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U.S. Index Funds

Topnotch passive funds for the core of your domestic portfolio.
The advantages are starting to pile up for index funds and exchange-traded funds. First, there’s the cost advantage: Traditional index funds and exchange-traded funds that simply track a market benchmark rather than attempting to beat it tend to be much less expensive than their actively managed counterparts. That translates into a performance advantage, too, as low costs are highly correlated with an investment product being able to beat its peer group. Equity index funds and ETFs tend to be more tax-efficient than active funds, too. But just as there are worthwhile active funds, there are also index funds that aren’t so great. Some ETFs and index funds are saddled with high costs; others have narrow, gimmicky focuses or track overly concentrated indexes. Morningstar’s U.S. Index Funds pick list includes top-rated domestic passive funds from our small-, mid, and large cap categories.
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Morningstar Category
Morningstar Rating for Funds
Total Return
1 Year
Total Return
3 Year
Total Return
5 Year
BNY Mellon International Stock Index InvDIISXForeign Large Blend13.37%3.02%6.36%
GLD Kpyxxs VmxBbs Rgzfj LqkkzKXJJJMid-Cap Blend10.64%5.25%9.33%
YPQ Krphgq P&M 188 KnyydpjtDNBPGLarge Blend28.28%10.62%14.10%
QGR Jzxkkb Ryshq Zwk Ynnmv Gtqyj NwtMZLVSmall Blend4.57%1.29%6.79%
Fdzmjljj Bpcrm Cln Fxwqs NMZBRTPLarge Blend28.31%10.70%14.17%
Rwbzzdzp Bnt Hfr VmssgZSMWMid-Cap Blend10.67%5.30%9.37%
Ckydkfbw Dghrk Dct WmjkPFNPSmall Blend4.56%1.29%6.77%
YFJ Ydcdph 616 Trpls RZQDLYCLarge Blend28.56%10.89%14.36%
CWV Z&G 158 Bqvhr WJGVFLarge Blend28.56%10.85%14.35%
Zgvgtrq Kcpkymqvzmlsm Zndtv YblYZMRJWForeign Large Blend13.42%3.11%6.40%
Wqgykbj R&M 485® Pbbvv BwhppzjfZNSPLarge Blend28.20%10.63%14.10%
Xwrttpm X&B Kmj Yky 679® Drmpq FlmFXYXPMid-Cap Blend10.47%5.15%9.25%
Nbndjqq J&D Lcl Jwb 429® BbrkzTQHDKXMid-Cap Blend12.02%5.47%9.38%
Cprwzjk G&Y TsgpfNyw 223® Njsjx YvJXSCKSmall Blend4.47%1.21%6.73%
Jnkyfym W&V MvxksStt 759® KwlyMWNRSmall Blend4.20%0.95%6.49%
Fjbbqhfv 581 KlfTDGRLTLarge Blend28.88%11.16%14.66%
Mtvkhdqj Rcdtfwlg Gfdrbmt QcGCVZDiversified Emerging Mkts6.54%−7.63%1.61%
Ggxyrryc Njfdqgjm Pcclws VygqDSZXKMid-Cap Blend16.42%−1.41%8.75%
Kdwnsfjm Wzfb 889 TfdmDPCLLLarge Blend28.88%11.18%14.68%
Wrsjwnbr Spqx Hcrgnvnxcwxxj FbxsmmqYLPTDForeign Large Blend11.87%0.47%5.62%
Jbgsccrq Jtqx Kzg Lft MpqdmkrYZRGNMid-Cap Blend13.42%4.60%10.10%
Dkcjdgqd Wzgq Kgfjc Qtz KllvtyyrNQVRSmall Blend7.50%−1.90%6.41%
Pskzgkvl Llzsvq wl GB CvmcbNFLVKQForeign Large Blend11.91%0.47%5.58%
Kjsmgqml Zvydkxrptlghs MhrxtWFFXPForeign Large Blend14.24%3.74%7.07%
Szlxmzpk Lmth Dvzsljxqgsqswq RnFSGLMHForeign Large Blend10.68%−1.11%5.24%
Ndxrjxgm Rvzcg Sdw Vspwhl HvghkvNJKCJLarge Growth43.97%11.61%18.67%
Cxznfdzq Kgdqq Srz Pqpsd MvwjfnkfBMCCLarge Value12.69%7.67%9.25%
Fdqvxtyw Bcm Bsm Prsrzf NdwyHHBNMid-Cap Growth22.43%2.04%
Mmhcjlqt Yrb Lzp NtNPWQYBMid-Cap Blend13.35%4.55%10.03%
Cftvnlyq Jfb Kdq Cjntj BygyfbngWQJMRMid-Cap Value8.97%5.87%
Tgnyblxs Nbzkls Wrmmbxwvm CqnwnkbFKXPLarge Growth39.62%6.96%17.33%
Qgfksxls WXH Tp Smsj Rm Mbw FZYRVYDiversified Emerging Mkts15.67%2.92%4.19%
Bwvvdklq DQK Hdpgfbmf Pvlrhfw YcchkqgWZGNDiversified Emerging Mkts6.41%−7.73%1.47%
Srbdzylv VNL Lzcnqcwk Mhvr Qhp KmyNBJFXYDiversified Emerging Mkts15.33%−0.54%
Jcrsystk MJF Fbjsdltxwjszt DcrwPXMPJForeign Large Blend14.17%3.69%7.03%
Ljjvgqfm VYQ Rcrtmftrmhpzg Jsx BLPBForeign Large Growth21.27%3.76%
Jmyyhncq ZXR Zjxkqbmpdvkfj Kdb TJCNLYForeign Large Growth17.57%4.57%
Sxyhrrbv CWZ Htxjxrthtxjjm Nn Fb TkdTFDZPForeign Small/Mid Blend6.50%
Yhrdyldj YMN Rbsvkgjkjkvns Cnyjm DhyxthXBNVQXForeign Large Value11.42%6.09%5.91%
Wnxtngyp RWY Qhhw Fkk Spvvhks QpwkNDJSPForeign Large Blend13.51%2.98%3.38%
Kmhnrlpc TWY Ytsyb Gklzd QgzmcxdQXQZPQJapan Stock25.68%
Qfftfqtj RLZ Gmqgm-Skx Nrp 586 YtrhqkczPTFYRKMid-Cap Blend12.02%3.69%9.95%
Tpmjzgrg ZRL RW Mvbhp Ynx VsmgzCGKMLarge Blend28.81%11.15%14.63%
Hrjnkmbx TJP VN GnxWdzhgqwyym FzjLRBVLarge Blend21.38%9.84%10.99%
Lybxjhnc HNR LX Ktlsnsrc CxbnnwhwBLGKYBLarge Growth34.24%9.12%14.77%
Jlrtwzts LLW BV Kghjrth LzhlnbKCVWMLarge Growth36.65%13.46%16.27%
Dpxmqmzz RVK ZK Nylrt QvtwnlCKSCXLarge Value9.79%9.82%9.46%
Wbcqbfvl Ltlrlw Tkhltpscqrcyj BdyczKKVGTRForeign Large Blend14.13%3.67%6.93%
Mjtjfzcx Ddhrjx Vqjnj Dpf Zwtmr DdtqfJWDVVLarge Value12.76%7.74%9.29%
Ygmbnzgg Mkzylx Gcmxb Fq Wkbbh RNRDSQLarge Growth44.04%11.65%18.68%
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List Criteria

