Low Cost S & P 500 Index Funds

Smart investing with a low cost mutual funds guide

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A smart investments guide that will help you cut your portfolio investment costs, lessen your investing risk, and increase your net investment earnings

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Named Low Cost Mutual Funds and ETFs, this investment guide addresses what is the most important challenge that many investors face: investing costs that are way out of control. Also, the book provides an easy to understand and clear discussion of what works, including the basics of investing methods, plus it gives solutions that are easy to implement. Using this book you can easily find low cost index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

It provides mutual fund comparison information on 212 low cost no load index mutual funds in 30 separate asset classes, plus it provides information on 208 low cost exchange-traded funds in 27 different classes. All these lists were screened with objective factors supported by investment research which are explained in this practical investing book. This book’s index fund and ETF lists provide a full range of lowest cost noload mutual funds and ETF alternatives available to investors.

This very useful 250+ page essentials of investments book was written by Larry Russell, who is an experienced financial planner and advisor practicing in Pasadena, California who holds degrees from MIT, Brandeis, and Stanford.

The problem with investments: Most investors pay way too much in investing fees and costs and receive far too little in exchange for these costs

Charging investors high fees for its allegedly superior wisdom, the vast majority of the investment industry simply just lives off of the returns and assets of individual investors without contributing net value. In a nutshell, you are just a financial services industry profit and revenue center.

The financial industry makes the investing process overly and unnecessarily complex, by overwhelming the market with complex investment products and services which are excessively costly. Then, the investment industry provides biased and self-interested “free advice” on choosing investments, which is the most costly “free advice” naive investors will ever get. Unless they look for less expensive securities services and products, investors are much more likely to be encouraged to buy these unjustifiably costly investment products and services.

Unjustifiably expensive investment products and services are your real enemy when you invest. When you neglect your investment education and let the investment industry just take money from you, the poorer your family will be. Keep your assets. You do not have to participate in this rigged game which violates the basics of investing principles.

With the help of this Low Cost Mutual Funds and ETFs investing book you can easily cut your investing costs, lower your investing risk exposure, and increase your retained portfolio earnings. Reducing your investment expenses down to the bone is the most powerful investing strategy you have.

For several decades, low cost noload mutual funds and now more recently low cost ETFs have delivered better returns adjusted for investment risk. Once taxes and costs have been accounted for, in a load or no load mutual funds comparison individual investors just hold on to more of their investment portfolio return. Moreover, investors who buy lowest cost index funds lower investment risk, spend less effort, are not subjected to pressure sales tactics, endure much lower trouble, plus save more time.

You can make your own investments directly with investment funds, and you can do it better and smarter. All you need is truly objective mutual fund comparison investment information. For some absolutely straight talk concerning investment basics and what really works with personal investing, get this book.

About the no load mutual funds in this investment education book

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This investing book provides tables with 212 lowest cost index mutual funds and 208 lowest cost ETFs in 30 and 27 separate asset classes, respectively. Included no load mutual funds and index ETFs are characterized by having no sales loads, the lowest management fees, and no marketing charges. Plus, listed index funds have significantly reduced investment portfolio turnover which is correlated with lower securities trading costs.

The ETF and mutual fund comparison tables include:

With this essentials of investments book you can choose a low cost noload mutual funds portfolio which is fully diversified by investment asset class and geography

Savings from this excellent low cost index funds and ETFs investor book

Depending upon your portfolio size, this inexpensive smart investing book could allow you to save hundreds even thousands of dollars year in and year out. When you can reduce your overall investment costs and expenses by one percent of your assets per year and you own investments totaling $10,000, your investment savings will be $100 annually. With $50,000, you would save $500 per year. With $100,000, you will save $1,000 each year. Because total yearly investing costs and fees paid by the average investor add up to almost 2% and 2 & 1/2% a year, most individual investors would in reality save two percent per year. Therefore, these annual investment savings on total expenses and fees savings would be twice as much a year — across their entire lives.

Some people might think: “Okay that is how much I would save, however if I pay more costs, I will receive better investment yields.” Sorry, but investment research clearly does not provide support for spending more. These are some typical research quotations from this book:

If you actually are convinced that you can get superior portfolio return, when you pay increased expenses versus lesser fees and you question whether to buy load or no load mutual funds, then you really do need to get and read this important smart investments guide!

