We've covered most of the big U.S. indexes, but we've barely scratched the surface of all the other indexes in the world. There are literally thousands of indexes tracking nearly any market. Remember, this tutorial has mostly focused on the overall market, but "market" can also refer to industry sectors or regions around the world.
Every major country has an index that represents its stock exchange. Here are some of the more important indexes around the world:
- FTSE 100 - United Kingdom
- Hang Seng - Hong Kong
- Nikkei - Japan
- DAX - Germany
- S&P/TSX Composite Index - Canada
- CAC 40 - France
Nasdaq has indexes broken down into the following categories: industrial, transportation, bank, telecommunications, insurance, computer, biotechnology and the Dow Jones industry indexes are seemingly unlimited. In fact, they maintain over 3,600 indexes overall, which you can check out at Dow Jones Indexes.
Some publications have become quite renowned for their specialty indexes. The best known example is probably the "Fortune 500" by Fortune Magazine. It ranks the biggest U.S. companies by sales. Another notable index comes from Value Line, an independent research firm whose research has done extremely well over the long run.
Choose the Correct Benchmark
One last point about indexes: even if you don't invest in them, it is important that you use the correct index against which to compare the performance of your portfolio. For example, if you own a mutual fund that invests in the Asian market it would be useless to compare its performance against an index tracking the semiconductor industry.
Index Investing: Index Funds
InvestingAn index is a statistical means of calculating a change in an economy or market.
InvestingIndex funds, at their best, offer a low-cost way for investors to track popular stock and bond market indexes. But not all index funds are created equally.
InsightsA market index combines several stocks to create one aggregate value that’s used to measure a market’s or sector’s performance.
InvestingTracking errors tend to be small, but they can still adversely affect your returns. Learn how to protect against them.
TradingWant to know whether the stock market will open up or down? Check out the index futures.
InvestingAn index fund is a type of mutual fund that is tied to a broad stock index like the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, instead of being handpicked and managed by an investment manager. ...
InvestingA capitalization-weighted index is a market index whose individual components are weighted according to their market capitalization.
InvestingChoosing either ETF options or index options can make the difference between big profits or a big bust.