FTSE 100 vs Dow Jones

Find out the key differences between the FTSE 100 and the Dow Jones, plus some key points to consider before investing.

See the top company holdings Top holdings for each fund
FTSE 100 vs Dow Jones performance Compare historical data

The FTSE 100 and Dow Jones are both stock market indices that are designed to track the performance of markets. In the case of the FTSE 100, it comprises the largest stocks on the London Stock Exchange, while the Dow Jones is made up of 30 large cap stocks in the US. These indices are different in the way the stocks are picked, their value, size and diversification.

What’s the difference between the FTSE 100 and the Dow Jones?

The FTSE 100 is a collection of the largest 100 stocks on the London Stock Exchange when you order the companies by market capitalisation, which is the value of all the company’s shares added together. The Dow Jones is slightly different – it’s a price weighted index of 30 companies listed on US exchanges. “Price weighted” simply means that companies on the index with a higher share price have a proportionate impact on the Dow Jones.

List of top 10 stocks from each

FTSE 100

  • AstraZeneca
  • Unilever
  • HSBC Holdings
  • Diageo
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • British American Tobacco
  • BP
  • Royal Dutch Shell A
  • Rio Tinto
  • Reckitt Benckiser

Dow Jones

  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • UnitedHealth
  • Visa
  • Walmart
  • Procter & Gamble
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Home Depot
  • Chevron

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FTSE 100 vs Dow Jones: Which is bigger?

There are a few different interpretations of “bigger” – it could be the one with the higher number of stocks regardless of value or it could be by market capitalisation, which is the value of the stocks. When referring to the number of stocks that the index holds, the FTSE 100 is bigger, holding an additional 70 companies.

FTSE 100 vs Dow Jones: Which is worth more?

The FTSE 100 has a market cap of just £1.996 trillion, against Dow Jones’ market cap of $10.35 trillion (about £8.25 trillion). The company with the largest weighting in the Dow Jones is UnitedHealth, which has a market cap of $463 billion (£369 billion). The largest weighting in the FTSE 100 is Shell, with a market cap of £177 billion.

FTSE 100 vs Dow Jones: Which is more diversified?

The FTSE 100 has slightly more diversification because it has more stocks in it than the Dow Jones and has a fairly even distribution of stocks across different sectors, with a slight weighting towards financial services and consumer staples companies. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones is a little heavy towards technology and financial services.

If you’re looking for diversification, there’s no reason why you couldn’t invest in both – this way you get additional global diversification with both UK and US shares.

FTSE 100 vs Dow Jones chart

Platforms where you can invest in the FTSE 100 and the Dow Jones

These trading apps allow you to invest in companies within the indexes directly or to invest in funds/ETFs.

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  • Invest in fractional shares

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  • Commission-free trading
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  • Over 5,400 stocks & ETFs

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  • No commissions for funds
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What’s the best Dow Jones and FTSE 100 index fund?

Here are some of the best-performing Dow Jones and FTSE 100 funds according to JustETF:

IconFund5-year performance (to February 2024)Link to invest
Lyxor iconLyxor Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJEL)68.82%Capital at risk
iShares iconiShares Dow Jones industrial average (CIND)68.67%Invest with eToroCapital at risk
IconFund5-year performance (to February 2024)Link to invest
iShares iconiShares Core FTSE 100 (CUKX)30.38%Invest with eToroCapital at risk
Vanguard iconVanguard FTSE 100 (VUKE)30.29%Invest with XTBCapital at risk
Xtrackers iconXtrackers FTSE 100 (XDUK)30.05%Capital at risk
Lyxor iconLyxor FTSE 100 (100D)29.51%Capital at risk
Invesco iconInvesco FTSE 100 (S100)29.48%Capital at risk
HSBC iconHSBC FTSE 100 (HUKX)28.63%Capital at risk

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

Is it better to invest in the Dow Jones or the FTSE 100?

Zoe Stabler

Finder expert Zoe Stabler answers

The Dow Jones has historically performed better than the FTSE 100, although this doesn’t guarantee that it always will. As it’s only got 30 stocks, the Dow Jones wouldn’t create as much diversification as you might be looking for in an investment, while the FTSE 100 has plenty of diversification available.

There’s also no reason why you couldn’t invest in both, which would give you a diverse set of stocks, including some stocks from across the globe.

What are the top holdings in the Dow Jones and FTSE 100?

Dow JonesFTSE 100
iconAppleiconAstraZeneca
iconMicrosofticonUnilever
iconJohnson & JohnsoniconHSBC Holdings
iconUnitedHealthiconDiageo
iconVisaiconGlaxoSmithKline

How to invest in the Dow Jones and FTSE 100

  1. Find a Dow Jones or FTSE 100 ETF, index fund or mutual fund. Some index funds track the performance of all stocks on the index, whereas others only track a certain number of stocks or are weighted more towards specific stocks. You should select the fund that best suits your investment goals.
  2. Open a share-trading account. In order to invest in the funds, you’ll need to open a trading account with a broker or platform. Keep in mind that some index funds may only be available on certain brokerages or platforms. The providers in our comparison table below let you invest in US shares. We’ve listed some index funds below that are listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  3. Deposit funds. You’ll need to deposit funds into your account to begin trading. Some brokers may charge you deposit fees or you may need to pay a forex fee in order for your pounds to be converted into US dollars.
  4. Buy the index fund. Once your money has been deposited, you can then buy the index fund. You’ll generally pay a small annual fee to invest in an ETF or index fund.

Best trading platform for index funds: Saxo

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★★★★★
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We chose Saxo as our top pick because:
  • Invest in over 19,000 stocks, funds and investment trusts
  • Use its award-winning trading platforms
  • Customer support available 24 hours a day

Need to know: Opening a Saxo share dealing account requires a high minimum investment (£500).

Read our review of Saxo.

Compare Dow Jones and FTSE 100 trading platforms

Table: sorted by promoted deals first

These trading apps allow you to invest in companies within the indexes directly or to invest in funds/ETFs.

Name Product Finder score Min. initial deposit Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Offer Link
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FREE TRADES
eToro Free Stocks
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
4.4
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
$100
£0 on stocks
N/A
£0
InvestEngine
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
4.3
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
£100
£0
N/A
0% - 0.25%
XTB
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
4.3
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
£0
£0
£0
£0
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
4.2
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
£1
£11.95
£5.95
£0
interactive investor Trading Account
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
4.2
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
£0
£3.99 (free regular investing)
£0
£4.99-£19.99
Wealthify
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
4.1
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
£1
£0
N/A
0.6%
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Bottom line

The Dow Jones can give you access to some big players in the US, with the combined market capitalisation of the 30 companies listed outweighing the entire FTSE 100. Investing in the Dow Jones would give you a high proportion of technology stocks, with 20% of the index in this sector.

Meanwhile the FTSE 100 hasn’t performed quite so well, but it would give you more diversification.

Frequently asked questions

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

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