How to invest in USA using ETFs

How do I invest in American stocks?

The easiest way to invest in the whole American stock market is to invest in a broad market index. This can be done at low cost by using ETFs.

On the American stock market you find 3 indices, which are tracked by ETFs. Besides these indices 11 alternative indices on small and mid caps as well as equity strategies can be considered. Among these strategies you find dividend focused, growth and values approaches.

Alternatively, you may consider indices on North America or the World. The listed indices significantly weight the USA with over 50%.

0.05% p.a. - 0.50% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of USA ETFs
on the American stock market, which are tracked by ETFs
on the American stock market
The best indices for USA ETFs

Performance of American stocks (S&P 500®)

1 month: -0.04%
1 year: 9.36%
3 years: 46.26%
5 years: 75.65%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on USA

For an investment in the American stock market, 3 indices tracked by 36 ETFs are available. On the Dow Jones Industrial Average index there are 3 ETFs. On the MSCI USA index there are 16 ETFs. On the S&P 500® index there are 17 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these indices is between 0.05% p.a. and 0.50% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

Dow Jones Industrial Average

United States 3 ETFs 30
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index tracks the 30 largest industrial companies in the US.
Index factsheet

MSCI USA

United States 16 ETFs 637
(30/09/19)
The MSCI USA index tracks the leading stocks on the US market.
Index factsheet

S&P 500®

United States 17 ETFs 505
(30/09/19)
The S&P 500® index tracks the 500 largest US stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5BMR087 33,405 0.07% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETFIE00B3XXRP09 23,137 0.07% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE0031442068 9,651 0.07% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers S&P 500 Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0490618542 6,762 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Invesco S&P 500 UCITS ETFIE00B3YCGJ38 6,261 0.05% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI USA Index UCITS ETF 1CIE00BJ0KDR00 5,242 0.07% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
SPDR S&P 500 UCITS ETFIE00B6YX5C33 3,710 0.09% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
HSBC S&P 500 UCITS ETF USDIE00B5KQNG97 3,040 0.09% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor S&P 500 UCITS ETF D-USDLU0496786657 2,936 0.15% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI USA Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0274210672 2,505 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF S&P 500 UCITS ETF USDLU1681049018 2,130 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
BNP Paribas Easy S&P 500 UCITS ETF USDFR0011550177 2,115 0.15% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Amundi S&P 500 UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681048804 1,957 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi MSCI USA UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681042864 1,273 0.28% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI USA UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00BD4TXS21 1,184 0.14% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
BNP Paribas Easy S&P 500 UCITS ETF EURFR0011550185 1,084 0.15% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Invesco S&P 500 UCITS ETF DistIE00BYML9W36 1,007 0.05% p.a. Distributing Ireland Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI USA UCITS ETF D-EURFR0010296061 954 0.25% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI USA UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B52SFT06 693 0.33% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI USA UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0136234654 565 0.14% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares Dow Jones Industrial Average UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B53L4350 467 0.33% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (IE) S&P 500 UCITS ETF (USD) A-disIE00B7K93397 353 0.12% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF MSCI USA UCITS ETF USDLU1681042948 284 0.28% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI USA SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B3SC9K16 262 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Lyxor Dow Jones Industrial Average UCITS ETF D-EURFR0007056841 256 0.50% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI USA UCITS ETF (USD) A-disIE00B77D4428 218 0.14% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
ComStage S&P 500 UCITS ETFLU0488316133 213 0.12% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Invesco MSCI USA UCITS ETFIE00B60SX170 177 0.05% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
BNP Paribas Easy S&P 500 UCITS ETFFR0011550680 166 0.15% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI USA UCITS ETF C-EURFR0011363423 132 0.25% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) S&P 500 SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00B4JY5R22 116 0.22% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
ComStage Dow Jones Industrial Average UCITS ETFLU0378437502 82 0.45% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI USA UCITS ETF (USD) A-UKdisIE00BD08DL65 81 0.14% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
ComStage MSCI USA UCITS ETFLU0392495700 54 0.10% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI USA UCITS ETF USDIE00B5WFQ436 40 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI USA UCITS ETF (USD) A-UKdisLU1107559889 0 0.14% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
Dow Jones Industrial Average 2.80% 3.76% 4.82% 5.46% 58.13%
MSCI USA 2.53% 3.57% 5.79% 5.68% 46.95%
S&P 500® 2.63% 3.72% 5.99% 5.86% 47.47%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
Dow Jones Industrial Average 18.31% -3.30% 21.88% 18.40% -0.02%
S&P 500® 21.68% -3.89% 16.27% 14.18% 1.48%
MSCI USA 23.30% -5.92% 17.15% 13.77% 1.44%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