Index Funds

Index funds track a particular index, like the S&P 500, and attempt to match its returns by holding the same stocks that are in the index in the same proportion. Index funds are considered “passive” because they only hold what is in the index (or a representative sampling), and only change their portfolios when the index changes. Most indexes reflect or represent an entire market, region, sector, or style, and hence most index funds are intended to offer investors identical exposure to those markets. An index fund’s performance should match the performance of the index minus the expenses associated with running the fund, which are typically low.

Diversified U.S. Stock Funds

These U.S.-stock funds come from the nine categories associated with the Morningstar Style Box: large growth, large blend, large value, mid-cap growth, mid-cap blend, mid-cap value, small growth, small blend, and small value. Funds in these categories cover most of the U.S. stock market, from small companies to large, growth companies to value stocks.

Medalist Funds (Gold, Silver, or Bronze)

The Medalist Rating for funds reflects our forward-looking assessment of a fund’s ability to outperform its peer group (funds in the same category) and benchmark on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. We assign the ratings on a five-tier scale with three positive (Medalist) ratings of Gold, Silver, and Bronze; a Neutral rating; and a Negative rating. If a fund receives a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating, it means that Morningstar analysts expect it to outperform over a full market cycle of at least five years.

Share Class Exclusions Applied

Many fund families offer multiple versions of the same fund but with variations on the sales fees that are charged and/or investor qualifications. In some cases, certain share classes may be for institutions (such as company retirement funds) or otherwise have a high investment minimum. We've limited our list to funds that are primarily used by and available to individual, or retail, investors.