FTSE 250 vs S&P 500

Find out the key differences between the FTSE 250 and the S&P 500 as well as some key points to consider before investing.

See the top company holdings Top holdings for each fund
FTSE 250 vs S&P 500 performance Compare historical data

The FTSE 250 and S&P 500 are both stock market indices that track a certain number of stocks in an exchange or country. The S&P 500 is 500 stocks on US exchanges, chosen by a committee. The FTSE 250 is the 250 stocks after the 100th stock on the London Stock Exchange when you order the companies on the exchange by their market capitalisation.

What’s the difference between the FTSE 250 and the S&P 500?

The S&P 500 and the FTSE 250 are collections of stocks from their respective exchanges – in the FTSE 250’s case, it’s a collection of stocks on the London Stock Exchange and in the S&P 500’s case, it’s a collection of US stocks.

Another difference is how each index is constructed. The stocks that make up the S&P 500 are hand-picked by the US Index Committee, which picks the leaders in 11 sectors. The FTSE 250 is constructed by data alone – companies need to have a premium listing of equity shares on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and must have a minimum free float of 10% (UK incorporated) or 25% (non-UK incorporated). The stocks are ordered by their market capitalisation – the top 100 stocks make up the FTSE 100 and the following 250 make up the FTSE 250.

List of top 10 stocks from each

FTSE 250

  • Centrica
  • Tritax
  • Unite Group
  • Harbour energy
  • Convatec
  • Easyjet
  • F&C Investment
  • Weir Group
  • RIT Capital Partners
  • TUI

S&P 500

  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • Meta
  • Alphabet Inc A (Google)
  • Apple
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Visa
  • Procter & Gamble

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FTSE 250 vs S&P 500: Which is bigger?

The S&P 500 is made up of 500 stocks, while the FTSE 250 is just 250 stocks. The overall market capitalisation of the S&P 500 is significantly higher than that of the FTSE 250 because a lot of the companies in the FTSE 250 are smaller. The market cap of the S&P 500 is $36.7 trillion (£29.74 trillion), compared with the market cap of the FTSE 250, which is £419 billion.

FTSE 250 vs S&P 500: Which is worth more?

As we mentioned above, the S&P 500 is worth more than 70 times the value of the FTSE 250. It holds twice the number of stocks.

FTSE 250 vs S&P 500: Which is more diversified?

The S&P 500 has a better diversified set of stocks. It has a lot of technology stocks, making up around 15% of the index, but it’s well spread across a number of sectors. The FTSE 250 has a number of financial companies and a small number of health care, utilities and communication stocks.

If you’re looking for diversification, you might decide to invest in both indices. This gives you additional global exposure.

FTSE250 vs S&P 500 chart

Platforms where you can invest in the FTSE 250 and the S&P 500

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

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  • Fractional shares

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  • Fractional shares
  • 5,400+ stocks/ETFs

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  • 0% commission on trades
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What’s the best FTSE 250 and S&P 500 index fund?

Here are some of the best performing FTSE 250 and S&P 500 funds according to justETF:

Fund5-year performance (to February 2024)Link to invest
Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETF Distributing (VMID)Vanguard icon15.50%Invest with XTBCapital at risk
Invesco FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (S250)Invesco icon14.69%Capital at risk
Xtrackers FTSE 250 UCITS ETF 1D (XMCX)DWS Xtrackers icon14.21%Capital at risk
iShares FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (MIDD)iShares icon13.46%Invest with eToroCapital at risk
HSBC FTSE 250 UCITS ETF GBP (HMCX)HSBC icon13.00%Capital at risk
Fund5-year performance (to February 2024)Link to invest
Invesco S&P 500 (SPXP)Invesco icon100.34%Invest with XTBCapital at risk
Xtrackers S&P 500 Swap (XSPX)DWS Xtrackers icon99.39%Invest with XTBCapital at risk
Vanguard S&P 500 (VUSA)Vanguard icon97.44%Invest with XTBCapital at risk
iShares Core S&P 500 (CSP1)iShares icon97.42%Invest with XTBCapital at risk
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPX5)SPDR icon97.09%Capital at risk
HSBC S&P 500 (HSPX)HSBC icon96.87%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 FTSE 250 or the S&P 500?

Zoe Stabler

Finder expert Zoe Stabler answers

The S&P 500 has performed better historically, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to do well in the future. But why choose? Investing in both the FTSE 250 and the S&P 500 would give you diversification across lots of sectors as well as let you invest in lots of different-sized companies across the globe.

If you do wish to choose between them, choose one that’s got exposure to the types of stocks you’re interested in – the FTSE 250 has a lot of defensive stocks, like consumer staples and financial services, while the S&P 500 has a lot of technology, industrial and healthcare stocks.

What are the top holdings in the FTSE 250 and S&P 500?

FTSE 250S&P 500
iconCentricaiconApple
iconTritaxiconMicrosoft
iconUnite GroupiconAmazon
iconHarbour EnergyiconFacebook Inc A
iconConvateciconAlphabet Inc A (Google)

How to invest in the FTSE 250 and S&P 500

  1. Find an FTSE 250 or S&P 500 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 (LSE).
  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.

Compare FTSE 250 and S&P 500 trading platforms

Table: sorted by promoted deals first

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

Name Product Finder score Min. initial deposit Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Offer Link
Finder Award
OFFER
CMC Invest share dealing account
4.4
★★★★★
£0
£0
N/A
£0
Earn up to £1,000 when you transfer a minimum of £25,000 into your CMC account, plus get your first 3 months free when you upgrade to Plus plan. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
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Capital at risk

Platform details
XTB
4.4
★★★★★
£0
£0
£0
£0
Earn up to 5.2% interest on uninvested cash.
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Capital at risk

Platform details
InvestEngine
4.4
★★★★★
£100
£0
N/A
0% - 0.25%
Get a Welcome Bonus of up to £50 when you invest at least £100 with InvestEngine. T&Cs apply.
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Capital at risk

Platform details
Saxo Share Dealing Account
4.3
★★★★★
£0
£3
N/A
0.12% per year
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Capital at risk

Platform details
Finder Award
FREE TRADES
eToro Free Stocks
4.3
★★★★★
$100
£0 on stocks
N/A
£0
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Capital at risk. Other fees apply.

Platform details
Wealthify
4.2
★★★★★
£1
£0
N/A
0.6%
Go to site

Capital at risk

Platform details
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
4.2
★★★★★
£1
£11.95
£5.95
£0
Get back up to £100 of online trading fees until 21 June. Capital at risk. T&Cs apply.
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Capital at risk

Platform details
Halifax share dealing account
4.1
★★★★★
£20
£9.50
£2
£36 per year
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Capital at risk

Platform details
interactive investor Trading Account
4.1
★★★★★
£0
£3.99 (free regular investing)
£0
£4.99-£19.99
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Capital at risk

Platform details
TILLIT
Not yet rated
£1
N/A
N/A
0.4%
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Capital at risk

Platform details
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Bottom line

The FTSE 250 and the S&P 500 are both popular stock market indices to invest in. Investors typically choose to invest in an index with an index fund. These are designed to reflect the performance of the index, either by replicating it or by choosing similar stocks, or a mixture of the two.

Whichever you choose, you’ll get a well-diversified range of shares across a lot of sectors and investment types.

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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