Belgian investors are continuously seeking efficient and effective ways to grow their wealth. Trackers, also known as Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) stand out as a great option to put your money to work. Trackers are designed to mirror a specific index or a group of assets. They offer a simple, low-cost way to diversify and build wealth.

What are trackers?

Trackers, also known as ETFs, are investment funds that invest in hundreds, or even thousands, of stocks, bonds or other type of investments. This diversification is one of the most attractive benefits of trackers compared to an individual stock. Instead of investing in one or several companies, you track the performance of an entire index.

The most famous index is the S&P 500, which contains the 500 biggest American companies. Large companies such as Apple, Google or Amazon are represented in the S&P 500. The main index in Europe is the EURO STOXX 50, and the Belgian BEL 20 consists of the 20 largest companies in the country.

Ever since the first index fund was created in 1976, index investing has proven to be a great way to invest. By effectively becoming part owner of thousands of stocks across the world, index investing lets anyone earn a dividend off of the growth of the world economy.

The graph below shows the growth of the S&P 500 index since 1992. A €10,000 investment in 1992 would have resulted in over €270,000 by the end of February 2024, or an average 10.9% return per year!

Why invest in trackers?

There are several reasons why investing in trackers is one of the best ways for Belgians to grow their wealth.


One of the problems associated with active investing are the high fees. Index investors pay lower fees because index funds are very cheap to run. It's simple to track an index: all that is required is buying the stocks in the index, and update when the index changes. It doesn't require expensive analysts or other specialists.


One of the goals of index investing is to diversify as much as possible. Through diversification across many countries and sectors, you eliminate unnecessary risk. And you also benefit from the growth of the best companies in the world, not just the large German, French or American companies you know. By investing in as many companies as possible, you're almost sure of including the winners, namely the minority of stocks that are responsible for most of the returns.

Rooted in the real economy

Most index funds invest either in stocks or bonds. Those are backed by real companies, with real factories, employees, intellectual property, and so on. This is unlike, for example, the crypto space, where the value of a currency or token is mostly determined by its potential rather than by concrete applications.

You can buy and sell whenever you want

Index funds are very easy to buy and sell. If you wish to, you can trade any index fund within minutes. In finance jargon, we say that index funds are "liquid". This is an advantage compared to other types of investments such as real estate or art. For instance, when selling a house, it can take a long time before finding the right buyer.

You can invest with low amounts

Another advantage of index investing is that you don't need a lot of capital to get started. You can even invest with as little as €50. This makes index investing possible for everyone, especially young people who just started their career and want to grow their wealth by putting their savings. In contrast, real estate is much less accessible. Just the down-payment for a property requires several tens of thousands of euros. In fact, it's often easier to invest in real estate through trackers that focus on real estate companies.

How trackers work in practice

Trackers copy an index's performance. They do this by buying all (or a sample) of the assets in the index. This is called physical replication. Or, they use a synthetic method with derivatives. The choice between physical and synthetic replication depends on the tracker's investment strategy and the index it seeks to mimic. It's best to stick with physical replication to avoid counterparty risk.

How to choose the right tracker


Choosing the right tracker can be a daunting exercise. In Belgium, you face a 30% tax on dividends, making accumulating funds, which reinvest dividends automatically and are not subject to this tax, a more attractive option. Accumulating trackers increase in value without triggering a taxable event, offering a tax-efficient investment strategy.

Domiciled in Luxembourg or Ireland

We also recommend that you choose funds domiciled in Luxembourg or Ireland, benefiting from favourable tax treaties with the US. You can tell the domicile of a tracker through its ISIN code that will start with "LU" (Luxembourg) or "IE"(Ireland).

Traded in Euro

It's also recommended to invest in Euro-traded funds to avoid conversion fees.

Prefer larger funds

We prefer larger funds with at least €100 million under management for viability and liquidity.

Stocks vs bonds

While stocks offer higher returns with more risk, bonds provide stability, important as one nears retirement. Despite the temptation to avoid taxes by exclusively investing in stocks, a balanced approach with bonds is advised for risk management.

Comparison of the historical performance of stocks and bonds (from Backtest)

Low cost

Awareness of the total expense ratio (TER) and transaction taxes is crucial for managing investment costs effectively.

Selection of best trackers

Based on your investment goals, we compiled our selection of best trackers:

How to invest in trackers

To help you get started, we wrote a guide on investing in trackers for Belgians. Also, the book De hangmatbelegger (in Dutch), co-written by Curvo co-founder Yoran, is a great resource to get started.


Trackers (also known as ETFs) offer a practical and efficient investment option, blending diversification, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility. Investing in trackers can play a major role in helping you achieve your financial goals.