What is collective investment?

La inversión colectiva abarca fondos mixtos, ETF, crowdfunding...

What is collective investment?

We know that diversification is one of the basic rules of investment. However, if we had to invest in stocks of different companies, sectors, and countries; in government bonds from different governments and private bonds from different economies, while also diversifying into real estate, commodities, etc., we would have to be wealthy. But, don’t worry, that’s where collective investment comes in.

Still not familiar? The most well-known collective investment institution is mutual funds. In Spain, they emerged during the 1980s and have since become part of the investment portfolio for many Spaniards. The main advantage of these instruments is that they allow investing with very small amounts in a wide variety of assets.

Mutual funds

According to the Inverco Observatory, among the products that savers contract, mutual funds occupy the second position, with 21%. The most widespread option is deposits—keeping money saved in the bank—and in third place, behind funds, are pension plans, at 19%.

There are many types of funds and many ways to classify them. A first differentiation would be regarding the type of asset. Thus, we can find investment funds (mobiliaria), i.e., those that invest in stocks, bonds, etc., and real estate investment funds, which are those that invest primarily in real estate assets intended for rent.

Within the first category, the most widespread, we find, among others:

  • Fixed-income funds: They ynvest mainly in debt instruments, such as bonds and promissory notes. They seek regular income through interest payments.
  • Equity funds: They prioritize investment in stocks and other instruments of participation in companies. They offer the possibility of growth through the appreciation of the value of stocks.
  • Mixed funds: These combine fixed-income and equity assets in different proportions. They seek to balance risks and returns, adapting to different investor profiles.
  • Index funds: They replicate the performance of a specific index, such as the IBEX 35. Their goal is to match the evolution of the reference index.
  • Subordinated funds: These are funds that invest in a single investment fund, and it is that underlying fund that is responsible for investing in different assets.
  • Monetary funds: These funds focus on short-term and highly liquid instruments, such as term deposits. They offer stability and security with modest returns.
  • Absolute return funds: They seek to achieve positive returns regardless of market conditions. They use various strategies to achieve this goal.
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs): Traded on the stock exchange, they follow a specific index and allow investors to buy or sell shares similar to traditional stocks.
  • Hedge funds: These use various strategies, such as leverage and derivatives, to seek higher returns. They are aimed at sophisticated investors and have greater flexibility in their investments.
  • Funds of funds: They invest in other funds instead of direct assets. They seek diversification through the management of several fund portfolios.

In every fund, there are two main actors. On the one hand, the management company, which makes investment decisions and, therefore, uses the capital contributed by participants (investors) to invest in the assets in question. On the other hand, the depositary company, which is the one who safeguards the assets (securities, cash) of the fund.

Collective investment via crowdfunding

Let’s talk about real estate crowdfunding, which is what we do at Urbanitae. In a way, the philosophy behind Urbanitae is the same as we explained at the beginning of the article: democratizing access to investment. Real estate crowdfunding removes the entry barriers of real estate investment since it allows investing in many assets with little money. The key is precisely that many invest instead of just one.

Another advantage of real estate crowdfunding is that it aspires to higher returns than traditional housing investment, which is around 7% gross. By investing in real estate development (in appreciation projects) or loans to developers, the target annual returns are, in the first case, around 12-18%, and in the second, 9-11%. And, as with funds, crowdfunding is regulated by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

In summary, collective investment offers a diverse range of options, from traditional mutual funds to more specialized forms such as real estate crowdfunding. The key to success lies in understanding the characteristics of each type—understand what we are investing in—evaluate risks, and align investments with individual financial goals. And you? Have you started investing yet?

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