qandaQ: 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?

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.com/what-we-offer/etfs/compare-etfs-and-index-funds   Here is a good article by Fidelity on why most  ETFs are more tax efficient than most mutual funds.  https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/etf/etfs-tax-efficiency  All three companies have commission-free ETFs.  Here is the information on the Schwab commission free offerings.  http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/investing/accounts_products/investment/etfs/schwab_etf_onesource

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-content/uploads/2012/01/White_Paper001-Exh-TradedFunds-CRP.pdf

I use both ETFs and no load mutual funds in my accounts.