Summary of author’s background

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This investment guide book, by Larry Russell was authored using his in-depth and objective knowledge about what really works with personal finance and investing strategies. Larry is an experienced and knowledgeable independent financial planner in the Pasadena and Los Angeles, California area. His goal is “to improve people’s understanding and increase their ability to manage their own personal finance and investment affairs.”

Larry is the author and publisher of many personal financial publications on the Internet and the developer of automated do-it-yourself lifetime financial planning software. Across decades, he has gained broad knowledge in economics, finance, investments, taxation, accounting, probability, statistics, web technologies, and software development. Over 25 years, he contributed as an executive within the software industry at companies like Sun Microsystems and HP.

Retiring from the industry in 2001, he began an in-depth look at the research that affected finance and investments for his own personal interest. To make this academic research information better accessible for individual investors, during 2003, Larry started to author and publish investments and finance academic research article summaries on his longest running investing for beginners educational web site, The Skilled Investor. From 2003, Larry has authored and published in excess of 1,000 personal finance and basics of investing articles across his six investing and personal finance sites. A portion of this investment book was drawn from these website articles, and the links provided in the book will enable you to find and explore his personal finance and investment education web sites.

Also in 2003, Larry started to develop automated and highly customizable home lifecycle financial planning software. This personal finance and investing software application, VeriPlan, was developed at the beginning to be a financial decision tool set for financial advisory clients. In 2006, Larry decided to design and develop an individual user configuration of VeriPlan which home individuals can utilize without assistance. This VeriPlan software is now the most automated and highly customized home life cycle personal financial planning software that can be purchased on the public market for much less than competing investments and personal finance software applications.

(Investment book cover watering can photo from Alan Cleaver available on Flickr.com)

Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds

Lower Cost, No Load S&P 500 Index Funds

If you wonder which no load investments have the lowest costs, the research article, “S&P 500 Index Mutual Funds,” by John A. Haslem, H. Kent Baker, and David M. Smith can help. It was published in the March/April 2007 issue of the Journal of Indexes (pages 34-38) and was based upon a more detailed study that these three investment researchers had conducted.

Haslem, Baker, and Smith studied the investment management expenses and sales fees associated with all S&P 500 index mutual funds. They found a very wide range of management fees and total expense ratios among the total of 202 funds tracking the Standard and Poors composite that they studied.

They also found that higher fees were NOT justified by superior performance. In fact, higher fees lead to lower net portfolio performance after investment costs. Haslem, et.al. found that higher expenses simply lowered investors’ net returns. They grouped S & P 500 funds by expense groupings from low to high using statistical standard deviations around the average expense ratio for all these 202 passive, large capitalization investment portfolios.

This study provided a list of the 25 S&P 500 index funds with the lowest costs.

Unfortunately, if you looked at this list of 25 investment portfolios in detail, you would find many institutional funds that were not available for direct investments by individual investors. In addition, some of these 25 were no longer low cost. Some had been folded into other financial products that you had to purchase through an investment advisor. Unfortunately, such advisers only provide you the “opportunity” to invest in Class A, Class B, and Class C shares with front-end loads and/or back-end load charges and higher annual expenses.

The 10 index funds below tracking the Standard and Poors 500 composite are drawn from the list of 25 low cost index funds.

The list below includes funds that individual investors should be able to invest in directly or that may be available through certain large group investment plans. Of the original list of 25, most institutional funds have been eliminated. Also, others have been excluded, which have been merged into more expensive funds that require purchases to be made through advisors who charge additional fees.

The 10 on the list below are the remaining no load S&P 500 mutual funds that an individual investor does not need a financial advisor to buy. You should be able to buy most of these directly and easily from the company that manages them. You do not have to pay the heavy added expenses of buying through a stock broker, financial adviser, investment adviser, or investment counselor.

Click on the links to any of these 10 no load mutual funds below to find additional information about them. The five letter term in parentheses is the trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds

Buy an S&P 500 Index Fund with Low Costs

Excessive index fund costs hurt individual investors.

S & P 500 index fund investing has grown steadily in popularity. The global securities industry has introduced thousands of index mutual fund and index ETF products to meet and stimulate investor demand. However, most or these index funds do not really serve the financial interests of long-term, passive, buy-and-hold investors.

Unnecessarily high index fund costs are the main culprit. In addition, active index management and new indexing definitions complicate the picture and confuse investors. Such funds stray from the original asset weighted capitalization concept that has served individual investors well for so many decades.

