What is the S&P 500?

How many times have you read somewhere or heard someone state the “S&P 500 is up or down X% today?”  Or have you heard someone say that they own a mutual fund or ETF mirrors the S&P 500?  Lastly, have you read one of our stock analyses where we compare a company’s price to the S&P 500 to determine if the company is undervalued?   If you are a beginning investor, when asking those or similar questions to yourself, did you even stop and wonder what exactly the S&P 500 is?

This year, we have started our financial education series where we educate investors of all experience levels about various topics.  We’ve covered topics such as Who and What Is Vanguard?, What is the Dividend Payout Ratio?, and  What is a Dividend? In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the S&P 500, explain what the stock market index is, provide a background, and review how the S&P 500 determines which stocks are included in the index.

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What are the Differences Between Mutual Funds and ETFs?

This year, we launched our financial education series.  The purpose was to educate investors on various aspects of dividend investing or just investing in general.  Some articles have been as fundamental as “What is a Dividend?”  while some articles took a deeper dive into a topic, such as “What is a REIT and How Are Dividends From a REIT Taxed?”   Today’s article will take a step out of the dividend specific topic and explain the differences between mutual funds and ETFs.  Both types of investments are important diversification options and are similar (but with some key differences).   And of course, as you would expect, there will be a dividend twist at some point in this article!  Let’s start peeling back the layers!

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