The cheapest USA ETFs
by total expense ratio (TER)

Show all
Alternative investment opportunities

USA indices on small and mid caps or dividend strategies

Alternatively, you may consider indices on small and mid caps, single sectors or dividend strategies. Below, we selected 11 alternative USA indices, which are tracked by 19 ETFs as an example. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on alternative USA indices is between 0.20% p.a. and 0.43% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
FTSE RAFI US 1000 United States
Fundamental/Quality
1 ETF 1,000
The FTSE RAFI US 1000 index tracks 1000 of the largest listed U.S. companies. The FTSE RAFI Index Series selects and weights index constituents using four fundamental factors, rather than market capitalisation. The factors are dividends, cash flows, sales and book value.
Index factsheet
MSCI USA High Dividend Yield United States
Dividend
1 ETF 141
(30/09/19)
The MSCI USA High Dividend Yield index tracks high dividend paying US stocks.
Index factsheet
MSCI USA Small Cap United States
Small Cap
1 ETF 1,791
(30/09/19)
The MSCI USA Small Cap index tracks US small cap stocks.
Index factsheet
MSCI USA Value United States
Value
1 ETF 383
(30/09/19)
The MSCI USA Value index tracks the US value stocks. These are U.S equities which are determined as value stocks using eight historical and forward-looking fundamental data points.
Index factsheet
Nasdaq 100® United States
Technology
4 ETFs 100
The Nasdaq 100® index tracks a selection of 100 stocks chosen from among non-financial stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Index factsheet
Russell 2000® United States
Small Cap
4 ETFs 2,000
The Russell 2000® index tracks 2000 companies from the US small cap stocks.
Index factsheet
S&P 500 Minimum Volatility United States
Low Volatility/Risk Weighted
1 ETF 100
The S&P 500 Minimum Volatility index tracks an optimized portfolio that includes a selection of 100 stocks where volatility is among the lowest in the S&P 500. The S&P 500 index tracks large cap US stocks.
Index factsheet
S&P 500® Equal Weight United States
Equal Weighted
1 ETF 505
(30/09/19)
The S&P 500® Equal Weight (EWI) index tracks large cap US stocks equally weighted with a fixed weight of 0.20%.
Index factsheet
S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats United States
Dividend
1 ETF 112
(30/09/19)
The S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats index tracks the stocks of the S&P Composite 1500 index that have increased dividends every year for at least 20 consecutive years.
Index factsheet
S&P MidCap 400 United States
Mid Cap
2 ETFs 400
The S&P MidCap 400 index tracks 400 mid-sized US companies.
Index factsheet
S&P SmallCap 600 United States
Small Cap
2 ETFs 600
The S&P SmallCap 600 index tracks 600 small cap US stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
SPDR S&P US Dividend Aristocrats UCITS ETFIE00B6YX5D40 3,302 0.35% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares Nasdaq 100 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B53SZB19 2,996 0.33% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares Edge S&P 500 Minimum Volatility UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B6SPMN59 2,260 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Invesco Nasdaq-100 UCITS ETFIE0032077012 2,022 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares S&P SmallCap 600 UCITS ETFIE00B2QWCY14 812 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
SPDR S&P 400 US Mid Cap UCITS ETFIE00B4YBJ215 718 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Xtrackers S&P 500 Equal Weight UCITS ETF 1CIE00BLNMYC90 588 0.25% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
SPDR Russell 2000 US Small Cap UCITS ETFIE00BJ38QD84 552 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI USA Small Cap UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B3VWM098 545 0.43% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers Russell 2000 UCITS ETF 1CIE00BJZ2DD79 494 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
