ETF vs mutual fund for multi decade investment

If ever the Dow goes to around 5200, I am thinking of taking a significant part of my life savings to invest in the US equity market. My time horizon is until my retirement (35 - 40 years). What would be better: to invest in an ETF that tracks the Dow/S&P or a mutual fund that tracks the US market? I’m guessing the disadvantage with the mutual fund is that it doesn’t track the US market as perfectly as the S&P or Dow but I hear that an ETF is not a good long term investment.

The ETF is a good option if you are planning a passive investment. Mutual Fund expense fees are typically 1%, where as a Vanguard ETF that tracks the S&P500 can be had for around 20bps. That difference will add up and compound over 35-40 years. The ETF disadvantage is that you will have to manually reinvest any dividends, which is a bit of an annoyance, but nothing terribly difficult. If you want an active manager to try to outperform the US market, then you would want to consider the mutual fund.