How to invest in FTSE 250 index funds in 2024

Find out how to invest in the FTSE 250 index, learn which trading platforms have the lowest fees, and what’s easiest for beginners.
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Updated: May 12, 2023
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It only takes a few minutes to invest in the FTSE 250 index. One of the simplest and most popular ways to invest is to buy shares in a Vanguard FTSE 250 ETF through an online trading platform.

Where can I invest in the FTSE 250 index?

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According to our expert research, Plus500 is the best ETF broker to invest in FTSE 250 index funds. 

Both FTSE 250 ETFs and FTSE 250 CFDs are available to invest in through Plus500 .

Here are three more places to buy the FTSE 250, ranked according to their cost, security, and features.

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1
Min. Deposit
$ 100
Best offer
User Score
10
Trade +2000 CFDs on Shares, Options, Commodities & more
Unlimited risk-free Demo Account
0 commissions & attractive spreads with up to 1:5 leverage
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
American Express, Apple Pay, Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Discover, Google Pay, Mastercard, PayPal, SEPA, Trustly, Visa, , skrill
Full Regulations:
ASIC, FCA, FSA, MAS, cysec-250-14-regulator, isa-regulator

Buy or sell stock CFDs with Plus500. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2
Min. Deposit
$ 10
Best offer
User Score
9.9
Up to $240 bonus!
Deposit with ACA, Wire, Pay with my bank
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
CySEC, FCA

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3
Min. Deposit
$ 0
Best offer
User Score
9.6
Get insights from millions of investors, creators, and analysts
Build your portfolio of stocks, ETFs, and crypto–all in one place
No minimum deposit
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Wire, Check, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
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How do I invest in the FTMC index?

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The easiest way is to sign up to a stock broker, open an investment account, and buy shares in an FTSE 250 ETF or CFD. This guide explains how to do it:

Step 1. Sign up to Plus500

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We recommend using Plus500 to invest in FTSE 250. Sign up for a brokerage account and deposit some money. You may need to supply a form of photo ID to verify the account.

1
Min. Deposit
$ 100
Best offer
User Score
10
Trade +2000 CFDs on Shares, Options, Commodities & more
Unlimited risk-free Demo Account
0 commissions & attractive spreads with up to 1:5 leverage
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
American Express, Apple Pay, Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Discover, Google Pay, Mastercard, PayPal, SEPA, Trustly, Visa, , skrill
Full Regulations:
ASIC, FCA, FSA, MAS, cysec-250-14-regulator, isa-regulator

Buy or sell stock CFDs with Plus500. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Step 2. Decide how to buy FTSE 250

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This boils down to choosing between an FTSE 250 ETF or CFD. ETFs are generally better suited to investors who want to passively track the FTSE 250’s performance. CFDs offer a greater range of trading options: you can use leverage, short the index, or buy and sell it outside of trading hours.

Step 3. Invest in the FTSE 250

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Sign into your trading account and search for the FTSE 250. Hit the ‘buy’ button and enter the details of your purchase, such as how much you want to spend. Hit ‘buy’ again to execute the trade.

Step 4. Monitor your investment

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When you buy a CFD, the trade goes through more or less instantly, and you’ll be able to see your new open position in your trading account. ETF purchases can take longer, and if you buy outside of traditional trading hours it won’t go through until the next morning.

Your trading account will show the price change in the FTSE 250 since you bought it, so you can see your profit/loss at a glance. Use that information, along with your own research, to decide when to sell the FTSE 250 and close your position, ideally at a profit!

The different ways to invest in the FTMC

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As we mentioned above, there are numerous ways to put your money into the FTSE 250. ETFs and CFDs are the simplest options for beginners, but there are alternatives. Here’s a brief overview of each option and who it’s best suited for.

FTSE 250 ETFs

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An ETF (exchange-traded fund) is an investment fund traded on a stock exchange, much like a stock. Exchange traded funds can hold different assets, such as individual stocks, bonds, or commodities, or serve as a proxy for a stock market index.

An FTSE 250 ETF is one way of investing in the FTSE 250. It’s simply an investment fund that mirrors the performance of the FTSE 250. When you buy shares in the fund, the value of your investment will rise or fall with the FTSE 250 itself. 

ETFs are ideal for new investors because they have a very low minimum investment. You can start with a few pounds and get exposure to some of the world’s largest companies. They’re also practical if you plan on trading the FTSE 250 index, because you can buy or sell shares in the fund throughout the day.

Examples of popular FTMC ETFs

  • iShares FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (MIDD)
  • Invesco FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (FT2)
  • Xtrackers FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (XMCX)

FTSE 250 index funds

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An index or mutual fund is an investment fund that aims to track the performance of a stock market index, such as the FTSE 250. It’s very similar to an ETF, in that there are low management fees and you can buy shares through your online broker.

However, there are a couple of differences. FTSE 250 index funds are only priced at the end of each trading day, so you can buy or sell shares in the fund once per day. There may also be a higher barrier to entry, through a much larger minimum investment when you invest in FTSE 250 index funds.

That means an FTSE 250 mutual fund is better suited for long term investors with a higher initial budget, where the infrequent trading and barriers to entry are far less of an issue.

Examples of popular FTMC index funds/mutual funds

  • Lindsell Train UK Equity Fund
  • Liontrust UK Mid Cap Fund
  • Investec UK Mid Cap Fund

FTSE 250 CFDs

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CFDs (contracts for difference) are a way to speculate on FTSE 250 price changes with more flexibility than if you use an ETF or index fund. A CFD is a ‘derivative’, which means it gets its value from the underlying asset – in this case the FTSE 250 – but it’s separate from it.