ComStage Nasdaq 100 UCITS ETFLU0378449770 478 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI USA Value UCITS ETF (USD) A-disIE00B78JSG98 436 0.20% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI USA Dividend IQ UCITS ETFIE00BKM4H312 421 0.35% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Invesco FTSE RAFI US 1000 UCITS ETFIE00B23D8S39 317 0.39% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
ComStage S&P SmallCap 600 UCITS ETFLU0392496005 75 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi Russell 2000 UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681038672 50 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
ComStage S&P MidCap 400 UCITS ETFLU0392495965 23 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF Russell 2000 UCITS ETF USDLU1681038839 22 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Invesco EQQQ Nasdaq-100 UCITS ETF AccIE00BFZXGZ54 21 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
S&P SmallCap 600 4.09% 1.74% 1.46% -8.21% 31.40%
Russell 2000® 2.75% -0.41% -0.48% -7.51% 27.94%
MSCI USA Small Cap 2.48% 0.76% 0.87% -3.56% 32.78%
S&P MidCap 400 3.80% 1.85% 2.76% -1.16% 31.49%
FTSE RAFI US 1000 4.31% 3.65% 5.00% 2.96% 35.34%
Nasdaq 100® 1.57% 3.27% 5.43% 4.17% 65.54%
S&P 500® Equal Weight 3.87% 2.73% 4.32% 4.69% 37.57%
MSCI USA Value 4.25% 3.81% 4.79% 6.02% 33.76%
MSCI USA High Dividend Yield 4.37% 5.37% 4.82% 7.79% 39.18%
S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats 4.63% 4.27% 4.36% 9.04% 36.61%
S&P 500 Minimum Volatility 2.41% 5.81% 9.15% 11.12% 40.56%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
S&P SmallCap 600 14.30% -8.17% 7.89% 28.88% -2.06%
Russell 2000® 15.17% -10.59% 9.18% 23.84% -3.31%
MSCI USA High Dividend Yield 17.07% -2.24% 13.57% 18.00% 0.40%
S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats 17.81% -2.35% 10.64% 22.30% -0.69%
MSCI USA Value 17.95% -6.95% 9.83% 18.85% -2.06%
MSCI USA Small Cap 18.11% -9.71% 11.56% 21.94% -3.49%
S&P MidCap 400 18.81% -10.84% 10.73% 22.81% -2.30%
FTSE RAFI US 1000 18.93% -8.22% 10.73% 19.43% -2.86%
S&P 500® Equal Weight 22.52% -9.22% 14.11% 16.87% -2.29%
Nasdaq 100® 24.46% 0.42% 26.75% 9.24% 9.73%
S&P 500 Minimum Volatility 25.40% -4.56% 11.81% 16.04% 4.88%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

North America indices with a large share of USA

Besides USA ETFs you may invest in ETFs on the North American stock market. In total, you can invest in 2 North America indices, which are tracked by 3 ETFs. The MSCI North America index strongly weights American stocks with 94.75% (as of 31/03/2019). The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Nordamerika is between 0.10% p.a. and 0.40% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
FTSE North America North America
USA: 96.15%
(31/03/2019)
1 ETF 677
(30/09/19)
The FTSE North America index tracks stocks in USA and Canada.
Index factsheet
MSCI North America North America
USA: 94.75%
(31/03/2019)
2 ETFs 727
(30/09/19)
The MSCI North America index tracks stocks from developed North American countries (Canada and United States).
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI North America UCITS ETFIE00B14X4M10 2,167 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Vanguard FTSE North America UCITS ETF DistributingIE00BKX55R35 336 0.10% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
ComStage MSCI North America UCITS ETFLU0392494992 184 0.25% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI North America 2.55% 3.44% 5.64% 5.35% 44.31%
FTSE North America 2.66% 3.65% 5.91% 5.87% 46.09%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI North America 21.53% -5.03% 15.68% 14.19% -0.50%
FTSE North America 21.83% -4.69% 16.18% 14.56% -0.31%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Global indices with USA share of over 50%

