It’s important to note that since VTSAX is market-cap weighted, the 3,128 smaller stocks actually only comprise a small portion of the total fund. U.S. stocks halted a seven-day advance, while the dollar fluctuated as data showing a rebound in consumer spending offset a wider selloff in commodities.

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares. The VFIAX will do a little better if large caps are doing well, and the VTSAX will do a little better if small and mid caps are doing better than large caps. There are 509 stocks in the index, though, because some companies have more than one “class” of stock.

The conventional thinking is that small-cap stocks outperform large-cap stocks in the long term (periods of 10 years or more). In addition, most people don’t realize just how large the largest stocks in the S&P 500 are relative to the other stocks in the index.

First we’ll look at some basic information about each fund, then we’ll compare their composition, then we’ll finish by looking at their historical performance. When investing in a total stock market index fund, don't make the mistake of thinking that you have a fully diversified mix of large-cap stocks, mid-cap stocks and small-cap stocks in one fund. It’s important to note that since VTSAX is market-cap weighted, the 3,128 smaller stocks actually only comprise a small portion of the total fund. However, if you’re even debating whether you should invest in VTSAX or VFIAX, that’s an indication that you have your financial life in order. The question that often arises for index fund investors is whether to use a total U.S. stock market fund or an S&P 500 index fund. Should You Invest in Broad Market Index Funds? The Bogleheads’ Guide to the Three-Fund Portfolio, frequently recommends a different index fund for the average investor, Here’s How the S&P 500 Has Performed Since 1928. Here's an overview of the types of stocks in each index: Total stock market indices and the S&P 500 index are cap-weighted, which means that the stocks of companies with the largest market capitalization will receive the highest allocation. The euro slipped with equities in the region.

S&P Dow Jones Indices. For example, at the time of this writing the top 10 holdings for VFIAX, To further understand just how massive the largest stocks are relative to all other stocks, check out this, One last thing to mention is that there are equivalent ETF versions of each of these index funds that don’t require a minimum $3,000 investment. I personally prefer to invest in total stock market funds since they offer slightly more diversification with mid-cap and small-cap stocks. I share insights on how to grow wealth and gain freedom. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) tracks the CRSP US Total Stock Market Index, which includes approximately 3,500 stocks. What Is the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI)? Today, I look at a popular alternative to S&P 500 index ETFs: the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares. We should resist the urge to write-off the difference as insignificant. One similarity between the two indexes is that they both represent only U.S. stocks. Note: You can find the information above on the Vanguard profile pages for both, In addition, most people don’t realize just how large the largest stocks in the S&P 500 are relative to the other stocks in the index. For example, investors wanting to capture a full representation of the U.S. stock market may choose to allocate approximately one-third of their portfolio assets to three separate indexes — the S&P 500 for large-caps, the S&P mid-cap 400 for mid-caps, and the Russell 2000 for small-caps. Note: No matter which fund you choose to invest in, I highly recommend using Personal Capital to track your investments. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Retire Before Mom and Dad--The Simple Numbers Behind a Lifetime of, Retire Before Mom and Dad--The Simple Numbers Behind a Lifetime of Financial Freedom. 3. Over decades of investing, even a small difference in returns adds up. If we want U.S. equity exposure in our portfolio, we'll need to decide.

In my current portfolio, I have the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (VFIAX). "S&P 500 Constituents." For long-term investors, even a small improvement in returns can translate into significant wealth. Do You Know All of the Major World Stock Market Indexes? No matter which funds you decided to invest in, I recommend using Personal Capital to track your investments with their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner.

I think there may be a good reason to pick the S&P 500 index fund. Rob is a Contributing Editor for Forbes Advisor, host of the Financial Freedom Show, and the author of Retire Before Mom and Dad--The Simple Numbers Behind a Lifetime of Financial Freedom. The S&P 500 and the total stock market have a very similar composition and so their performance over the years has been very similar. This also explains why both funds are classified as “large blend” index funds. The best option for an investor depends on their specific portfolio construction. Total Stock Market Index vs. S&P 500 Index, Total Stock Market Index vs S&P 500 Index: How They Invest, Total Stock Market Index vs S&P 500 Index: Performance, See the Best Index Funds to Buy for Long-Term Investing, You Only Need These 7 Vanguard ETFs to Build a Complete Portfolio, What the S&P 500 Tells You About America's Health. to track your investments with their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner. Comparing the Total Stock Market Index vs the S&P 500 Index is a smart way to choose a high-quality, low-cost core holding for your portfolio. Larimore explains that investors can get the benefits of index-fund investing through owning one simple fund: A total stock market index fund. This means that VFIAX is just a subset of VTSAX. To answer this question, I compared historical returns for both the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 since 1972. Index funds offer maximum diversification through holding thousands of individual stocks.

Although each index shares many of the same holdings with the other, there are some key differences to know before you invest. It’s a completely free platform and it’s the only one I personally use on a monthly basis. Recently, I've started to wonder if I would be better served by Vanguard's total U.S. market index fund (VTSAX). © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. This illustrates why the additional 3,128 stocks in VTSAX that are not in VFIAX don’t make a huge difference in terms of composition because these stocks are just so small relative to the biggest stocks in the S&P 500. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. What if You Only Bought Stocks After the Market Had a Down Year. New York, U.S., on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.