Index Funds: List of 12 Cheapest Index Funds to Invest
Cheap index low funds are a relatively low-cost way to diversify, but first, you need to understand what you’re purchasing.
According to a low-cost index funds argument, active funds are more expensive and are less likely to fulfill their promises. According to a recent study by the S&P Dow Jones Indices, 89% of active managers could not outperform their standards relatively for the last fifteen years. If you’re searching for a diamond, chances of finding one that shines in the rough active funds are 11%.
If you intend to invest in an inexpensive strategy, you need to know about the cheapest index funds and, more so, understand what an index fund is.
What’s an Index Fund?
You can only understand index funds better if you can differentiate between an index fund and a stock market index.
A stock market index refers to a representation of selected stock in the broader market. Index providers such as the S&P Dow Jones Indices developed indexes to quickly gauge the entire stock market performance instead of checking out every stock’s latest price data.
Each index shows a varying outlook of the stock market. For Example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average purpose is to represent the broader U.S economy and trades 30 great stocks on the New York Stock Exchange. On the other hand, S&P 500 monitors the 500 largest U.S companies that sell publicly, while the Russell 2000 index monitors the 2000 smallest companies that trade publicly.
An index remains static after being defined until the index provider decides to change its components; this mostly takes place once annually. Indexes purpose is to track and not to invest directly. In most cases, investors purchase cheap index funds that help them track their preferred index.
S&P Dow Jones is one of the index providers that don’t sell index funds. Instead, they develop the index while other units such as Fidelity and Vanguard create index funds to monitor those indexes.
What should you consider when buying an Index Fund?
No doubt, you intend to invest in index funds for a good reason. It could be because they are a diversified and an easy way to invest in the stock market.
Index funds create a stock portfolio that shows the market index performance and a combination of companies like the Russell 2000. Unlike actively managed funds, you can passively manage index funds at a lower fee and generate a higher return on investment.
Here’s what you should consider when buying an index fund:
Do you intend to buy index funds from different fund families? Large mutual companies sustain some of their competitors’ money but have a limited selection compared to a broker’s line up.
It would be best if you settle for a single provider who can meet all your requirements. For instance, if you want to invest in mutual funds or both stocks and funds, a mutual fund company will serve as a good investment hub. However, if you need advanced stock research and screening equipment, a broker that deals with the index funds you’re interested in will serve you better. You can always open a brokerage account if you don’t have one.
If there’s no waiver on the transaction fee or commission, check out a broker’s or fund company’s index fund buying or selling charges. Commissions from mutual funds will often be higher than the stock trading commissions with about 20 dollars or more.
Is there a waiver on the mutual funds’ transaction fee or ETFs commission? This is a crucial criterion used to rate discount brokers. You can check out selections at E-Trade, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity.
How to Choose an Index Fund
Index mutual funds monitor different indexes. One of the most popular indexes is the Standard & Poor 500 index since among the 500 organizations; it includes extensive and popular U.S-based businesses representing a broad range of industries. However, S&P is not the only index; various indexes and their corresponding index funds consist of stocks and different assets.
You can choose any of these index funds based on:
The size of the company and capitalization
There are index funds for all companies, whether large, medium-sized, or small enterprises. It all depends on where you want to invest.
These are funds that mainly focus on foreign exchange stock trade or a combination of international transactions.
Business Niche or Industry
This depends on the sector you intend to invest in. some funds focus on a health-related niche, technology, consumer goods, etc.
These are funds that keep an eye on local and foreign bonds, cash, and commodities.
These index funds track upcoming markets and other developing but promising sectors for investment.
Despite various choices, it would be best if you invest in one sector. According to Warren Buffet, an average investor should invest in the broad stock market index to be well-diversified.
Regardless, suppose you intend to diversify your exposure to several market portfolios (such as developing market exposure or higher investments on bonds or small organizations). In that case, you can customize your allocation easily.
Best Index Funds with Low Costs
Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral Shares (VFIAX)
This index fund is also referred to as Vanguard S & P 500 Index fund and was founded in 1976. It is the eldest of all index funds. Like other S&P 500 funds, Vanguard 500 index fund exhibits the 500 largest U.S companies making approximately 75% of the U.S stock market’s total value. You can invest a minimum of $3000 at an expense ratio of 0.04% in this index fund.
