We began our search for the best U.S. total stock market index funds by building a list of index funds that owned broad equity portfolios that spanned all sizes of market capitalization: large-, mid- and small-cap stocks.
We included several sustainable funds thanks to the growing popularity of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. And it’s also worth noting that the initial screen excluded S&P 500 index funds, since they lack sufficient exposure to mid- and small-cap stocks.
Our initial screen generated a list of 71 index funds. Working from this selection we honed our list of picks to the seven total stock market index funds with the lowest fees. Research has shown that lower fees correlate with higher returns.
The final list of the best U.S. total stock market index funds offers a range of subtly different options. Some are charge rock-bottom fees, while two can meet the needs of ESG investors. Several picks hold more large-cap names, while others tilt towards maller stocks.
When making your choice, check to see which of our picks is offered through your workplace retirement plan. If none of them are available, consider owning them in an individual retirement account or even a taxable account.
To learn more about our rating and review methodology and editorial process, check out our guide on how Forbes Advisor rates investing products.