Value Line Composite Index

What Is Value Line Composite Index?

The Value Line Composite Index is a stock index containing approximately 1,700 companies from the NYSE, American Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, Toronto, and over-the-counter markets. The Value Line Composite Index has two forms: The Value Line Geometric Composite Index (the original equally weighted index) and the Value Line Arithmetic Composite Index (an index which mirrors changes if a portfolio held equal amounts of stock.) These indexes are typically published in the Value Line Investment Survey, created by Arnold Bernhard, the founder, and CEO of Value Line Inc.

Key Takeaways

  • The Value Line Composite index contains a mix of roughly 1,700 stocks from the major North American market indexes.
  • There are two forms to the index—the Value Line Geometric Composite Index and the Value Line Arithmetic Composite Index.
  • The Geometric Composite Index is equal-weighted, uses a geometric average, and has a daily change closest to the median stock price change.
  • The Arithmetic Composite Index uses an arithmetic mean, with the daily change in the index reflecting a portfolio consisting of stocks in equal amounts.

Understanding Value Line Composite Index

The "Value Line" where the index receives its namesake refers to a multiple of cash flow that Bernhard would superimpose over a price chart to normalize the value of different companies. Value Line is one of the most respected investment research firms. Its performance record has been extremely strong. In fact, the firm's model portfolios have generally beat the market over the long run.

The Value Line Composite Index is composed of the same companies as The Value Line Investment Survey, excluding closed-end funds.

The number of companies in the Value Line Index fluctuates based on factors including the addition or delisting of the companies on the exchanges themselves, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, and the coverage decisions made by Value Line for the Value Line Index. Value Line’s decisions as to which companies to include are undertaken with the intention to create a broad representation of the North American equity market. Additionally, the number of companies listed on any given exchange may vary, as a company may move from one exchange to another or be added or delisted. However, delisting or movement of companies on the exchanges are not factors in the Value Line Index methodology, regardless, whether the geometric or arithmetic calculations are employed.


The year that the original Value Line Geometric Composite Index was launched.

The Value Line Geometric Composite Index

This is the original index, introduced on June 30, 1961. It is an equally weighted index using a geometric average. The daily price change of the Value Line Geometric Composite Index is found by multiplying the ratio of each stock's closing price to its previous closing price and raising that result to the reciprocal of the total number of stocks.

The Value Line Arithmetic Composite Index

This index was established on February 1, 1988, using the arithmetic mean to more closely mimic the change in the index if you held a portfolio of stocks in equal amounts. The daily price change of the Value Line Arithmetic Composite Index is calculated by adding the daily percent change of all the stocks and then dividing by the total number of stocks.

Article Sources
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  1. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Form 10-K 2020," Page 6. Accessed Nov. 23, 2020.

  2. Value Line. "In Arnold Bernhard's Own Words." Accessed Nov. 23, 2020.

  3. Value Line. "The Value Line Ranking System." Accessed Nov. 23, 2020.

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