Fidelity 500 Index Fund (FXAIX)
Established in 1988, this fund was previously known as the Institutional Premium Class fund. It is one of the cheapest index funds and has no investment minimum. Hence, with any budget, you can venture into this affordable index fund at an expense ratio of 0.015%.
Invesco S&P 500 Quality ETF (SPHQ)
The fact that the S&P 500 Quality index consists of companies with the most substantial equity return makes SPHQ ideal for the current market environment. It will also serve you with the lowest financial leverage and friendly accounting practices in the broader S&P 500.
SPHQ utilizes these qualities to develop a primary weighting instead of depending on the market-cap weighting to rank organizations. Its ratio expense is 0.15%, meaning you earn 15 dollars for every 10,000 dollars you invest.
Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
This index fund is among the most inexpensive and easily accessible S&P 500-tracking index funds you will ever come across. Established in 1997, Schwab S&P fund has no minimum investment amount and charges a 0.02% expense ratio. If you’re an investor with a cost concern, this is the ideal index fund for you.
Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund (VTWAX)
Vanguard Total world stock index fund is a mutual fund consisting of more than 8600 companies. According to Don McDonald, a Vestory financial advisor, the only way to earn a portfolio that’s diversified globally is to venture into global index funds like the VTWAX. Though the worldwide portfolio has trailed behind over the last ten years, there’s a need to embrace a stable potential average with time.
VTWAX charges an expense ratio of 0.1%, and you can also find it as an ETF with a VT ticker symbol at an expense ratio of 0.08%.
Fidelity Zero Large Cap Index (FNILX)
Fidelity ZERO Large Cap Index is a mutual fund with no expense ratio. While this fund doesn’t officially track the S&P 500, it technically follows the Fidelity U.S large-cap index. However, the difference is irrelevant.
The good thing about FNILX is that you will not have to part with your hard-earned cash in terms of a licensing fee to use the S&P name. This makes it a low-cost fund index to invest in. Put, if you invest $10,000, you will incur a 0 dollar expense ratio annually.
Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK)
Investing in the tech niche in the current market is the real deal. With so many tech developments, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and a rise in emerging technology adoption, technology fund means lower volatility than small and mid-cap stock funds. It charges an expense ratio of 0.13%.
iShares ESG MSCI USA ETF (ESGU)
iShares come with ESG index ETFs that create a portfolio basis in social, environmental, and governance investments. ESGU, a mid to large-cap fund, focuses and influences stocks with robust ESG features. With ESGU, you will enjoy the inexpensive and comprehensive market exhibit and stay on track with the ESG guidelines through the screening process.
This index fund aligns well with investors’ values and charges and expense rate of 0.15%.
Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ)
QQQ is an adjusted market-cap index fund consisting of roughly 100 largest Nasdaq listed companies. Its primary focus is on nonfinancial stocks, thus different from a broader, large-cap portfolio. QQQ doesn’t invest in sectors like real estate and energy. While it is considered a tech fund, it’s not purely a tech fund but a combination of growth, tech, and other large-cap companies.
If you intend to invest in asset management, QQQ is the ideal ETF. It charges an expense ratio of 0.2%.
T. Rowe Price Equity Index 500 (PREIX)
This index fund was established in 1990 and has a competitive expense ratio compared to other providers. The minimum investment amount is $2500, which may be a bit expensive if you’re a beginner. It charges a 0.2 expense ratio.
VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ)
Though gold has low-interest rates, its monetary incentives make it more attractive since it can fuel inflation. GDXJ consists of small-cap silver and gold mining companies. If you’re a great risk investor, this is the ideal index fund for you. It charges a 0.53% expense ratio and is more volatile.
iShares Edge MSCI US Min Vol USA ETF (USMV)
USMV aims to track investment results of U.S companies’ index and maintain low volatility. It charges a management fee of 0.15% and has various exposure breakdowns, including health care, Information Technology, Real estate, and utilities.
Index funds are now a typical investment venture in the U.S due to their high returns, diversity, and ease of use. Investing in the reviewed index fund guarantees you reduced risk and diversification benefits.