ETFs & Index Funds & Bears, OH MY! – EP 387

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Shifting to digital is not new but also not that old, as most people are still discovering new things online. If you have heard of the terms ETFs, index funds, and bear markets and are having a hard time differentiating and understanding each of them, then you’re in for a treat. In this episode, Jen and Jill talk about investing for retirement, specifically using ETFs and index funds, and how it’s related to the “bear market”.

We don’t want to choose something just because it’s familiar, especially if there are other options that could be beneficial for us.


  • International Women’s Day. One time I made a joke to a guy that I celebrate exclusive women’s day on May 9th, my birthday and he sent me flowers on International Women’s Day. If anyone has ever bought you flowers, you should have a high yield savings account with CIT.

Index Fund vs. ETF: What’s the Difference?

This article by NerdWallet differentiates index funds and exchange-traded funds in order to help you see the best investment fit for you.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

ETFs and index funds share a lot more similarities than differences, so you might get confused about which one is right for you. Jill emphasizes that, despite the similarities, there are still key distinctions to consider. In this Investopedia article, it highlights whether ETFs are suitable for retirement plans as their popularity continues to grow. Jen highly recommends ETFs to beginners due to their lower minimum investment requirements and tax efficiency. Consider ETFs for their accessibility and potential benefits; discussing them with family and friends would make investing more accessible.

How to Invest in a Bear Market

This article by Schwab explains the “bear market” and how to work around the ebb and flow of the stock market.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

It’s important to diversify to mitigate risk and not put all funds into one place—don’t go all in all at once. The problem with a bear market is that you can never tell whether you’re at the beginning, middle, or end of it—none of us can tell the future. Jill suggests casting a wide net by investing in ETFs. Index funds and ETFs are commendable for their ease of use and broad market exposure. Jen advises building a portfolio and maintaining an emergency fund in a high-yield savings account. We’re in a good market right now, so Jen wants you to take advantage of the good sunny times.

Share an unreasonable fear you have about bears

When Jill visited Alaska, she experienced immediate fear upon hearing what they thought was a deep, menacing growl from a bear nearby, but it turns out it was a bird. Jen shares her fear of falling from high places, so when she went to see the bear at the zoo, she couldn’t go near any of the edges to have a closer look.

Bill of The Week

Thank you Jodie for sharing your bill about $1500 left in FSA for 2023 and paying off orthodontic bill then sending more money into an IRA!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one from:

Lots of helpful nuggets!

I really enjoy listening to Jen and Jill’s ideas on budgeting, saving, and spending. Not everything pertains to my financial life, but I find it interesting all the same. I also like that they cover a wide range of topics from buying a home or a car to starting your own freelance business.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this show, please take a minute to leave a rating and review, it helps potential new listeners know what our show is all about!

And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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