Best Index Fund to Invest in 2023 for Diversify Portfolio

Best Index Fund to Invest
Image credit: Image by jannoon028 on Freepik

Financial experts frequently praise index funds for their strength and effectiveness. However, if you are a new investor, you may not have a complete understanding of what an index fund is or why it outperforms other investment options. Like other aspects of personal finance, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all list of the best index funds that will meet everyone’s needs. The best index fund for you will vary based on your individual circumstances. However, we can provide you with several helpful suggestions. Today, we will explain the various ways to invest in index funds and the best index dividend funds to invest in.

What is an Index?

An index is a tool that tracks the progress and performance of a particular group of securities that the index creator has carefully chosen. Hence, an index is essentially the outcome of the index creator adhering to a predetermined methodology for selecting bonds, stocks, or other assets. Index-based investing has transitioned from being a minor component of the investment landscape to becoming a prominent and influential approach.

What Is an Index Fund?

An index fund is a type of investment fund that can be either a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund (ETF). It is designed to track a specific basket of stocks or an index. Fund managers strive to replicate the index through passive management, either by creating it internally or by partnering with external entities like investment banks or brokerages. These funds track popular indexes, which are frequently mentioned in financial news as measures of overall market performance. This provides investors with useful data on the upward trend of stocks as a whole.

Best Index Fund to Invest In

The best index fund to invest in includes the following:

#1. Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund

If you are interested in investing in an official S&P 500 index fund, the Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX -0.85%) is one of the most affordable options available. The expense ratio of this investment is 0.02%, which implies that you would only pay $0.20 annually for every $1,000 you invest. Due to the minimal investment fee, your returns closely mirror the performance of the S&P 500. There is no minimum investment requirement, allowing you to begin investing with as little as $1.

#2. USAA Nasdaq-100 Index Fund (USNQX)

The USAA Nasdaq-100 Index fund is designed to closely follow the performance of the Nasdaq-100 Index. It ensures that at least 80% of its assets are invested in companies that are part of the index. The Nasdaq-100 consists of 100 of the biggest nonfinancial domestic and international companies that are listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The fund consistently achieves better performance than the index. The investment has received a five-star rating from Morningstar due to its low fees, outstanding returns, and slightly above-average risk.

#3. Fidelity 500 Index

Choosing the best large-cap index fund can be quite challenging due to the abundance of options available. Many of these funds share similar strategies and cost structures, making it difficult to determine the superior choice. The Fidelity 500 Index (FXAIX) mutual fund stands out as one of the top choices for several reasons.

Firstly, it is a straightforward process. The investment is closely linked to the S&P 500 Index, which consists mainly of major American corporations such as Microsoft (MSFT) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Regardless of how the index performs, this index fund will perform accordingly, after accounting for fees. When it comes to fees, the cost structure of this Fidelity index fund is incredibly low, almost resembling a free option. Even if you invest a significant amount of $10,000 in the fund, your annual fees will only amount to $1.50. These two features have made it extremely popular, resulting in the accumulation of hundreds of billions of dollars in assets under management.

#4. iShares MSCI EAFE ETF

Sometimes, non-U.S. stocks do better than U.S. stocks after a long time, which could be good for EFA. The S&P 500 Index, which is based on market value, has gone up 210% in the last 10 years, while EFA, which buys stocks outside of the U.S., has only gone up 48%. Before this, equity purchases made outside of the U.S. were more competitive with those made in the U.S. EFA is ready for a long-term comeback with its wide range of stocks from Europe, the UK, Australia, and Asia. Trading at less than 14 times earnings and paying 2.2%, this stock could be worth more than what has worked in the last ten years.

#5. Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG)

The Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG) is an excellent choice for investors seeking stocks with increasing sales and profits, as its name suggests. However, the name alone does not convey that its primary focus is on larger growth names. There is nothing inherently wrong with investing in sleepier stocks, such as utilities or companies that focus on everyday goods like packaged foods or toiletries. However, it is important to acknowledge that Americans are unlikely to significantly increase their use of electricity or canned goods in the near future.

Fortunately, the Vanguard index fund is specifically designed to concentrate on stocks that have the potential for growth. Currently, the technology sector accounts for a significant 46% of the total portfolio. Nearly a quarter of VUG’s assets are comprised of major consumer names such as (AMZN) and Home Depot (HD).

Read also: Mutual Funds vs Index Funds: Difference, Formulas & Examples

Best Index Fund for Dividends

Dividend index funds refer to either mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that focus on dividends. Their objective is to track an index comprising multiple stocks, with a particular emphasis on stocks that offer dividend payments. While dividend stocks may not be the best fit for every investor, it is also true that dividend index funds may not be appealing to everyone. If your main goal is to secure a consistent income rather than seeking significant growth from your investments, a good index fund for dividends may be the perfect fit for you. Likewise, there is no need for stock-picking. The best index fund for dividends includes the following:

#1. ProShares S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF

This ETF is unique in that it solely focuses on tracking the performance of Dividend Aristocrats, which are S&P 500 members that have consistently increased their dividends for a minimum of 25 consecutive years. As one would anticipate, these stocks typically exhibit lower levels of risk. The ETF currently holds a portfolio of 64 stocks that are classified as dividend aristocrats.

