For More Information

On this site, see the small value article, and article on the why of indexing.

The portfolio theory article is relevant to index investing, especially the four pages starting here.

Here are brief summaries of useful index funds and ETFs from Fidelity, iShares, Charles Schwab, and Vanguard.

(And remember the mantra that indexers groove on: you aren't trying to beat the market, you're participating in it in an intelligent manner.)



Morningstar Snapshot
     The Bogleheads, formerly the Vanguard Diehards, is a lively (and informed and courteous - wow!) forum on index investing. Their Wiki contains many articles on indexing in general, stock market indexing, ETFs, and much more.

You can get lots of unbiased information on funds and ETFs at Morningstar.com, which has its own index family. Their Instant X-Ray tool lets you view a fund's inner workings.

This Morningstar article details the tax efficiency of ETFs.

Yahoo! offers this convenient ETF browser.

More specialized articles are available at IndexUniverse.com.

For details on specific popular indexes see the websites of Standard & Poor's (and Barra), The Frank Russell Company, and Wilshire Associates.

There are still other index families constructed according to different methodologies. Two extreme cases: DFA does something extremely simple (like a non-handpicked version of S&P/Barra); MSCI does something extremely complicated.

IndexFunds.com is an educational site from IFA, which is a retailer for DFA. This article explains the rationale behind the different methodologies indexes use.

For information on ETFs, see ETFzone.com (or their section in Yahoo! Finance) and iShares.

The Efficient Frontier has a lot of relevant articles, including this one on how index funds can beat their indexes, and this one on the practical versus theoretical differences between index funds and ETFs.


Also see the Recommended Books page.

     Capital Ideas tells the history of indexing, describing the false starts and the visionaries who tried to sell the idea to a skeptical investment community.

Vanguard Group founder (and successful visionary) John Bogle explains the basics of indexing and much more in Common Sense on Mutual Funds.

Bogle's latest book, The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism, takes investor rights (and responsibilities) to a new level. Bogle blames the recent bubble and corporate scandals on a managerial class who lack respect for shareholders' interests; among other things, the fix will require more proactive control by fund managers.

The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing pays homage to Bogle and Vanguard, but goes much further to include guidance on general financial planning, tax management, insurance, and more.

The Four Pillars of Investing gives advice on indexing within a context of understanding the market.

All About Index Funds tells you ... all about index funds: a compact, comprehensive resource.

How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street presents an ultra-simple portfolio of just three index funds, and provides lots of practical guidance. Anybody past the paste-eating stage can learn from this book.

Unconventional Success covers advanced topics, including reasons why some indexes and funds are better than others. The author writes like a man on a mission, warning you about "slimy" practices that the industry would rather keep hidden.


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?


"...index funds that are very low-cost (such as Vanguard's) are investor-friendly by definition and are the best selection for most of those who wish to own equities."
  - Warren Buffett


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