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Subject:  index funds Date:  6/5/2005  12:54 AM
Author:  Boone8466 Number:  12888 of 18062

Hey guys,

I just started a Coverdale account for each of my five kids for their college education. They won't need any of this money for 15-17 years, so I'm looking at equity funds. Each daughter has a seperate account set up through E*trade and I'd like to fund one mutual fund per account. Each would get a small monthly contribution ($100). Five funds should allow a modicum of diversity.

In the broadest strokes I was planning on the following types of funds:

1)S&P 500 index or Wilshire 5000 index
2)Russll 1000 Growth Index
3)S&P/Citigroup BMI World Ex US Index
4)S&P Midcap 400
5)? (whatever seems like a good value that adds diversity and low risk)

I would like to compare a few index funds. Since I'm focusing on index funds, no-load, no-fee funds are my first rerequirement. Of course, low expense ratios are better; a relatively low initial investment would also be great.

I'm having trouble comparing funds from different families. Just because the name of the fund has "Large Cap Index" doesn't mean it really follows the S&P 500 index. What I would like is a list of the most common indices and the mutual funds that accurately follow them. Any suggestions? MF has a series of explanations and examples of the most common indices at: . The choices are rather limited, though. For instance, there's only 1 fund (Vanguard) listed that tracks the Russell 2000. Surely there's more than one Russell 2000 index fund out there. I'm looking for a more complete listing so I can find fund families that I can invest in through E*trade. As of now I'm reduced to blindly stumbling across a fund with a promising name, then reading the prospectus to see how the fund invests its money.

If you have specific recommendations for any funds or the types of indices I've chosen, I'd appreciate the input there as well.

College Station, TX
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