The wide world of index funds

Select from our sampling of the largest passive portfolios that track either U.S., foreign, or specialty markets.

By Beth Kowitt, reporter
Broad U.S.
Start here -- with a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund that tracks a wide swath of the market. Many of these funds also have versions that include only growth or value stocks.
Fund Name/Ticker 2009 Return1 Assets (Billions) Annual Expenses Minimum initial investment Index tracked
Fidelity Spartan Total Market FSTMX 26.80% $8.50 0.10% $10,000 Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market
Vanguard Total Stock Market VTSMX 27.10% $108.80 0.16% $3,000 MSCI U.S. Broad Market
Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Inv. FSMKX 25.50% $12.90 0.10% $10,000 Standard & Poor's 500
iShares S&P 500 Index2 IVV 25.50% $21.60 0.09% N.A. Standard & Poor's 500
Schwab S&P 500 Index Select SWPPX 25.30% $8.70 0.19%4 $100 Standard & Poor's 500
SPDRs2 SPY 25.30% $77.20 0.09% N.A. Standard & Poor's 500
T. Rowe Price Equity Index 500 PREIX 25.30% $10.40 0.35% $2,500 Standard & Poor's 500
Vanguard 500 Index Investor VFINX 25.50% $87.30 0.16% $3,000 Standard & Poor's 500
iShares Russell 1000 Index2 IWB 27.00% $5.10 0.15% N.A. Russell 1000
iShares Russell 3000 Index2 IWV 26.60% $3.10 0.20% N.A. Russell 3000
PowerShares QQQ2 QQQQ 49.90% $17.00 0.20% N.A. Nasdaq 100
PowerShares FTSE RAFI U.S. 10002 PRF 42.00% $0.50 0.58% N.A. FTSE RAFI U.S. 1000
Vanguard Extended Market VEXMX 32.50% $11.30 0.25% $3,000 Standard & Poor's Completion

Foreign Fund
These portfolios give you the world in one basket. But you can also buy funds that focus on particular regions and individual countries, as well as different sizes of stocks.
Fund Name/Ticker 2009 Return1 Assets (Billions) Annual Expenses Minimum initial investment Index tracked
Vanguard Total Intl. Stock VGTSX 39.20% $24.30 0.03% $3,000 Total International Composite
Fidelity Spartan International FSIIX 31.10% $6.80 0.10% $10,000 MSCI Europe, Australasia, Far East
iShares MSCI EAFE2 EFA 33.70% $36.10 0.35% N.A. MSCI Europe, Australasia, Far East
Van. FTSE All-World ex-U.S. Small2 VSS 60.4%3 $0.30 N.A. N.A. FTSE Global Small Cap ex-U.S.
iShares MSCI Emerg. Markets2 EEM 70.80% $38.20 0.72% N.A. MSCI Emerging Markets
Schwab Fundamental Emer. Mkts. SFENX 73.30% $0.10 0.61% $100 FTSE RAFI Emerging
Vanguard Emerging Mkts. Stock VEIEX 75.60% $27.40 0.32% $3,000 MSCI Emerging Markets

Specialty Funds
You can use specialty funds to fine-tune your portfolio, or bet on whole sectors rather than specific stocks. Here's a selection of some of the larger exchange-traded funds that focus on everything from consumer goods to base metals to currencies.
Fund Name/Ticker 2009 Return1 Assets (Billions) Annual Expenses Index tracked
Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF MOO 47.70% $1.60 0.58% DAXglobal Agribusiness index
PowerShares DB Agriculture DBA 0.60% $2.30 0.75% DB Liquid Commodity Index–Diver. Agriculture Excess Return
iPath Dow Jones–AIG Commodity Idx. DJP 16.00% $2.00 0.75% Dow Jones–UBS CommodityIndex Total Return
iShares Silver Trust SLV 63.70% $5.00 0.50% Silver bullion
PowerShares DB Base Metals DBB 72.40% $0.50 0.75% DB Liquid Commodity Index–Opt. Yield Ind. Metals Excess Return
PowerShares DB Commod. Idx. Track. DBC 14.50% $4.10 0.75% DB Liquid Commodity Index–Optimum Yield Diver. Excess Return
SPDR Gold Shares GLD 30.20% $39.50 0.40% Gold bullion
Consumer Discret. Select Sector SPDR XLY 38.90% $1.40 0.22% Consumer Discretionary Select Sector index
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR XLP 15.20% $2.20 0.22% Consumer Staples Select Sector index
PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Bearish UDN 9.50% $0.40 0.57% Deutsche Bank Short U.S. Dollar index
PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Bullish UUP -10.20% $1.20 0.58% Deutsche Bank Long U.S. Dollar index
Energy Select Sector SPDR XLE 24.80% $6.00 0.22% Energy Select Sector index
Vanguard Energy ETF VDE 24.50% $1.10 0.20% MSCI U.S. Investable Market Energy index
United States Natural Gas UNG -60.90% $3.40 0.60% Price of natural gas as delivered at the Henry Hub in Erath, La.
United States Oil Fund LP USO 17.50% $2.10 0.45% Movements of light, sweet crude oil delivered to Cushing, Okla.
Financial Select Sector SPDR XLF 20.80% $6.50 0.22% Financial Select Sector index
Health Care Select Sector SPDR XLV 15.40% $2.20 0.22% Health Care Select Sector index
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology IBB 12.50% $1.40 0.48% Nasdaq Biotechnology index
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare IYH 16.60% $0.60 0.48% Dow Jones U.S. Health Care index
Industrial Select Sector SPDR XLI 22.90% $2.10 0.22% Industrial Select Sector index
iShares S&P Global Infrastructure IGF 22.00% $0.40 0.48% Standard & Poor's Global Infrastructure index
Materials Select Sector SPDR XLB 46.40% $1.80 0.22% Materials Select Sector index
iShares S&P N. Amer. Nat. Resources IGE 39.20% $1.60 0.48% Standard & Poor's N. American Natural Resources Sector index
PowerShares Water Resources Port. PHO 16.30% $1.40 0.64% Palisades Water index
iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index PFF 31.50% $2.80 0.48% Standard & Poor's U.S.Preferred Stock index
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors ICF 19.70% $1.70 0.35% Cohen & Steers Realty Majors index
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate IYR 23.70% $2.90 0.48% Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate index
SPDR Dow Jones Intl. Real Estate RWX 43.30% $1.00 0.59% Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Select Real Estate Securities index
Vanguard REIT ETF VNQ 20.60% $4.00 0.11% Morgan Stanley Capital International U.S. REIT index
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology IYW 57.60% $1.30 0.48% Dow Jones U.S. Technology index
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecom IYZ 14.20% $0.50 0.48% Dow Jones U.S. Select Telecommunications index
Technology Select Sector SPDR XLK 45.30% $3.90 0.22% Technology Select Sector index
Utilities Select Sector SPDR XLU 5.50% $2.30 0.22% Utilities Select Sector Index

N.A. Not applicable.
1 Through Nov. 16.
2 Exchange-traded fund; no minimum investment, but brokerage fees apply.
3 Returns from inception in April through Nov. 16.
4 The annual expenses cited were derived from the most recent annual reports. The annual expenses on the Schwab S&P 500 Index Select fund have since been cut to .09%.

Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.