Q: What is the differences between Index Funds and ETFs? The strengths and weaknesses of each? And in particular, how should people go about choosing one over the other?
A: I suggest you visit the websites of the three ETF groups I recommend. They each have a slightly different way of discussing the topic. Here are links to the Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab ETF pages: This is a very good comparison of mutual funds and ETFs from Vanguard. https://investor.vanguard.
If you want more details on the pricing differences between mutual funds and ETFs, I suggest you read the following 10 page white paper entitled, “ETFs: are they the right choice?” http://www.greycourt.com/wp-
I use both ETFs and no load mutual funds in my accounts.