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Fidelity ZERO Large Cap Index Fund (FNILX)

The S&P 500 Index is widely regarded as the benchmark index for the U.S. stock market. Several funds track the S&P 500 in order to provide investors with convenient exposure to U.S. equities.

But if a fund wants to use the S&P 500 name, it has to pay a licensing fee that essentially gets passed on to investors.

The Fidelity ZERO Large Cap Index Fund closely mirrors the performance of the S&P 500. But it’s not an “official” S&P 500 copycat, so it doesn’t have to pay the licensing fee. In turn, FNILX boasts an expense ratio of 0%.

Every dollar you put into FNILX gets put to work.

An app called Acorns automatically rounds up purchases made on your credit or debit card to the nearest dollar and places the excess "change" into a smart investment portfolio. You get $10 immediately from your first investment.

Get $10

Vanguard Small-Cap ETF (VB)

Small-cap stocks don’t get as much attention as their large-cap counterparts. But investors should ignore them.

The largest companies we see today were once small. Companies with plenty of room to grow have tremendous upside.

For a low-cost way to invest in this growth-oriented group, investors can check out Vanguard Small-Cap ETF. It tracks the CRSP U.S. Small Cap Index, which measures companies in the bottom 2%-15% of the investable universe.

VB is diversified, holding around 1,550 stocks. It also has a low expense ratio of just 0.05%.

One thing to keep in mind: Because small-cap stocks are relatively young, they tend to be more volatile than more established large-cap names.

Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS)

To truly diversify your portfolio — especially in this age of globalization — having some exposure outside of the U.S. is essential. Thankfully, it’s easy these days to invest overseas.

For instance, Vanguard Total International Stock ETF seeks to match the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex-US Index. By owning this index fund, investors get broad exposure across developed, as well as emerging non-U.S. equity markets.

The fund’s top holdings include global industry titans such as Samsung Electronics, Nestle, Tencent Holdings and Toyota. It also owns smaller names and holds over 7,800 stocks, with an expense ratio of 0.07%.

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About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan

Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. Prior to joining the team, he was a research analyst and editor at one of the leading financial publishing companies in North America. An avid advocate of investing for passive income, he wrote a monthly dividend stock newsletter for the better half of the past decade. Jing holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree, both from the University of Toronto.

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