If you’re interested in adding or increasing your portfolio’s exposure to the S&P 500, widely considered the benchmark index for the US stock market, there is definitely an ETF for you.
Whether you are looking for a simple, low-cost option to track the S&P 500 or a variation on a theme, simply scroll down to see several live lists that detail your options.
S&P 500 Index ETFs
The most common type of S&P 500 ETF is one that simply tracks the S&P 500.
These ETFs are very straightforward and as a result have very low expense ratios (as low as 0.03%).
Capitalization Weighted S&P 500 ETFs
If the S&P 500 was an equally weighted index, each stock within the index would be given a 1/500 weighting.
However, the S&P 500 is a capitalization weighted index.
This means that larger market cap companies get a greater than average share than smaller companies.
The ETF industry is here to serve and has a few ETFs that alter the official weighting of the S&P 500.
Style-Based S&P 500 ETFs
Another type is a style-based S&P 500 ETF.
These ETFs filter out some S&P 500 companies so they can focus on a particular theme.
There are several approaches though the most common tend to be growth, value, and high dividend paying S&P 500 stocks.
Inverse S&P 500 ETFs
Yet another type of S&P 500 ETF is an inverse ETF.
These ETFs simply go in exactly the opposite direction of the S&P 500.
For example, if the S&P 500 is down 0.5% on the day, an inverse S&P 500 ETF will be up 0.5%.
Leveraged S&P 500 ETFs
The final type is the leveraged S&P 500 ETF.
These ETFs track the S&P 500 or the inverse of the S&P 500 with a certain multiple in performance.
For example, a 3x leveraged S&P 500 ETF will gain 3% on the day if the S&P 500 is up 1%.
Conversely, if the S&P 500 is down 1%, the 3x leveraged S&P 500 ETF will be down 3%.
Definitely not for the faint of heart.
For example, here is what an investor in the ProShares UltraPro S&P500 ETF (a 3x leveraged ETF) would have experienced in terms of daily volatility since its inception on June 23, 2009.
Notice how there are several occurrences greater than a 5% daily gain but also several that were less than a 5% daily loss.
Feel free to click on any ETF name to get its up to date volatility chart.
S&P 500 ETF FAQ
What is the cheapest S&P 500 ETF?
The cheapest S&P 500 ETFs are IVV, VOO, and SPLG (respectively iShares Core S&P 500 ETF, Vanguard S&P 500 ETF, and SPLG SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 ETF). They each have an expense ratio of 0.03%.
What types of S&P 500 ETFs are there?
S&P 500 ETFs generally fall in the following categories: index, style-based, inverse, and leveraged.
What is the oldest S&P 500 ETF?
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is the oldest S&P 500 ETF. Its inception date is January 22, 1993.
Do S&P 500 ETFs pay dividends?
Yes, all S&P 500 listed above pay dividends though their dividend yield can vary greatly. For example, leveraged type S&P 500 ETFs tend to have lower dividend yields — below 1%. On the other hand, other S&P 500 ETFs specifically focused on dividends (SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 High Dividend ETF (SPYD) or Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF (SPHD) can offer dividend yields above 5%.