Measured by invested assets, the S & P 500 index is the most common and popular index fund benchmark in the U.S. The S&P 500 composite index tracks about 75% of publicly traded U.S. equity market asset value.

You might think that you can pick any S&P 500 index fund or ETF to implement a low cost, passive market index strategy. Think again, because unfortunately, this is not the case. Index funds are an industry profit center and most index funds charge far more than is reasonable just to track a passive index.

S & P 500 index fund fees range from reasonably low to unbelievably high.

Be careful when you buy index funds. For example, there is actually one S&P 500 index fund out there from a major investment bank that charges 2.71% annually for asset management fees and 12b-1 investment sales fees combined! That is an incredibly hefty fee for such a relatively straightforward investment management task.

What additional value do you get for such high fees? There is a simple answer to the added value delivered by funds that charge outrageously high index management fees. There is no added value whatsoever. In fact the “added-value” in negative and is roughly proportional to the higher investment management fee that is charged.

Spending a lot on a passively managed index mutual fund is just silly, when you consider that you can buy some S&P500 index funds directly from other fund families for only a .1% annual management fee. Yes, that is only one-tenth of one percent annually! Such low fee funds also do not charge investment sales loads, and they do not charge annual 12b1 marketing fees.

If you do not do your homework and you pay excessively high fund management costs for these passive commodity index funds, then you are just tossing your money down a hole. At the bottom of these holes, the securities industry places some of their many profit baskets that scoop up money that naive individual investors waste. Furthermore, high annual expenses mean that you get to repeat this waste year after year, while these excessive fees repeatedly bleed your personal investment portfolio. Bring on the leeches!

A Short List of 10 No Load Index Funds

To buy index funds, click on any of the 10 low cost, no load S&P 500 index funds below to find additional information about them. The article “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds” explains how this list was developed. The five letter term in parentheses is the fund’s trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds

Just Buy Index Funds Directly

Buy index funds directly from no load mutual fund companies to save money.

To buy S&P 500 index funds, click on any of the 10 low cost, no load mutual funds below to find additional information about them. The article “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds” explains how this list was developed. The five letter term in parentheses is the fund’s trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

You should be able to go directly to buy most of these 10 funds. To invest you can call them directly and/or download and complete investment forms from their websites. When you shop for mutual funds, always pay attention to the details. Understand whether there are other restrictions, costs, and purchase conditions associated with buying any index mutual fund.

There is still is a range of total annual expenses within the list above, but the range is much narrower than the total of 202 index funds tracking the Standard and Poors 500 composite index that Haslem, Baker, and Smith studied to derive their list of 25 low cost mutual fund, from which this list of 10 is derived.

The good news is that the mean or average expense ratio for the list of 25 funds in the original study was .19% per year. Therefore, it might still pay you to shop around even within this list of 10 mutual fund above. Even a .1% annual expense difference in index fund expenses can mount up year after year after year.

Some S&P 500 index funds can only be bought through a broker or investment advisor.

Buying an S&P 500 index fund through an investment counselor can substantially increase your initial purchasing costs and and drive up your annual management expense fees. Unfortunately, the vast majority of individual investors buy mutual funds and ETFs through brokers and investment advisers. Rarely do financial advisors recommend that you buy index funds with low fees. This is because low cost, no load mutual funds do not pay them as well as loaded, high fee mutual funds. The ten S&P 500 index funds in the list above can be purchased directly from the fund without any advisor fees.

Many financial advisors will claim that more expensive, actively managed funds will give you better results, but such self-interested claims are not supported by a vast body of investment research. Unfortunately for your pocketbook, the added costs far exceed the added performance. You get the short end of the stick, while you support your advisor’s lifestyle. Now, is this not supposed to be the other way around?

Equity index funds promoted by investment advisors are often much more expensive.

Brokers and investment advisors typically offer you only A Class, B Class, and C Class shares. A, B, and C Share Classes add front-end loads and/or back-end loads, and these share classes often carry much higher annual management fees. Then, a .25% annual 12b1 marketing fee will be tacked on top of these higher annual management fees.

Why? Well, these 12b-1 fees provide an ongoing revenue stream to your advisor, so that he or she will be paid to keep telling you to buy more expensive funds. You pay extra to your advisor year after year, so he or she will keep telling you year after year that paying extra is good for you, when most often it is not. Does this seem like a strange set-up to you? It is. It is called a conflict-of-interest where your best interests get to take a ride in the back seat, while you pay your advisor’s fare at the same time.

