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Index Funds

Learn more about indexing and index funds to become a better investor.

What is an Index?
You may have heard about index funds. But what is an index? What are examples of best known indexes?

Best Index Funds
Which are the best index funds and what do you analyze to choose them? Why are index funds better than actively-managed funds? Are passive mutual funds better than ETFs?

Index Funds vs ETFs
Which is best, index funds or ETFs? What are the differences? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Find out who should invest and learn how to choose the best passive investments and strategies.

The Best Performing Index
Which stock index has the best long-term performance history?

Major Market Indexes List
Need a list of the major market indexes? Check this list for a quick and easy reference for investing in the major stock and bond indices.

The Best S&P 500 Index Funds
Finding the best S&P 500 Index funds can be easy if you know what to look for. Here are a few of the top S&P 500 Index funds and why we recommend them.

Index Investing FAQ
Do you have questions about index investing? The answers to what you want to know (and what you never thought to ask) about how to invest with index funds are all here.

Indexes or Indices - Which is Correct?
Should you use 'indexes' or 'indices' in reference to the plural form of index?

Tracking Error Definition
What is an index fund's tracking error and how can it be measured?

Exchange-Trading Fallacies
ETF investors may have good intentions but the advantages of exchange-traded funds over index mutual funds can turn into disadvantages and resulting errors that are too common. Be sure to know yourself and your objectives before buying ETFs.

Total Stock Market Index Funds
What are total stock market index funds? Find out how to use total stock market index funds, which ones are the best and if you should use them.

Total Stock Market vs S&P 500
Which is best, a total stock market index or the S&P 500 Index? The answer depends upon the complimentary mutual funds or ETFs within the investor's portfolio. There are some mistakes to avoid in the total stock market index vs S&P 500 index debate. It is wise to compare and contrast the similarities and differences before investing.

Value vs Growth vs Index Investing
Which is best - value or growth? Are index funds better than value and growth? Take a look at this historical data and review the performance charts for yourself and make an informed decision.

Total Bond Market Index
What is the total bond market index and what is the best way to invest in it?

Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH)
The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) essentially says that all known information about investment securities, such as stocks, is already factored into the prices of those securities. Therefore no amount of analysis can give an investor an edge over other investors. But is this hypothesis true in application? Are there certain areas of the...

Index Funds & Efficient Markets
Proponents of the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) are often index fund investors. However, not all index fund investors subscribe to the EMH. There is a wise middle ground. If you like the idea of investing in index funds but still want to tweak performance or find a wise but competitive edge as an investor, there is an investment strategy...

Why Index Funds Beat Actively-Managed Funds
Why do index funds outperform actively-managed funds? Over long periods of time, index funds have higher returns than their actively-managed counterparts for several simple reasons.

What Are Enhanced Index Funds?
What are enhanced index funds? Can they beat the index?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index
What is the Dow Jones Industrial Average and why should investors care about it? Although this index only represents 30 large industrial companies, the Dow Jones index still has significant relevance.

What is the NASDAQ?
What is the NASDAQ and what are the best mutual funds and ETFs that invest in the NASDAQ index?

What is the Wilshire 5000 Index?
Often called "the total stock market index," The Wilshire 5000 is the broadest stock market index. But does this mean it's the best overall index for investors?

What is the Russell 3000 Index?
The Russell 3000 is a broad stock market index -- a sampling of approximately 3000 stocks -- that measures performance of the largest US companies. Should investors use a Russell 3000 index fund or ETF or should they use a Wilshire 5000 fund or S&P 500 fund?

What is the Russell 2000 Index?
What is the Russell 2000? This index represents the small-cap stock portion of the equity investment universe. Investors are wise to understand the definition of the Russell 2000 Index and how it applies to investing in mutual funds and ETFs.

What is the S&P Midcap 400 Index?
What is the Standard & Poor's Midcap 400? You've probably heard of the S&P 500 Index but you may not be familiar its mid-cap cousin, the S&P Midcap 400. Learn more about this often overlooked segment of the market and improve your portfolio's diversity and possibly its returns.

Index & No-Loads
Index funds and no-load funds are the chosen investment type for the smart do-it-yourself investor. Learn more about index investing and no-load mutual funds.

What is the MSCI Index?
What is the MSCI Index? There are many different variations of this foreign stock index. These indexes (or indices) are followed by other acronyms, such as EAFE, ACWI, IL, DM and EM. What do they mean and how can investors use them?

The Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index
The Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is the benchmark for most bond funds traded in the US. What is the BarCap Aggregate and how can an investor benefit by using a total bond market fund?

Tracking Error Definition
What is tracking error with regard to index investing?

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