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 14 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 global 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: 0.62%
1 year: 8.13%
3 years: 42.81%
5 years: 107.22%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on USA

For an investment in the American stock market, 3 indices tracked by 25 ETFs are available. On the Dow Jones Industrial Average index there are 2 ETFs. On the MSCI USA index there are 10 ETFs. On the S&P 500® index there are 13 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 2 ETFs 30
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index tracks the 30 largest industrial companies in the US.
Index factsheet

MSCI USA

United States 10 ETFs 616
(30/06/20)
The MSCI USA index tracks the leading stocks on the US market.
Index factsheet

S&P 500®

United States 13 ETFs 505
The S&P 500® index tracks the 500 largest US stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B5BMR087 28,431 0.07% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETFIE00B3XXRP09 19,619 0.07% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE0031442068 7,546 0.07% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Invesco S&P 500 UCITS ETFIE00B3YCGJ38 5,101 0.05% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Xtrackers S&P 500 Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0490618542 4,607 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI USA UCITS ETF 1CIE00BJ0KDR00 3,937 0.07% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
SPDR S&P 500 UCITS ETFIE00B6YX5C33 3,362 0.09% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
HSBC S&P 500 UCITS ETF USDIE00B5KQNG97 2,769 0.09% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor S&P 500 UCITS ETF - Dist (USD)LU0496786657 2,486 0.15% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI USA Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0274210672 1,970 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF S&P 500 UCITS ETF USDLU1681049018 1,905 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor S&P 500 UCITS ETF C-EURLU1135865084 1,218 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Invesco S&P 500 UCITS ETF DistIE00BYML9W36 1,048 0.05% p.a. Distributing Ireland Unfunded swap
Invesco MSCI USA UCITS ETFIE00B60SX170 740 0.05% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Lyxor MSCI USA UCITS ETF - DistFR0010296061 665 0.25% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI USA UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B52SFT06 468 0.33% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI USA UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0136234654 446 0.14% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares Dow Jones Industrial Average UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B53L4350 331 0.33% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (IE) S&P 500 UCITS ETF (USD) A-disIE00B7K93397 312 0.12% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETF (USD) AccumulatingIE00BFMXXD54 279 0.07% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF MSCI USA UCITS ETF USDLU1681042948 195 0.28% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor Dow Jones Industrial Average UCITS ETF - DistFR0007056841 174 0.50% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI USA UCITS ETF (USD) A-disIE00B77D4428 140 0.14% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
HSBC MSCI USA UCITS ETF USDIE00B5WFQ436 28 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Invesco MSCI USA UCITS ETF BIE00BK5LYT47 2 0.05% p.a. Distributing Ireland Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
Dow Jones Industrial Average 2.50% 17.64% -1.94% 2.32% 34.71%
S&P 500® 2.70% 19.86% 3.83% 10.81% 42.07%
MSCI USA 2.99% 21.06% 4.78% 11.70% 43.08%
Index   2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.92% 20.66% 1.24% 15.91% 39.34%
S&P 500® 3.96% 27.01% 0.62% 10.57% 34.38%
MSCI USA 4.92% 27.09% -0.51% 11.74% 33.93%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/06/20; Calculations in GBP 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 14 alternative USA indices, which are tracked by 23 ETFs as an example. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on alternative USA indices is between 0.04% p.a. and 0.45% 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 140
(30/06/20)
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 1,728
(30/06/20)
The MSCI USA Small Cap index tracks US small cap stocks.
Index factsheet
MSCI USA Value United States
Value
1 ETF 414
(30/06/20)
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
Morningstar US Large-Mid Cap United States
1 ETF 755
(30/06/20)
The Morningstar US Large Mid Cap index tracks large and mid cap stocks of the US equity market.
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 1000® Growth United States
Growth
1 ETF 531
(29/11/19)
The Russell 1000® Growth index tracks the large-cap growth segment of US equities.
Index factsheet
Russell 1000® Value United States
Value
1 ETF 763
(29/11/19)
The Russell 1000® Value index tracks the large-cap value segment of US equities.
Index factsheet
Russell 2000® United States
Small Cap
5 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
2 ETFs 103