Now, sometimes an investment advisor will play the industry’s little game of graciousness and cost sensitivity and “waive” the fee for you. Of course, the financial advisor will only waive the fee, if he or she feels that you have already “produced” enough revenue and commissions for the advisor and the firm. While industry representatives will show you business cards that say “investment advisor” or “investment counselor,” they do not tell you that within the industry they are all called “producers.”

Producers of what you might ask? Producers of revenues paid by you and your assets and by all other clients and their assets. Producers “waive” a few fees selectively to keep your investment assets under the firm’s control for future milking. Fees get waived to mollify clients who complain. The quiet sheep just keep paying.

Some Firms Make It Easy to Buy Index Funds Directly — Find Them, Patronize Them, and Save a Bundle

If you do not think that a financial advisor will really add any value when you buy index funds, then just buy no load index funds directly and cut out these expensive intermediaries. Use your favorite search engine to do your own research online about any no load mutual fund. Read the materials and prospectuses that are available from the investment fund websites. Mutual fund websites make it very clear very quickly whether they are set up to deal directly with you. If they want your business, you will find a prominent “800″ number and easily downloadable investment forms and instructions.

It is really not that difficult to buy index funds directly and be careful about it at the same time. Nevertheless, if a mutual fund family has a no load S&P 500 index fund on the list above, that does not mean that the other mutual funds offered by that investment fund company are necessarily low cost, as well. Be careful and check expenses before investing.

Also, you may notice that there are no ETFs in the list above. If you want to find low cost S&P500 ETFs, click this link to learn more: online investment fund screening tools. By the way, only experienced traders should select S&P 500 EFTs over investing in a similar low cost S&P500 index mutual fund that can achieve the same low cost investment objective without the need to understand how to trade and what the pitfalls of trading might be. There is a whole world of other investment products out there and ETFs are a subset of the larger group of exchange-traded products — some of which do not behave like ordinary mutual funds. There are exchange-traded funds, exchange-traded notes, and other commodities based exchange-traded products that employ leverage, use managed futures, and in effect, may invest either short or long. You need to know what you are doing, when you venture into this realm. Most of the time these exchange-traded investment products will be much more costly and will entail increased risk compared to good old passively managed S&P 500 index mutual funds.

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds

Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)

The Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund is one of the lowest cost equity index funds that individual investors can buy directly.

To buy index funds, click on any of the 10 low cost, no load S&P 500 index funds below to find additional information about them. The article “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds” explains how this list was developed. The five letter term in parentheses is the fund’s trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

You should be able to go directly to most of these 10 funds and call them or download investment forms from their websites. When you shop for any investment, always pay attention to the details. Understand whether there are other restrictions, costs, and purchase conditions associated with buying any index mutual fund.

The S&P 500 composite index tracks about 75% of publicly traded U.S. equity market asset value.

The dominant issue in choosing among passively managed index mutual funds and ETF funds benchmarked against the S & P 500 is that securities industry management and trading fees are all over the map from reasonably low to shockingly high. If you are naive enough to pay higher expense ratios for what are just commodity S&P 500 index funds, then the high investment fees that you pay are just a wealth transfer from you to the financial industry that repeatedly bleeds your personal investment portfolio.

Overview of the Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)

According to the Fidelity Investments website, the investment strategy of the Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund is to seek “investment results that correspond to the total return (i.e., the combination of capital changes and income) of common stocks publicly traded in the United States as represented by the S&P 500, while keeping transaction costs and other expenses low.”

With an annual management expense ratio of only .1% (one-tenth of one percent per year), the Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund has one of the lowest expense ratios of any retail S&P 500 index fund. You can buy shared directly, so you do not have to pay any investment counselor’s front-end sales load charges or any ongoing 12b-1 marketing fees.

Annual investment portfolio turnover is a trading cost proxy for large professionally managed investment portfolios, and since this fund’s portfolio turnover is about 5.0 per year, trading expenses are probably very low. Total net assets were $8.475 billion recently, making this a very large, but not the largest S&P 500 index fund. Because this fund closely tracks the S&P500 equity index, this means the fund holds only large capitalization U.S. equities, of course.

The Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund was first sold in 1990, and its trading symbol is FSMKX. Shares that an individual investor purchases are called “Investor Class” shares. The required minimum investment for a taxable investment account is $10,000. Check the minimums for other types, such as traditional IRA accounts or Roth IRA accounts.

You can find the Fidelity fund family website at www.fidelity.com. Fidelity’s customer service telephone number is 1-800-FIDELITY or 1-800-343-3548.

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds

Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

The diversified no load mutual fund strategy of the Vanguard 500 Index Fund

The Standard & Poors 500 stock index is the most common equity index fund benchmark in the U.S. The S and P 500 tracks about 75% of publicly traded U.S. equity market asset value. The dominant issue in choosing among passively managed index mutual funds and ETF funds benchmarked against the S & P 500 is that securities industry management and trading fees are all over the map from reasonably low to shockingly high. If you are naive enough to pay higher expense ratios for what are just commodity S&P 500 index funds, then the high investment fees that you pay are just a wealth transfer from you to the financial industry that repeatedly bleeds your personal investment portfolio.

According to Vanguard’s website, the investment strategy of the Vanguard 500 index mutual fund is to use a passive management or index “investment approach designed to track the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, a widely recognized benchmark of U.S. stock market performance that is dominated by the stocks of large U.S. companies. The fund attempts to replicate the target index by investing all, or substantially all, of its assets in the stocks that make up the index, holding each stock in approximately the same proportion as its weighting in the index.”

Brief overview of the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

Management index fund expenses total .18% per year. There are no sales load fees and no 12b-1 fees are added to the annual management expense ratio. Investment fund portfolio transactions costs are also very low. Annual portfolio turnover, which is a trading cost proxy, is only about 5%.

Founded in 1976, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund is the oldest index fund tracking the Standard and Poors 500 composite index. The fund has total net assets of $129.4 billion. A subset of these assets are held as VFINX shares, the share class with the lowest minimum initial investment requirement. The minimum initial deposit required for an individual investor to open a taxable account with VFINX shares is $3,000.

The Vanguard fund family website is at www.vanguard.com. Their customer service telephone number is 1-800-662-2739.

The Vanguard 500 Index Fund is one of the lower cost no load index mutual funds.

To buy index funds, click on any of the 10 low cost, no load S&P 500 index funds below to find additional information about them. The article “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds” explains how this list was developed. The five letter term in parentheses is the fund’s trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

You should be able to go directly to most of these 10 funds to buy them. Either call them or download the investment forms from their websites. When you shop for any investment, always pay attention to the details. Understand whether there are other restrictions, costs, and purchase conditions associated with buying any index mutual fund.

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds

California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)

The Standard & Poors 500 stock index is the most common equity index fund benchmark in the U.S.

The S&P 500 tracks about 75% of publicly traded U.S. equity market asset value. The dominant issue in choosing among passively managed index mutual funds and ETF funds benchmarked against the S & P 500 is that securities industry management and trading fees are all over the map from reasonably low to shockingly high.

If you are naive enough to pay higher expense ratios for what are just commodity S&P 500 index funds, then the high investment fees that you pay are just a wealth transfer from you to the financial industry that repeatedly bleeds your personal investment portfolio.

The California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX) is one of the lowest cost no load index funds that individual investors can buy.

To buy index funds, click on any of the 10 low cost, no load S&P 500 index funds below to find additional information about them. The article “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds” explains how this list was developed. The five letter term in parentheses is the fund’s trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

You should be able to go directly to most of these 10 funds and call them or download investment forms from their websites. When you shop for any investment, always pay attention to the details. Understand whether there are other restrictions, costs, and purchase conditions associated with buying any .

Overview of the California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund – Direct Shares

According to California Investment Trust’s website, the investment strategy of the California Investment S&P 500 index mutual fund is to seek “investment results that correspond to the total return of large sized publicly traded companies as represented by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Index.” You can obtain shares directly from the California Investment Trust with an opening balance as low as $1,000.

While you should check for current information, recently the California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund – Direct had an annual expense ratio of .36%. Since you can buy directly, there are no financial advisor sales loads, and the fund does not charge any 12b1 marketing fees. Annual portfolio turnover is about 4%, which keeps trading costs low.

With total net assets of $107.3 million, the California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund is relatively small, when compared to some of the other giant S&P 500 index funds out there. Thus, the fund might find it some challenging to operate efficiently at this scale. This index mutual fund’s .36% expense ratio is subsidized with a waiver and would have been .17% higher without reimbursement by the fund manager. Remember to check to see whether the fund intends to continue this waiver.