#2. Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend, Low Volatility ETF 

This exchange-traded fund (ETF) is designed to mirror the performance of the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend Index. The strategy focuses on dividend stocks that, as their names imply, have a history of having low volatility and offer high dividend yields. The ETF consists of 51 stocks, with a significant portion allocated to utility stocks and basic goods stocks. 

#3. Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX) 

The main focus of the Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund is to invest in a diverse range of large-cap (and sometimes mid-cap) U.S. and global companies. These companies are selected based on being undervalued compared to the market and having the potential to consistently pay dividends. The purpose of the fund research is to identify companies with a high potential for earnings growth, which in turn can generate more income. Additionally, the research also evaluates the readiness of business leadership to increase dividend payouts.

#4. Vanguard Real Estate ETF 

The real estate industry has the potential to generate significant income through dividends. The Vanguard Real Estate ETF is a fund that invests in real estate investment trusts (REITs) as well as companies that specialize in investing in various properties, such as office buildings and hotels. The ETF in question is designed to mirror the performance of the MSCI US Investable Market Real Estate 25/50 Index. This index comprises approximately 175 companies.

#5. Federated Strategic Value Dividend Fund (SVAAX)

Investors who seek more frequent dividend payouts than just on a quarterly basis may find the Strategic Value Dividend Fund from Federated Hermes appealing, as it provides monthly dividends. The fund’s investment strategy aims to generate income and achieve capital appreciation over the long run by focusing on stocks that pay higher dividends compared to the broader equity market. The fund also focuses on identifying companies that have the potential for dividend growth. Additionally, the fund’s performance is primarily measured against the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index.

How to Invest in Index Funds

The various ways to invest in index funds are as follows:

#1. Take Time to Review Your Finances and Goals

Prior to making any investments, it is crucial to gain a clear understanding of your personal circumstances and life objectives. When do you plan to retire, and how close are you to reaching that milestone? What is your risk tolerance level and budget? Gaining a comprehensive understanding of these concepts will greatly enhance your knowledge of the role index funds play in your financial life and provide you with valuable insights on how to invest in them. 

#2.Pick an Index

Index funds allow you to track a wide range of indexes, with hundreds of options available. The S&P 500 index is widely regarded as the most popular index. It comprises 500 of the leading companies in the U.S. stock market.

In addition to the broad indexes mentioned, there are also sector indexes that are specifically linked to particular industries. Furthermore, there are country indexes that focus on stocks from individual nations, style indexes that prioritize companies with rapid growth or value-priced stocks, and other indexes that restrict their investments based on their own sorting systems.

#3. Selecting the Appropriate Index Fund for Your Investment

After selecting an index, you can typically find at least one index fund that mirrors its performance. When it comes to popular indexes such as the S&P 500, there are typically multiple options available, each of which tracks the same index. When considering multiple index fund options for your chosen index, it is important to ask some fundamental questions. First,  know which index fund closely mirrors the performance of the index. Which index fund has the most affordable costs? Are there any constraints or limitations that would prevent you from investing in an index fund? Lastly, inquire if the fund provider offers any other index funds that pique your interest as well. The answers to those questions will help you choose the most suitable index fund for your needs.

#4. Buy Index Fund Shares

You have the option to open a brokerage account, which will enable you to buy or sell shares of the index fund that you find appealing. You also have the option to open an account directly with the investment firm that provides the funds.

When making a decision on how to purchase shares of your index fund, it is important to carefully consider both the costs and features associated with each option. Certain brokers may impose additional fees on customers for purchasing index fund shares, which can make it more cost-effective to directly open a fund account with the index fund company. However, there are many investors who prefer to consolidate all of their investments into a single brokerage account. If you plan on investing in multiple index funds from various fund managers, utilizing the brokerage option can be the most effective method to consolidate all your investments into a single account.

What Is Better Than Index Funds?

ETFs offer greater ease of trading compared to index funds and traditional mutual funds, as they can be traded on a stock exchange just like common stocks. Furthermore, investors have the option to purchase ETFs in smaller quantities and with fewer obstacles compared to mutual funds.

Is Vanguard S&P 500 a Good Investment?

Yes, this index fund is an excellent choice for investors seeking a well-diversified investment option at an affordable price. It can also serve as an essential element in their portfolio.

Is Roth or Index Fund Better?

A Roth IRA is a retirement account that offers tax advantages, while an index fund is an investment that mirrors the performance of a market index. Index funds are commonly selected for Roth IRAs and other types of investment accounts. However, investors often choose a Roth IRA due to the advantage of tax-free withdrawals during retirement.

What Is the Average Return on Index Funds?

According to the S&P 500 index, the average annual stock market return is around 10%. However, it is important to note that this average rate is adjusted for inflation. In other words, investors should anticipate an annual decrease in purchasing power of approximately 2% to 3% as a result of inflation.

In Essence

When it comes to investment, remember that “best” is a matter of opinion. This article is just a small part of a much bigger process for researching investments. Index funds are a popular way to invest, and they should stay that way. As more are made, the research method gets trickier and more useful at the same time.


  1. Mutual Funds vs Index Funds: Difference, Formulas & Examples
  2. WHAT IS S&P 500? Best 2023 Guide & Business Insights
  3. 17 TOP INDEX FUNDS 2023:(Updated)
  4. DIVIDEND INDEX FUNDS: Best High Index Funds Fidelity & Vanguard
  5. MUTUAL Fund: What They Are and Best Mutual Funds to Invest
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like