As further alternative you may invest in global stock markets. In total, you can invest in 2 global indices, which are tracked by 3 ETFs. The World indices strongly weight the USA with 55% to 80%. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on global indices is between 0.12% p.a. and 0.60% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
FTSE Developed World
USA: 60.16%
(31/03/2019)
1 ETF 2,172
(30/09/19)
The FTSE Developed index tracks the largest stocks in developed markets across the world.
Index factsheet
MSCI All Country World (ACWI) World
USA: 55.05%
(31/03/2019)
4 ETFs 2,852
(30/09/19)
The MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) tracks stocks from developed and emerging countries worldwide. It covers securities across large and mid cap size segments and consists of 49 country indices, of which 23 are developed and 26 are emerging markets.
Index factsheet
MSCI World World
USA: 62.36%
(31/03/2019)
15 ETFs 1,650
(30/09/19)
The MSCI World index tracks stocks from 23 developed countries worldwide.
Index factsheet
MSCI World ex Europe World
USA: 79.43%
(31/03/2019)
2 ETFs 1,208
(30/09/19)
The MSCI World ex Europe index tracks stocks from 8 developed countries worldwide, excluding Europe.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m CHF
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00B4L5Y983 19,094 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI World UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M62Q58 5,368 0.50% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI World Index UCITS ETF 1CIE00BJ0KDQ92 4,260 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI World Index Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0274208692 2,959 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI World UCITS ETF D-EURFR0010315770 2,679 0.30% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
ComStage MSCI World UCITS ETFLU0392494562 2,069 0.20% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI ACWI UCITS ETFIE00B44Z5B48 1,430 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI World UCITS ETF USDIE00B4X9L533 1,256 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI World UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0340285161 1,090 0.30% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Amundi MSCI World UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681043599 1,089 0.38% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Invesco MSCI World UCITS ETFIE00B60SX394 1,061 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI World Index UCITS ETF 1DIE00BK1PV551 798 0.19% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI ACWI UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B6R52259 789 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Vanguard FTSE Developed World UCITS ETF DistributingIE00BKX55T58 353 0.18% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
SPDR MSCI World UCITS ETFIE00BFY0GT14 308 0.12% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi MSCI World ex Europe UCITS ETF EUR (C)LU1681045537 271 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI World UCITS ETF (USD) A-disIE00B7KQ7B66 116 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI World UCITS ETF USDLU1681043672 11 0.38% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI World UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00BD4TXV59 9 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI ACWI SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-accIE00BYM11H29 9 0.21% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Swap-based
Amundi ETF MSCI World UCITS ETF USDLU1681045610 4 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
UBS ETFs plc – MSCI ACWI SF UCITS ETF (USD) A-UKdisIE00BJXFZ989 1 0.21% p.a. Distributing Ireland Swap-based
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI All Country World (ACWI) 2.94% 2.04% 3.67% 3.25% 34.59%
FTSE Developed 3.08% 2.59% 4.50% 3.43% 36.73%
MSCI World 2.95% 2.64% 4.73% 3.87% 37.13%
MSCI World ex Europe 2.38% 3.08% 4.70% 4.12% 39.77%
Index   2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
MSCI All Country World (ACWI) 17.55% -8.79% 18.60% 11.54% -2.00%
FTSE Developed 18.62% -8.33% 18.08% 10.24% -0.33%
MSCI World 19.13% -7.84% 17.25% 10.28% -0.27%
MSCI World ex Europe 19.27% -6.16% 15.82% 12.33% 0.24%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/09/19; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.