Whether you're an experienced investor or are just getting started in the stock market, choosing the right investments is key to generating wealth -- and it can make the difference between losing money and building a million-dollar portfolio.
Choosing the right investments isn't easy, however. There are thousands of investments to choose from, and each one has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. It can be overwhelming, then, to narrow down your options.
While everyone's situation will be different, there are some investments that are so strong they're a good fit for nearly anyone. These three options are fantastic choices, and they can make a solid addition to anyone's portfolio.
1. S&P 500 ETFs
The S&P 500 is a stock market index that includes stocks from 500 of the largest companies in the U.S. An S&P 500 ETF, then, is an investment that follows the S&P 500 index and mirrors its performance.
S&P 500 ETFs are a strong investment for several reasons. For one, they can help you create an instantly diversified portfolio with zero effort. To limit your risk, it's wise to make sure you're investing in at least a couple dozen stocks from different industries. When you invest in just one S&P 500 ETF, you instantly own around 500 stocks from a wide variety of sectors.
This type of investment is also perfect for those who are concerned about stock market volatility. The S&P 500 itself is subject to short-term market turbulence, and it has seen its fair share of corrections and crashes over the years.
However, it's consistently recovered from those downturns. S&P 500 ETFs will also experience short-term volatility, but it's extremely likely they will earn positive returns over the long run.
If you're ready to get started, there are a few popular S&P 500 ETFs that can be a great addition to your portfolio:
- Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO -0.24%)
- SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 ETF (SPLG -0.28%)
- iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV -0.24%)
2. Growth ETFs
A growth ETF includes stocks that are likely to experience faster-than-average growth. Some growth ETFs contain stocks from just one industry, such as the tech sector, while other funds span multiple industries.
One of the biggest advantages of investing in a growth ETF is that you have a better chance of beating the market. Fast-growing companies tend to see higher returns, so your investments are likely to grow faster with this type of fund compared to a broad-market fund such as an S&P 500 ETF.
The downside, however, is that growth ETFs can be more volatile. Growth stocks are sometimes riskier than stocks from more established corporations, so you may see more short-term ups and downs with this type of investment.
It's especially important, then, to make sure you're holding your investments for the long term. Your ETFs may experience volatility over weeks and months, but over several years or even decades, you're more likely to see positive average returns.
A few of the most popular growth ETFs include:
- Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG -0.14%)
- Schwab US Large Cap Growth ETF (SCHG -0.04%)
- iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF -0.11%)
3. Dividend ETFs
A dividend ETF is a fund that includes dividend-paying stocks, which are stocks that pay a portion of the company's profits back to shareholders in the form of a dividend. When you invest in a dividend ETF, you'll receive quarterly or annual dividend payments in addition to the normal earnings on your investments.
The best part of investing in dividend ETFs is that you can gradually build a source of passive income. The more you invest, the more you can earn in dividends. By investing consistently and building a robust portfolio, you can potentially earn thousands of dollars per year in passive income from dividends.
It's important to do your research when buying dividend ETFs, however, because not all dividend stocks are created equal. Some of the strongest and most popular funds include:
- Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG -0.13%)
- SPDR S&P 500 Dividend ETF (SDY -0.45%)
- ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL -0.34%)
Choosing the right investments is key to building a strong portfolio. These three types of ETFs have plenty of advantages, and they can be a fantastic option for many investors.