Index funds offer investors the opportunity to diversify their portfolio while carrying fewer costs and financial risks than actively managed funds. For first-time investors, index funds are a good way to build the foundation for a sound investing strategy. If you're looking to invest and want to avoid hefty fees, consider low-cost index funds.
Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Investor
The Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Investor Fund (FSMKX) is a large-cap fund fund tracking the S&P 500. Operating expenses for this no-load growth and income fund are low at .10 percent, however, the required minimum investment is $10,000.
Fidelity Spartan International Index Investor
The Fidelity Spartan International Index Investor Fund (FSIIX) carries a relatively low operating expense ratio of .10 percent with a minimum investment of $10,000. A large-value foreign stock fund, it tracks the Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australasia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE), as well as lending securities.
Vanguard 500 Index Investor
The Vanguard 500 Index Investor Fund (VFINX) is a large-cap fund that tracks the S&P 500. A no-load growth and income fund, it carries a .18 percent expense ratio. A $3,000 minimum investment is required.
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund
The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX) is a large-cap growth fund that tracks the MSCI U.S. Broad Market Index. Operating expense ratio for this no-load fund is .18 percent, and the minimum investment is $3,000
Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund
The Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX) has a lower operating expense of .09 percent as well as a low minimum investment of $100. The fund tracks the S&P 500 and is a no-load, large-blend growth fund.
Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund
The Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund (SWTSX) tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index. Expense ratio is low at .09 percent and the minimum investment is $100. This is also a no-load, large-blend fund.