(30/06/20)
The S&P 500 Minimum Volatility index tracks an optimized portfolio that includes a selection of 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
(30/06/20)
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 118
(30/06/20)
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
1 ETF 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 GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Nasdaq 100 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B53SZB19 4,337 0.33% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Invesco EQQQ Nasdaq-100 UCITS ETFIE0032077012 2,273 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
SPDR S&P US Dividend Aristocrats UCITS ETFIE00B6YX5D40 1,838 0.35% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares Edge S&P 500 Minimum Volatility UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B6SPMN59 1,345 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers Russell 2000 UCITS ETF 1CIE00BJZ2DD79 656 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares S&P SmallCap 600 UCITS ETFIE00B2QWCY14 594 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor Nasdaq-100 UCITS ETF AccLU1829221024 564 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR S&P 400 US Mid Cap UCITS ETFIE00B4YBJ215 518 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
SPDR Russell 2000 US Small Cap UCITS ETFIE00BJ38QD84 507 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers S&P 500 Equal Weight UCITS ETF 1CIE00BLNMYC90 458 0.25% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI USA Small Cap UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B3VWM098 362 0.43% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI USA Value UCITS ETF (USD) A-disIE00B78JSG98 338 0.20% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI USA Dividend IQ UCITS ETFIE00BKM4H312 209 0.35% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Invesco FTSE RAFI US 1000 UCITS ETFIE00B23D8S39 191 0.39% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor Russell 1000 Growth UCITS ETF - AccFR0011119171 195 0.19% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF Nasdaq 100 UCITS ETF USDLU1681038326 83 0.23% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor Core Morningstar US Equity (DR) UCITS ETFLU1781540957 41 0.04% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
iShares Edge S&P 500 Minimum Volatility UCITS ETF USD (Dist)IE00BD93YH54 40 0.20% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
L&G Russell 2000 US Small Cap UCITS ETFIE00B3CNHJ55 39 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Invesco Russell 2000 UCITS ETFIE00B60SX402 30 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF Russell 2000 UCITS ETF USDLU1681038839 16 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Lyxor Russell 1000 Value UCITS ETF - AccFR0011119205 5 0.19% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Invesco S&P SmallCap 600 UCITS ETF AIE00BH3YZ803 3 0.14% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
S&P SmallCap 600 4.33% 23.18% -12.11% -8.81% 5.66%
Russell 1000® Value 0.03% 13.33% -10.26% -6.13% 10.25%
MSCI USA Value -0.05% 11.92% -10.18% -5.62% 11.23%
S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats 1.79% 14.34% -7.74% -4.10% 18.91%
S&P MidCap 400 1.93% 23.96% -6.82% -4.08% 11.53%
Russell 2000® 4.23% 26.18% -6.84% -3.92% 10.52%
MSCI USA Small Cap 3.86% 27.19% -6.67% -3.65% 14.96%
FTSE RAFI US 1000 1.42% 17.17% -7.02% -1.73% 17.28%
MSCI USA High Dividend Yield -0.26% 11.33% -5.30% -1.03% 21.33%
S&P 500® Equal Weight 2.28% 20.62% -4.42% -0.49% 21.79%
S&P 500 Minimum Volatility 1.09% 15.13% 0.59% 6.72% 36.27%
Morningstar US Large-Mid Cap 2.97% 20.96% 4.47% 11.02% -
Russell 1000® Growth 5.08% 27.46% 17.59% 26.97% 76.49%
Nasdaq 100® 7.09% 30.37% 25.10% 37.68% 93.54%
Index   2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
S&P SmallCap 600 -11.70% 18.28% -3.85% 2.59% 51.73%
Russell 1000® Value -10.09% 22.06% -3.51% 3.20% 40.74%
MSCI USA Value -10.01% 21.18% -2.59% 4.46% 39.90%
S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats -7.48% 19.09% 2.22% 5.23% 43.97%
FTSE RAFI US 1000 -6.79% 23.06% -3.85% 5.31% 40.51%
Russell 2000® -6.55% 20.92% -7.71% 5.29% 45.10%
MSCI USA Small Cap -6.34% 22.70% -5.47% 6.10% 43.53%
S&P MidCap 400 -6.33% 21.62% -6.66% 5.31% 44.53%
MSCI USA High Dividend Yield -5.26% 17.77% 2.34% 8.02% 38.84%
S&P 500® Equal Weight -4.07% 24.48% -4.02% 8.85% 37.55%
S&P 500 Minimum Volatility 0.94% 27.64% -0.08% 6.34% 36.57%
Morningstar US Large-Mid Cap 4.70% 26.74% - - -
Russell 1000® Growth 17.95% 31.51% 3.74% 18.60% 28.77%
Nasdaq 100® 25.14% 34.52% 5.14% 20.54% 28.57%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/06/20; Calculations in GBP 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 4 ETFs. Both the MSCI North America index (with 94.94%) and the FTSE North America index (with 95.30%) strongly weight American stocks (as of 31/12/2019). 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: 95.30%
(31/12/2019)
2 ETFs 663
(30/06/20)
The FTSE North America index tracks stocks in USA and Canada.
Index factsheet
MSCI North America North America
USA: 94.94%
(31/12/2019)
2 ETFs 701
(30/06/20)
The MSCI North America index tracks stocks from developed North American countries (Canada and United States).
