Vermont Retirement Planners, LLC

54 Highland Avenue
Manchester Center, VT 05255
nick@vtretirement.com
(802) 367-3958

87 North Main St.
Rutland, VT 05701
nick@vtretirement.com
(802) 772-7945

Investment Read Time: 4 min

The Anatomy of an Index

Did you know that an estimated $13.5 trillion in assets are indexed or benchmarked to the Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Index, including $5.4 trillion in index assets?1,2

The S&P 500 is ubiquitous – we see it on the news, read about it in the newspapers, and very likely, see some of our own investments' performance compared against it. For an index that represents approximately 80% of the value of the U.S. equity market, it may be worthwhile to gain a better understanding of how it works.1

Cap & Criteria

The index, as we know it today, was introduced in 1957 and is maintained by the Standard & Poor's Index Committee. Contrary to popular belief, it is not comprised of the 500 largest companies in America, but is a collection of large-cap stocks representing a broad range of market sectors, including technology, energy, health care, and consumer staples, among others.3

There are a number of criteria a company must meet to be considered for inclusion in the index. Some of these criteria include the following: it must be a U.S. company, have an unadjusted market capitalization of $14.6 billion or more, have 50% of its stock available to the public, and have four consecutive quarters of positive earnings.3

Changes Over Time

Another common misconception is that the index is a static one. In fact, companies will be removed, from time to time, for reasons that include violation of one or more of the criteria used for adding companies or because of a merger, acquisition, or significant restructuring, including bankruptcy.

The turnover in the index's constituent companies was 3.6% in 2020 (per the most recent data available). According to one projection, the average tenure of companies in the index is expected to fall to 15-20 years this decade, as compared to the 30-35 year average tenure in the late 1970s.4

Add and Subtract

When changes are made to the index, many mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that seek to replicate the index may have to sell stocks that are being removed and buy the stocks that are being added in order to track the index. Keep in mind that amounts in mutual funds and ETFs are subject to fluctuation in value and market risk. Shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.5

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds are sold only by prospectus. Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before investing. A prospectus containing this and other information about the investment company can be obtained from your financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

Investors cannot invest in an index. Also, index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment, and past performance does not guarantee future results. Investment choices designed to replicate any index may not perfectly track it, and their returns will be reduced by fees and expenses.

1. US.Spindices.com, May 31, 2022
2. The S&P 500 Composite index (total return) is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
3. Investopedia.com, 2022
4. Innosight, 2021
5. Keep in mind that the return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

How Interest Rates Affect Everything

How Interest Rates Affect Everything

This is a good infographic to use, and reuse, whenever the benchmark interest rate goes up.

4 Easy Ways to Turn the Next Generation into Savvy Savers

4 Easy Ways to Turn the Next Generation into Savvy Savers

In times like these—nearly a decade after the Great Recession and in the midst of the current crisis—teaching your kids the value of a dollar is more critical than ever.

Why Millennials May Need Life Insurance Now More than Ever

Why Millennials May Need Life Insurance Now More than Ever

It’s easy to feel invincible when you’re young, healthy and have a steady paycheck. After all, the chances of something catastrophic happening to you are pretty low, right?

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Your Financial Path Forward in the Midst of Mental Illness

Losing a job is never easy, even under normal circumstances. Losing a job or needing to take extended time off of work due to mental illness, however, comes with its own unique set of pressures to navigate

Whole Life Insurance Can Be an Asset For Balance

Even if you didn’t grow up on a farm, you’ve heard, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

Funding Your Future Health Care Needs

A little planning now can go a long way to help take care of yourself in the future.

View all articles

Home Mortgage Deduction

Use this calculator to assess the potential benefits of a home mortgage deduction.

Historical Inflation

This calculator shows how inflation over the years has impacted purchasing power.

A Look at Systematic Withdrawals

This calculator may help you estimate how long funds may last given regular withdrawals.

View all calculators

An Inside Look at Retirement Living

A number of questions and concerns need to be addressed to help you better prepare for retirement living.

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

View all presentations

Retirement and Quality of Life

Asking the right questions about how you can save money for retirement without sacrificing your quality of life.

The Richest Man in Babylon

In good times and bad, consistently saving a percentage of your income is a sound financial practice.

Retirement Plan Detectives

A couple become Retirement Plan Detectives, searching records from old employers.

View all videos