Tracking the Standard and Poors 500 index fund composite index, of course, this fund invests in United States equity securities that have large market capitalizations. This equity index fund was first offered in 1992, and it trades under the symbol, SPFIX. Portfolio shares for direct investments by individual investors are named “Direct Shares.”

You can find the fund family’s website at www.caltrust.com. Their toll free customer service telephone number is 800-225-8778.

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds

Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)

The no load index fund strategy of the Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund

At approximately $4.3 billion in assets, the Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX) is a low cost, medium sized, passively managed diversified index mutual fund. This mutual fund’s investment portfolio consists of large capitalization U.S. stock securities. The objective of this S&P 500 index fund is to match closely the investment results of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

This no load index fund was listed as one of the top 25 lowest cost index mutual funds in a research study. See this article, which describes this study: “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds“. The Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX) is a commodity Standard and Poors 500 index mutual fund that individual investors can purchase directly.

The Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund – Select Shares (SWPPX) have tended to match relatively closely the returns of the Standard and Poors Index, and have done so, in part, because of this fund’s low management expense ratio. For the most recent three-year Morningstar’s and Lipper’s relative performance ratings, this fund’s performance has been average to slightly above average for actively managed and passively managed mutual funds benchmarked against the S&P500 index.

The Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund is one of the lower cost S&P 500 Index Funds that Individual Investors Can Buy Directly.

To buy index funds, click on any of the 10 low cost, no load S&P 500 index funds below to find additional information about them. The article “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds” explains how this list was developed. The five letter term in parentheses is the fund’s trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

You should be able to go directly to most of these 10 funds and call them or download investment forms from their websites. When you shop for any investment, always pay attention to the details. Understand whether there are other restrictions, costs, and purchase conditions associated with buying any index mutual fund.

The Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX) requires a higher minimum to open an account.

Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund – Select Shares (SWPPX) can be purchased directly by an individual investor from Charles Schwab & Co, Inc. For an individual investor interested in such an index fund, Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund – Select Shares (SWPPX) are certainly one of the better index mutual fund choices in the marketplace. The problem that some investors might have is that they do not have the required minimum of $50,000 to commit to this fund. There are some solutions to this problem.

If an investor has a reason to stay within the Schwab family of mutual funds, then he or she might choose a “sister” fund, which is named the Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund – Select Shares (SWPIX). Notice that the only difference in the naming is that the fourth letter of the ticker symbol in parentheses has changed from a “P” to an “I.” However, this change does have its financial implications.

The good news is that the Schwab SWPIX only requires a $100 minimum commitment. The bad news is that the annual percentage expense ratio moves up from .19% per year to .36% per year. In other respects, the Schwab SWPPX and Schwab SWPIX index mutual funds are very similar.

Another alternative that an individual investor has is to choose a similar index mutual fund that has both a lower annual management expense ratio and a lower minimum assets requirement. See the list above.

If you purchase directly, the Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund does not require any front-end sales load charge, and you do not pay any 12b1 fees. Annual fund portfolio turnover is a proxy for hidden trading costs. With only a 3% turnover rate, fund trading expenses are probably very low.

You can find the fund family website at www.schwab.com. The customer service telephone number is 866-855-9102 (24 hours x 7 days).

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds

SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)

The diversified no load index fund strategy of the State Street Global Advisors – SSgA S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)

According to its prospectus filing on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR system, the investment strategy of the State Street Global Advisors Standard and Poors 500 Index Fund (SVSPX) is “to seek to replicate the total return of the S&P 500® Index. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing substantially all of its investable assets in a corresponding portfolio of the State Street Equity 500 Index Portfolio (the “S&P Master Fund”) that has the same investment objective and investment policies that are substantially similar to those of the Fund.”

The SSgA S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX) is a low cost S&P 500 Index Fund that individual investors can buy directly.

The SSgA S&P 500 Index Fund charges 0.16% annually, as its management expense ratio. Because you can buy shares directly and avoid using an expensive financial advisor, you are not required to pay any front-end loads or back-end loads. In addition, there are no annual 12b-1 fees, which would keep dinging you portfolio assets year after year.

