A beginners’ guide to investing in indices, along with up-to-date price data and the latest news.

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This page guides you step-by-step through the process of investing in a stock index. If you’re a beginner then you’re in the right place, and those with more experience can find a range of resources to improve their knowledge; from in-depth guides to detailed market analysis.

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Ways to invest in indices

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If you want to invest in a stock index – or multiple stock indices – the first thing you will need to do is open an account with one of the best index trading brokers. These platforms allow their users to invest in many different ways, including buying a range of shares included in an index, placing trades using CFDs, and using other financial instruments such as ETFs.

How to invest in indices

A beginners’ guide to investing in stock indices

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What is a stock index?

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A stock index is a collection of stocks that have been grouped together; indices are used by investors to assess the overall performance of a stock market. As thousands of stocks are often traded on each exchange, it’s no use looking to just one company’s share price when looking for broader trends. Stock indices solve this problem by following the prices of many different stocks – usually those of the largest companies on the exchange.

It’s helpful to think of a stock index as an imaginary investment portfolio. If there are 1,000 stocks that trade on an exchange, then the index that tracks its performance might include the top 100 most valuable ones. Broadly speaking, if these companies do well then the exchange is performing well and the value of the index will rise, and if they perform badly the inverse will happen.

Unlike with a real investment portfolio, however, the performance of a stock index is not given as a monetary value. Instead, the level of each index is represented simply as a number, the level of which is determined by an algorithm designed to give the best indication of the performance of the stock exchange as a whole.

How can I invest in an index?

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As an index is not a directly tradeable asset such as a stock or commodity, you cannot buy and sell one directly. Instead, there are a variety of ways you can invest your money to follow the performance of a specific stock index over time, with the most prominent methods being investing through ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) or mutual funds.

Trading ideas & analysis >

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Improve your index trading profits by following along with our trading ideas. Get clear entry and exit points from pro-traders via our indices trade set-ups & technical analysis.

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Hang Seng index is in a bull market helped by these stocks
May 15, 2024

Index live prices & data >

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Find out which stock indices are on the rise, and which have fallen in value. You can access the latest performance data from each index right here.

Main Indices

Value Change % Change
^ATX 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^AEX 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^NSEI 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^CASE30 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^TA125.TA 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^MERV 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^IPSA 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^MXX 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^BVSP 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%
^TWII 0.00 +0.00 +0.00%

Index investing courses >

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If you’ve never traded stock indices before, a great place to start is with our beginner-friendly courses. They’re completely free and will take you through everything you need to know so you can invest with confidence.

Sources & references
Risk disclaimer
Max Adams
Editor of Education
Max has a keen interest in the transformative power of technology and is the founder of a platform called Current Frequencies. When not at his desk,… read more.