term upward trend of the index.

This makes index funds suitable for long-term investment strategies.

Low Fees

One advantage of index funds is their lower transaction costs compared to actively managed funds. These lower fees can have a significant impact on your overall returns, making index funds an attractive option for long-term investors.

Hold for Life

Some experts suggest holding an index fund for the remainder of your life as an investor. This approach takes advantage of the diversification, low fees, and long-term growth potential of index funds.

However, it's essential to regularly review the performance of the fund and make adjustments if necessary to ensure it continues to align with your financial goals.

The length of time one should hold index funds depends on their financial goals. However, it is generally recommended to stay invested in equity index funds for the long run, ideally at least 7 years.

This is because equity mutual funds, including index funds, experience market fluctuations in the short term, but over a longer tenure, market volatility is averaged out, which is unlikely in the short term.

Therefore, aligning long-term financial goals with index funds and staying invested for as long as possible is prudent.

Some advisors suggest that index funds ought to be held for at least five years, if not 10 or more.

It is also important to track the long-term performance of the index fund, ideally at least five to ten years of performance, to see what potential future returns might be.

Links and references

  1. How to Invest in Index Funds: A Beginner's Guide
  2. Investment Basics Index Investor (PDF)
  3. 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors

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