1. Index Investing: Introduction
  2. Index Investing: What Is An Index?
  3. Index Investing: The Dow Jones Industrial Average
  4. Index Investing: The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
  5. Index Investing: The Nasdaq Composite Index
  6. Index Investing: The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index
  7. Index Investing: The Russell 2000 Index
  8. Index Investing: Other Indexes
  9. Index Investing: Index Funds
  10. Index Investing: Conclusion

The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index – or simply the Wilshire 5000 – is a capitalization-weighted index of the market value of all U.S. headquartered stocks that are actively traded in the U.S. – 3,618 in all, as of Dec. 31, 2016.  It was named for the nearly 5,000 stocks it contained at launch. It grew to a high count of 7,562 in 1998, and the last time it actually contained 5,000 or more companies was at the end of 2005.

The index is widely accepted as the definitive benchmark for the U.S. equity market, and measures the performance of all U.S. equity securities with readily available price data (thinly traded issues are excluded because they don’t have readily available prices). The index covers all sectors of the market; it’s most heavily weighted in information technology (22%), financials (16%) and health care (13%) (current as of Oct. 23, 2017).



Created By:

Created by Wilshire Associates in 1974. While Dow Jones & Company assumed the index for a short time, the index returned to Wilshire Associates in 2009.

Number of Companies:


Types of Companies:

All U.S. equity securities with readily available price data.

Selection Criteria:

All primary equity issues for U.S. companies trading on a U.S. exchange with readily available prices. The index is rebalanced monthly after the close of trading on the third Friday of the month.

How it's Calculated:

The Wilshire Total Market 5000 is a capitalization-weighted Index.


Advantages: It covers virtually all the public companies in the U.S. and is considered the definitive benchmark for the U.S. equity market.

Disadvantages: The Wilshire only contains companies headquartered in the U.S., leaving out many foreign companies.

Investing: You can buy mutual funds that track the Wilshire 5000, including the Wilshire 5000 Index Fund (WFIVX), managed by Los Angeles Capital Management.

Index Investing: The Russell 2000 Index
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