The S&P 500, often just called "the S&P," is a market-cap-weighted index of 505 large-cap U.S. stocks, representing approximately 80% of the market value of the U.S. stock market. Often synonymous with "the market" in the U.S., the S&P 500 is the closest thing to a default U.S. stock index. Its largest components by weight are Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Amazon Inc. (AMZN), Facebook Inc. (FB), and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B). The S&P 500 was the benchmark of the first index fund, and the first ETF. An S&P 500 ETF is a good, inexpensive, way to get exposure to the U.S. stock market. Here is the least expensive S&P 500 ETF for buy-and-hold investing and the most liquid for more active traders. All numbers are as of March 16, 2020.

Cheapest S&P 500 Index ETF: Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)

Because index-tracking ETFs will follow the performance of the Index, one of the most important determinants of long-term returns is how much it charges in fees.

  • Expense Ratio: 0.03%
  • 1-Year Total Return: -10.44%
  • Annual Dividend Yield: 2.33%
  • 3-Month Average Daily Volume: 4,053,713
  • Assets Under Management: $133.2 billion
  • Inception Date: September 9, 2010
  • Issuer: Vanguard

Most Liquid S&P 500 ETF: SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)

Liquidity indicates how easy it will be to trade an ETF, with higher liquidity generally translating to lower trading costs. Trading costs are not a big concern to people who want to hold ETFs long term, but if you’re interested in trading ETFs frequently, then it’s important to look for high-liquidity funds to minimize trading costs.

  • 3-Month Average Daily Volume: 91,716,288
  • Expense Ratio: 0.09%
  • 1-Year Total Return: -10.47%
  • Annual Dividend Yield: 2.26%
  • Assets Under Management: $264.5 billion
  • Inception Date: January 22, 1993
  • Issuer: State Street SPDR