As a result, CFDs can be leveraged, where you borrow money to multiply the size of the trade, or they can be used to go ‘short’, where you place a trade on the index to fall in value. You can also buy and sell them outside of regular trading hours.

All of this means FTSE 250 CFDs offer the potential to outperform a fund that passively tracks the FTSE 250’s performance. Of course, you can also underperform it as well. Tools like leverage and shorting introduce a lot more risk, and are best left to experienced traders.

FTSE 250 futures

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Futures contracts are agreements to buy or sell the FTMC at an agreed price on a set date in the future. FTSE 250 futures are a means to predict how you think the index is going to perform over a set time frame, such as the next three or six months.

Most futures contracts involve leverage, so you only put up a small part of the total trade value (the margin) when you buy one. That makes futures more risky, and they require a bit more financial expertise to understand as well.

Some traders use futures as a hedge against the performance of stocks they own. For instance, if you own stocks that are part of the FTSE 250 then you might want to short the FTSE 250 so that you still make some money if the price falls.

FTSE 250 stocks

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Another way to invest in the FTSE 250 is to buy shares in the individual stocks that the index tracks. It isn’t practical to buy every share in the index, but you can invest directly into a few of the most heavily weighted stocks in the FTSE 250 in order to get broad exposure to its performance.

The most heavily weighted stocks in the FTSE 250 tend to be the largest companies by market capitalisation. If you invest directly in those largest stocks, you gain exposure to the index without taking on the risk of all the underlying companies.

One reason to do this is that these larger companies with the highest market cap dominate the index anyway, so that it can give you the impression of a diversified portfolio while actually being reliant on the performance of those particular stocks.

For the FTSE 250 index, the largest stocks you might choose to invest in are:

CompanyIndex weight
Ascential plc (ASCL)2.32%
GVC Holdings PLC (GVC)1.85%
Avast PLC (AVST)1.69%
4Imprint Group PLC (FOUR)1.65%
Bellway plc (BWY)1.64%
Future plc (FUTR)1.60%
Greencoat UK Wind PLC (UKW)1.58%
Trainline plc (TRN)1.54%
YouGov PLC (YOU)1.52%
Rightmove PLC (RMV)1.51%

The flip side of investing directly like this is that you lose the diversification and stability that comes with buying into an entire index. It requires much more hands-on management to do your own stock picking, so it’s best suited to more experienced investors.

How much does it cost to invest in the FTSE 250 index?

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From $0 to $5, depending on how you invest. For each option, you must consider the cost of buying the actual asset, whether that’s an ETF, index fund, CFD, or share, plus the fees associated with it.

InstrumentTrading feeManagement fee
Exchange traded funds$0-$5.990-0.2%
Index fund / mutual fund$0-$5.990.1-2%
Individual stock$0-$3None
CFD$0None

*A fee comparison of 3 leading brokers for example purposes

ETFs and CFDs are generally the cheapest option overall, as they have low fees and a low minimum investment. Index funds and mutual funds have low fees but may have a high minimum investment. Buying individual stocks is the most expensive option in absolute terms, because the share price of a single large company is often more than $100.

All options are likely to include a trading fee, which you pay each time you make a transaction. Some trading platforms offer zero-fee trading, with others it may be a few dollars. 

Then ETFs and index funds each have their own expense ratio. Expense ratios refer to an annual management fee, charged as a percentage of your total investment. Expense ratios are usually no more than 0.05%, so if you invest $1,000, you would pay $5 per year in management fees.

Should I invest in the FTSE 250 index? 

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Yes, FTSE 250 investing is a great choice if you’re looking for a safer investment with more price stability compared to picking individual stocks. It gives you an instantly diverse portfolio with exposure to a broad area of the stock market.

The flip side is that you have less control over which companies you invest in. An index committee decides how the index works, and you can’t pick and choose the underlying companies you like the most. The FTSE 250 is better suited to hands-off investors, compared to those who have the skills, experience, and desire to pick their own stocks.

What are the advantages of investing in the FTSE 250 index?

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An index provides instant stock market diversification, where you spread your risk across a large number of underlying companies, rather than one or two. Here are some more reasons why you might want to invest in the FTSE 250 index:

  • The index provides exposure to a range of mid-cap companies. The FTSE 250 index comprises the 101st to 350th largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, which means you’ll gain exposure to a diverse range of mid-cap businesses from various industries. 
  • Mid-cap stocks have growth potential. Compared to large-cap companies, mid-cap stocks have a better potential for growth. By investing in the FTSE 250 index, you may be able to generate higher returns. 
  • The index is globally diverse. While the FTSE 250 includes companies from the London Stock Exchange, many of them have a global presence providing investors with exposure to international markets. 
  • Fund managers have generated better returns for the FTSE 250. Due to the FTSE 250’s less efficient market structure than the FTSE 100, active fund managers have generated higher returns than the index, potentially adding value to an investor’s portfolio.

What are the disadvantages of investing in the FTSE 250 index?

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The main risk of investing in the FTSE 250 is that all the underlying companies are related in some way, so a broader economic downturn that affected the entire country would likely affect many stocks in the index at the same time. Here are some more risks of FTSE 250 investing.

  • Volatility is higher. Mid-cap companies are generally more volatile than large-cap stocks. Due to their smaller size, there is a higher risk of erratic price swings. 
  • Companies in the index are more exposed to economic uncertainty. Many companies in the FTSE 250 index have greater exposure to the UK economy than larger companies listed in the FTSE 100, which can lead to greater uncertainty and volatility due to events such as Brexit.
Invest in the FTSE 250 Index

FAQs

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Prash Raval
Financial Writer
Prash is a financial writer for Invezz covering FX, the stock market and investing. For over a decade he has traded spot FX full time while... read more.