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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.

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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.

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Name Product Finder Rating Available Asset Types Stock Trading Fee Account Fee Signup Offer Table description
Interactive Brokers
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Moomoo Financial Canada
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Trade US stocks for up to 90% less and access free real time stock quotes and level 2 market data. T&C's Apply.
CIBC Investor's Edge
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RBC Direct Investing
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Questrade
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Qtrade Direct Investing
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3.6 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
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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. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) for the product on the provider's website.

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Editor

Shannon Terrell is a lead writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet and a former editor at Finder, specializing in personal finance. Her writing and analysis on investing and banking has been featured in Bloomberg, Global News, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates and Black Enterprise. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and English literature from the University of Toronto Mississauga. See full bio

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