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Invest in the Russell 3000

Stocks and ETFs can help you capture the performance of this sweeping US index.

The Russell 3000 is made up of 3,000 US-traded stocks, including some of the largest companies in the US like Apple, Google and Microsoft. But despite the number of stocks it tracks, its perspective is limited by the large-cap companies that steer its performance.

What is the Russell 3000?

The Russell 3000 is an equity index that tracks 3,000 of the largest US-traded stocks and is designed to help investors gauge the US stock market. It follows 1,000 of the largest companies in the US and 2,000 smaller companies. Together, these stocks represent close to 98% of all US incorporated entities and provide the basis for the Russell 1000 and the Russell 2000.

The Russell 3000 is a cap-weighted equity index, which means companies within the index are weighted by the total market value of their outstanding shares. This means that companies with the highest market cap have the biggest impact on the index’s performance.

“Market cap” is short for market capitalization. It refers to the value of a company’s unsold stocks and is calculated by multiplying the number of outstanding stocks by the current market price of a single stock.

How to invest in the Russell 3000

Because the Russell 3000 is just an index of stocks, you can’t invest in it directly. However, you can invest in individual stocks tracked by the index or buy into ETFs that track the index.

Here’s how the investment process works:

  1. Pick an investment platform. Browse brokerage account options across trading platforms to find the broker that best fits your investment goals.
  2. Open an account. Complete your account application and link an external account to fund your investments.
  3. Select your securities. View stocks and ETFs available for trade using your platform’s research tools and submit your order.
  4. Track your investments. Monitor the performance of your investments from your brokerage account.

What stocks are in the Russell 3000?

The Russell 3000 tracks some of the best-known publicly traded companies in the US, including:

What ETFs track the Russell 3000?

Major exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track the Russell 3000 include:

  • Vanguard Russell 3000 Index Fund ETF Shares (NasdaqGS: VTHR)
  • SPDR Portfolio S&P 1500 Composite Stock Market ETF (NasdaqArca: SPTM)
  • iShares Russell 3000 ETF (NYSEArca: IWV)

While available securities vary by trading platform, most brokerages offer access to stocks and ETFs.

How is the Russell 3000 performing?

The graph below tracks how the Russell 3000 has performed historically (figures are stated in US dollars). Toggle between the options on the graph to see the data for the past month, 3 months, year or 5 years.

Why should I invest in the Russell 3000?

Investing in index funds can help bring diversification to a portfolio with limited reach. Indices can help you identify top-performing sectors and stocks while providing a snapshot of the market as a whole. ETFs especially offer a well-rounded investment opportunity as they are typically less volatile than individual stocks.

A beginner’s guide to exchange traded funds (ETFs)

What are the risks of investing in the Russell 3000?

No investment is risk-free, and this is true of all securities and indexes. The Russell 3000, while offering an overview of US market performance, is limited to US-traded stocks and is dominated by large-cap stocks. This means that despite its scope, it doesn’t capture the total stock market — in fact, most of its companies come from the financial and tech sectors.

The best way to build a diversified portfolio is to invest in stocks and funds from multiple indexes, both domestic and international.

Compare stock trading platforms

If you plan to invest in an ETF that tracks the Russell 3000, you’ll need to open a brokerage account. Compare your options to find the best fit.

Name Product Available asset types Stock Fee Option Fee Account Fee ETF Transaction Cost Feature Table description
Wealthsimple Trade
Stocks, ETFs
$0
N/A
$0
Free
Deposit and trade $100 and get a $50 bonus.
Pay no commissions when you trade Canadian stocks and ETFs with Wealthsimple Trade.
CIBC Investor's Edge
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
$4.95 - $6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 (+$1.25 per contract)
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $100/year
$6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 is applicable for online stock, ETF and option trades only. Pay $4.95 when you qualify as an Active Trader (trade 150+ times per quarter).
An intuitive and easy-to-use platform with access to a variety of tools that help you make smart decisions and trade with confidence.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
$1.50 min. per order
$0 (if monthly commissions are greater than or equal to US$10.00)
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
Extensive trading capabilities and global investment tracking.
Access market data 24 hours a day, six days a week and invest in global stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from one single account.
Questrade
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
$4.95-$9.95
$9.95 + $1 per contract
$0
Free
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio and take some of the guesswork out.
Scotia iTRADE
Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities
$4.99-$9.99
$9.99 + $1.25 contract ($4.99 + $1.25 contract if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
$0
$9.99 ($4.99 if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
Pay no annual account fees.
Buy, sell and trade ETFs, Equities, Options and more with competitive commissions.
Qtrade Direct Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$6.95 - $8.75
$6.95 - $8.75 + $1.25 per contract
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 - $8.75
Trade 100 select ETFs free of charge.
Qtrade Direct Investing offers low trading commissions and an easy-to-use platform with access to powerful tools and a wide selection of investment options. Trade 100 ETFs free of charge and thousands more for $8.75 or lower.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The Russell 3000 provides a broad view of the US market and serves as the foundation for the Russell 2000 and Russell 1000. But despite its size, its perspective is heavily skewed by the large-cap stocks it tracks.

To invest, open a brokerage account with a trading platform well-suited to your investment needs.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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