Some Representative Index Funds

The previous page suggested creating a stock portfolio out of a small number of indexes; this table shows some of the popular low-fee index funds and ETFs available to let you do that.


      Index Representative Index Fund(s) Fund ETF      
S&P 500 Vanguard 500 VFINX VOO  
Fidelity Spartan 500 FUSEX  
iShares   IVV
Russell 3000 iShares   IWV
TIAA-CREF Equity Index TCEIX  
Wilshire 5000 Fidelity Spartan Total Market FSTMX  
MSCI US Broad Market Vanguard Total Stock Market VTSMX VTI
S&P 1500 iShares   ITOT

Global Excluding US iShares   IXUS
Vanguard Total International VGTSX VXUS
Fidelity Spartan Global ex US FSGUX  
Emerging Markets iShares   IEMG
Vanguard Emerging Markets VEIEX VWO
Fidelity Spartan Emerging Markets FPEMX  
Wilshire 4500 Fidelity Spartan Extended Market FSEMX  
S&P Completion Vanguard Extended Market VTEMX VXF

S&P 600 / Barra Value (extinct)    
S&P 600 Value iShares   IJS
S&P 600 Pure Value Rydex   RZV
Russell 2000 Value iShares   IWN
MSCI U.S. 1750 Value Vanguard Small-Cap Value VISVX VBR
Morningstar Small Value iShares   JKL
DFA US Small Value DFA DFSVX  


(See the styles page and small value methodologies for a description of these indexes. You can also enter the symbols into Morningstar's Instant X-Ray, especially if you want to compare the makeup of the Small Value funds. Note that the TSMs are extremely tax efficient; but the Small Value indexes have high turnover rates that make them tax inefficient - they work best in a tax-sheltered account like a Roth IRA. The "non big" and foreign funds are somewhere in between.)      
Morningstar Snapshot

You generally invest in an index fund by opening an account with the mutual fund company itself; you purchase shares of an ETF through a stock brokerage account, using the symbol shown.

There are many other offerings available; some of them may be convenient if you have an existing account somewhere. But make sure you compare their expense ratios with those of the funds and ETFs shown above before you invest.

There are also many allocation strategies that are far more sophisticated than anything presented here. So you can think of "mostly TSM, plus some Small Value" as a starting point or benchmark, and then judge any other strategy by asking yourself (or your advisor) exactly what benefits it's likely to offer over this ultra-simple one.



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Article Contents
Index Basics
Size, Growth, Value
Dangers of Timing
Portfolio Guidelines (1)
Adding Small & Mid
Adding Foreign Funds
Portfolio Guidelines (2)
List of Funds & ETFs
Books & Links

Article Contents
Why Index?