Got $1,000 to Invest in Stocks? Put It in This Index Fund

This low-cost beginner-friendly ETF is a great way to invest $1,000.

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Many investors with smaller account balances often feel disheartened by the investment landscape. The allure of Canadian blue-chip stocks is undeniable, with their reputation for stability and consistent returns.

However, the reality of high share prices means that with $1,000, you might only be able to afford a handful of shares in just one or two companies, which is kind of discouraging.

This limitation poses a significant challenge to achieving diversification, which is essential for managing risk and maximizing potential returns across different sectors and economic conditions.

The solution for investors looking to overcome these limitations is an index ETF that tracks the broad market. This type of ETF allows you to invest in a diverse range of companies with a single transaction, effectively mirroring the performance of an entire market index.

For those with $1,000 to invest, such ETFs offer a practical way to gain exposure to the entire Canadian market, including coveted blue-chip stocks, without needing to buy individual shares.

How does an index ETF work?

An index is essentially a ruleset for selecting and managing stocks based on specific criteria. It operates on a passive management strategy, meaning that once the rules are set, they automatically determine which stocks to include and the proportion of each stock to be held.

This system doesn’t require active decision-making about buying or selling individual stocks on a day-to-day basis, making it a cost-effective and efficient approach to investing.

An index ETF is a type of investment fund that follows the methodology of an index. It aims to replicate the performance of the index by buying the same stocks in the same proportions.

The main advantages of an index ETF include usually lower fees compared to actively managed funds and high diversification, as they invest across the entire index they track.

Invest $1,000 in this index ETF

If you’re aiming to invest $1,000 into the Canadian market, consider the BMO S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF (TSX:ZCN). This ETF offers exposure to Canada by following the S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index, which currently includes 227 stocks from a variety of sectors. Given its focus on the Canadian market, you’ll notice significant allocations to the financial and energy sectors.

ZCN includes a mix of small-, mid-, and large-cap stocks but predominantly features large caps due to its market-cap weighting. Market-cap weighting means that companies with larger market capitalizations (share price x outstanding shares) have a bigger impact on the index’s performance. This naturally places large-cap stocks at the forefront of the fund, aligning the ETF’s performance closely with the market’s leading companies.

One of the benefits of investing in ZCN is its distribution of quarterly dividends, offering a yield of 3.27% as of January 31, 2024. Additionally, ZCN is attractive for its low expense ratio of 0.06%, which means that an investment of $1,000 would incur just $6 in annual fees.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Tony Dong has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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