Finally, the other factor: risk tolerance. The stock market goes up and down, and if you’re prone to panicking when it does the latter, you’re better off investing slightly more conservatively, with a lighter allocation to stocks. Not sure? We have a risk tolerance quiz — and more information about how to make this decision — in our article about what to invest in.
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Common Stocks – When you invest in stock, you acquire an ownership stake in an actual operating business, along with your share of the net earnings and resulting dividends produced by the firm. Although you don't have to invest in stock to get rich, over the past could of centuries, equities (stocks) have been the highest returning asset class and have produced the most wealth. To learn more, read What Is Stock? which will break down the fundamentals.
The solution to both is investing in stock index funds and ETFs. While mutual funds might require a $1,000 minimum or more, index fund minimums tend to be lower (and ETFs are purchased for a share price that could be lower still). Two brokers, Fidelity and Charles Schwab, offer index funds with no minimum at all. Index funds also cure the diversification issue because they hold many different stocks within a single fund.

During its latest rebalance, the Invesco S&P 500 Momentum ETF (SPMO) halved its exposure to the tech sector from 36.6% to 17.2%, and more than doubled the weight in health care to 27.9%. Utilities and real estate went from nearly zero to 11.7% and 7.1% of the portfolios, respectively. That helps explain the fund’s moderate loss of 1.7% in May, even though the tech stocks within the S&P 500 slumped a much steeper 5.7%.

Why the difference? Part of the reason is that the Invesco Momentum ETF is a long-only portfolio—it has no short bets that can go against it. The rest of the difference can be attributed to the timing and frequency of its rebalances: The Invesco Momentum ETF rebalanced only twice a year in March and last September, while the earlier-mentioned long-short strategy does it quarterly, the latest ones in February and last November.


This section lists the number of stocks that have advanced and declined for the day with the volume of shares traded, as well as the number of new 52-week high and low stocks for each of the exchanges. The numbers include all active stocks for that day. For U.S. Markets, only NYSE and NASDAQ stocks are included, excluding ETF's. NYSE and NASDAQ stocks also exclude unit investment trusts, closed end funds, warrant stocks, preferred securities and any non-SIC classified stock. For Canadian Markets, only TSX and TSX-V stocks are included.