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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.
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.
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:
The Russell 3000 tracks some of the best-known publicly traded companies in the US, including:
Major exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track the Russell 3000 include:
While available securities vary by trading platform, most brokerages offer access to stocks and ETFs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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