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI North America UCITS ETFIE00B14X4M10 804 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI North America UCITS ETF DRLU1437016543 615 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Vanguard FTSE North America UCITS ETF DistributingIE00BKX55R35 588 0.10% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Vanguard FTSE North America UCITS ETF (USD) AccumulatingIE00BK5BQW10 134 0.10% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI North America 3.06% 21.12% 4.13% 10.55% 39.99%
FTSE North America 3.00% 20.98% 4.18% 10.96% 41.42%
Index   2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
FTSE North America 4.25% 27.01% -0.21% 10.50% 34.84%
MSCI North America 4.29% 26.54% -0.56% 10.03% 34.38%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/06/20; Calculations in GBP 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 4 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
Dow Jones Global Titans 50 World
USA: 77.00%
(31/12/2019)
1 ETF 55
(30/06/20)
The Dow Jones Global Titans 50 index tracks multinational companies traded on major exchanges worldwide.
Index factsheet
FTSE Developed World
USA: 61.07%
(31/12/2019)
2 ETFs 2,167
(30/06/20)
The FTSE Developed index tracks the largest stocks in developed markets across the world.
Index factsheet
MSCI All Country World (ACWI) World
USA: 55.59%
(31/12/2019)
4 ETFs 2,988
(30/06/20)
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 All Country World Investable Market (ACWI IMI) World
USA: 54.93%
(31/12/2019)
1 ETF 8,786
(30/06/20)
The MSCI All Country World Investable Market Index (ACWI IMI) tracks stocks from developed and emerging countries worldwide. It covers securities across large, mid and small cap size segments and consists of 49 country indices, of which approximately half are developed and half are emerging markets.
Index factsheet
MSCI World World
USA: 63.33%
(31/12/2019)
13 ETFs 1,603
(30/06/20)
The MSCI World index tracks stocks from 23 developed countries worldwide.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF USD (Acc)IE00B4L5Y983 18,372 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares MSCI World UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B0M62Q58 3,833 0.50% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI World UCITS ETF 1CIE00BJ0KDQ92 3,543 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI World UCITS ETF - DistFR0010315770 2,258 0.30% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
Xtrackers MSCI World Swap UCITS ETF 1CLU0274208692 1,791 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI ACWI UCITS ETFIE00B44Z5B48 1,287 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
HSBC MSCI World UCITS ETF USDIE00B4X9L533 1,207 0.15% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Invesco MSCI World UCITS ETFIE00B60SX394 944 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI World UCITS ETF (USD) A-disLU0340285161 876 0.30% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI ACWI UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B6R52259 817 0.60% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Xtrackers MSCI World UCITS ETF 1DIE00BK1PV551 670 0.19% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor Core MSCI World (DR) UCITS ETFLU1781541179 504 0.12% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Optimized sampling
Vanguard FTSE Developed World UCITS ETF DistributingIE00BKX55T58 437 0.12% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
Amundi ETF MSCI World UCITS ETF DRLU1437016972 361 0.18% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Xtrackers MSCI AC World UCITS ETF 1CIE00BGHQ0G80 356 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
SPDR MSCI World UCITS ETFIE00BFY0GT14 178 0.12% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
SPDR MSCI ACWI IMI UCITS ETFIE00B3YLTY66 170 0.40% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor DJ Global Titans 50 UCITS ETF - DistFR0007075494 90 0.40% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
Vanguard FTSE Developed World UCITS ETF AccIE00BK5BQV03 22 0.12% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
Lyxor MSCI All Country World UCITS ETF Acc (USD)LU1829220133 14 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
Amundi ETF MSCI World UCITS ETF USDLU1681043672 13 0.38% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Unfunded swap
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI All Country World Investable Market (ACWI IMI) 3.95% 20.07% -0.80% 4.46% 22.47%
MSCI All Country World (ACWI) 3.96% 19.77% 0.26% 5.34% 26.02%
MSCI World 3.39% 19.63% 1.06% 6.38% 28.70%
FTSE Developed 3.44% 19.62% 0.98% 6.42% 27.92%
Dow Jones Global Titans 50 3.86% 20.05% 8.36% 15.92% 48.22%
Index   2020
in %
2019
in %
2018
in %
2017
in %
2016
in %
MSCI All Country World Investable Market (ACWI IMI) -0.69% 22.08% -5.28% 12.23% 31.86%
MSCI All Country World (ACWI) 0.48% 22.61% -4.50% 12.79% 31.29%
FTSE Developed 1.15% 23.51% -4.01% 12.28% 29.78%
MSCI World 1.27% 23.87% -3.52% 11.50% 29.83%
Dow Jones Global Titans 50 8.48% 27.34% 0.91% 10.17% 32.34%

Source: justETF.com; As of 30/06/20; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.