Best Total Stock Index Funds for May 2022 – Forbes Advisor

Comparing the total stock market index funds can be like trying to distinguish between snowflakes. You have been told that they are all unique, but they sure look a lot alike. Ultimately, the biggest factor is fees: the lower the fees, the higher the returns, at least for the most part. But beyond fees, there are several factors we consider when making our selections.

We considered how each fund sought to mirror the total equity market in the US We excluded those funds that did not track most US stocks, such as S&P 500 index funds. While the performance of these funds is highly correlated to total market funds, excludes small- and mid-cap stocks. As such, they cannot be fairly described as full market funds.

With one exception, the funds on our list track the Russell 3000 Index, the Dow Jones US Total Market Index, or the CRSP US Total Market Index. In our opinion, each of these is a reasonable approach to capturing the US equity market.

We also include Fidelity’s ZERO fund, which uses a proprietary Fidelity index. It is the first fund we have found that does not charge an expense ratio. It is still unknown if it will outperform the other funds on our list in the long term given its short term.

Finally, we consider the minimum investment of a fund and the performance of the last 12 months. While there was some variation among the funds that made our list, they all fell within a narrow range.

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