Some Representative Index Funds
The previous page suggested creating a stock portfolio out of a small number of indexes;
this table shows some of the popular low-fee index funds and ETFs available to let you do that.
(See the styles page and small value methodologies for a description of these indexes.
You can also enter the symbols into Morningstar's Instant X-Ray, especially if you want to compare the makeup of the Small Value funds.
Note that the TSMs are extremely tax efficient; but the Small Value indexes have high turnover rates that make them tax inefficient - they work best in a tax-sheltered account like a Roth IRA.
The "non big" and foreign funds are somewhere in between.)
You generally invest in an index fund by opening an account with the mutual fund company itself;
you purchase shares of an ETF through a stock brokerage account, using the symbol shown.
There are many other offerings available; some of them may be convenient if you have an existing account somewhere.
But make sure you compare their expense ratios with those of the funds and ETFs shown above before you invest.
There are also many allocation strategies that are far more sophisticated than anything presented here.
So you can think of "mostly TSM, plus some Small Value" as a starting point or benchmark, and then judge any other strategy by asking yourself (or your advisor) exactly what benefits it's likely to offer over this ultra-simple one.