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).

Snapshot

 

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:

Varies.

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
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    The 4 Best Total Market Index Funds

    Learn about the top four mutual and exchange-traded funds that specialize in investing in broad total market indices of the U.S. equity market.
  2. Investing

    3 Expensive Penny Stock ETFs Worth Your While (PZI, IWC)

    Learn how penny stock investors can utilize exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to obtain diversification and lower overall portfolio risk.
  3. Investing

    The Hidden Flaws of Index Investing

    Index investing isn't always better than active investing. Here's why.
  4. Investing

    The Top 5 Small-Cap Value Mutual Funds for 2016

    Understand how small-cap value equities offer opportunities for capital appreciation, and discover the best small-cap value mutual funds to consider for 2016.
  5. Investing

    The Hidden Differences Between Index Funds

    These funds don't all match index returns. Find out how to avoid costly surprises.
  6. Financial Advisor

    The 4 Best U.S. Equity Index Mutual Funds

    Find out which four index mutual funds are among the best U.S. equities index mutual funds for core holdings in your investment portfolio.
  7. Insights

    5 Indicators of An Overvalued Stock Market

    These five financial indicators show that the stock market is alarmingly overvalued.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are some examples of horizontal integration?

    Some recent, real-life examples of horizontal integration.
  2. What does the current cost of living compare to 20 years ago?

    Find out how inflation has affected the dollar since 1998, and how the cost of living has changed above and beyond what can ...
  3. What does negative shareholders' equity mean?

    A negative balance in shareholders' equity, also called stockholders' equity, means that liabilities exceed assets and can ...
  4. Are retained earnings listed on the income statement?

    Retained earnings are the cumulative net earnings or profit of a company after paying dividends and can be reported on the ...
Trading Center