Fund portfolio transactions costs are low, too. Annual turnover can be used as a proxy for an equity mutual fund”s trading costs. The SSgA S&P 500 Index Fund has had a 12% annual turnover ratio.

Total net assets are about $1.9 billion. Since this S&P 500 index fund tracks the Standard and Poors 500 composite, of course, portfolio holdings are U.S. equities with large market capitalizations. Some of the investment portfolio’s largest holdings are: ExxonMobil Corporation XOM, General Electric Company GE, AT&T Inc. T, Microsoft Corporation, MSFT, Citigroup Inc. C, Bank of America Corporation BAC, Procter & Gamble Company PG, Chevron Corporation CVX, Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, and Johnson & Johnson JNJ.

The trading symbol of this no load index fund is SVSPX. The required minimum initial deposit for individual investor is $10,000 in a taxable account. Shares in the fund were first sold in 1992.

The State Street Global Advisors fund family website is www.ssgafunds.com. Their customer service telephone number is 1-800-997-7327.

The State Street Global Advisors – SSgA S&P 500 Index Fund is one of 10 low cost, no load index funds.

To buy index funds, click on any of the 10 low cost, no load S&P 500 index funds below to find additional information about them. The article “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds” explains how this list was developed. The five letter term in parentheses is the fund’s trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

You should be able to go directly to most of these 10 funds to buy them. Either call them or download the investment forms from their websites. When you shop for any investment, always pay attention to the details. Understand whether there are other restrictions, costs, and purchase conditions associated with buying any index mutual fund.

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds

T Rowe Price Equity Index 500 Fund (PREIX)

The S & P 500 index fund investment strategy of the T. Rowe Price Equity Index 500 mutual fund.

According to its prospectus filing on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR system, the investment strategy of the T. Rowe Price Equity Index 500 mutual fund is to seek “to match the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index®. The S&P 500 is made up of primarily large-capitalization companies that represent a broad spectrum of the U.S. economy and a substantial part of the U.S. stock market’s total capitalization.”

This T. Roe Price S&P 500 Index Fund is one of the lower cost equity index funds that investors can buy directly.

To buy index funds, click on any of the 10 low cost, no load S&P 500 index funds below to find additional information about them. The article “Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds” explains how this list was developed. The five letter term in parentheses is the fund’s trading symbol.

  1. California Investment S&P 500 Index Fund (SPFIX)
  2. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FSMKX)
  3. Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  4. SSga S&P 500 Index Fund (SVSPX)
  5. T Rowe Price Equity Index Fund 500 (PREIX)
  6. United Association S&P500 Index Fund (UAIIX)
  7. USAA S&P 500 Index Fund – Member (USSPX)
  8. Vanguard 500 Index Fund – Admiral (VFIAX)
  9. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
  10. Vantagepoint 500 Index Fund – Stock II (VPSKX)

You should be able to go directly to most of these 10 funds to buy them. Either call them or download the investment forms from their websites. When you shop for any investment, always pay attention to the details. Understand whether there are other restrictions, costs, and purchase conditions associated with buying any index mutual fund.

Overview of this low cost, no load mutual fund

The T. Rowe Price Equity Index 500 Fund has a management expense ratio that will only cost you .37% annually. Since you can buy shares directly from T Row Price, you do not have to pay any front-end sales load charges. Furthermore, there are also no annual 12b-1 marketing fees.

Total annual portfolio transactions costs are low, too, because this equity mutual fund has less than a 5% turnover ratio. The total net assets of the investment portfolio are approximately $10.3 billion, so this is one of the larger S&P 500 index mutual funds available to retail investors. The fund’s year of inception was 1990.

Of course, the fund holds very large capitalization U.S. equities. Examples of the fund’s largest holdings are: ExxonMobil Corporation XOM, General Electric Company GE, AT&T Inc. T, Microsoft Corporation MSFT, Citigroup Inc. C, Bank of America Corporation BAC, Procter & Gamble Company PG, Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, Chevron Corporation CVX, and Johnson & Johnson JNJ.

The T Rowe Price Equity Index 500 Fund (PREIX) requires a $2,500 initial deposit for a taxable account. PREIX is the trading symbol for these direct purchase shares.

You can find the fund family website at www.troweprice.com. The customer service telephone number is 1-800-225-5132.

Your decision on whether to purchase or to sell any investment is yours and yours alone. READ OUR WEBSITE DISCLAIMER HERE: No Load Index Funds


Low Cost Index Funds



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