When you're investing for your future needs, chances are that you'll look into a number of different ways in which you might be able to grow and improve your existing wealth. One option is to find the best performance index funds. In the past, indexes and the funds used to track them were simple to pick, but choosing a good fund today is more complicated than some people may realize.

Index funds aren't exactly new, as the first index fund for America was the Vanguard 500 index, which opened in 1976. Yet today these solutions for investment are more popular than ever, and the number of available funds and benchmarks has swelled significantly. There are now over a thousand index portfolios to choose from, combined with less than five hundred only ten years ago. At the same time, assets in funds for stock indexes have grown by a massive 70%.

Choosing the Best Performance Index Funds:

Obviously, being able to pick the best performance index fund available to you on the market should go a long way towards making sure that you will get the most out of your investments. In the past century or so, the stock market has received about 10% on average in compounded annual returns, and there have been years in which those returns were either much higher or much lower. When averaged out, a return of about 10% is considered to be quite good. With that in mind, one of the most beneficial index funds available for people considering new investments is the Vanguard 500 Index Fund. This fund tracks the S&P 500 and is seen to be the lowest-cost solution to manage those funds with an expense ratio of around 0.05%, in other words, five cents for every $100 invested into the funds.

Because the Vanguard 500 Index fund is an exchange-traded fund (ETF), you will be expected to pay trading commissions, so it's worth thinking about your expenses carefully if you plan to invest into your funds regularly. You can also invest into the Vanguard 500 Index fund through the mutual Vanguard shares as the Vanguard 500 Index fund investor class, and the 500 index fund admiral class. Crucially, the admiral class shares the same expense ratio as the standard ETF. However, in this case there is no transaction fee involved with purchasing shares. Investor class shares also charge a higher expense ratio, but only require a small minimum investment.

Selecting the best performance index funds for your needs is a very personal experience, and it's crucial to think carefully about how you're going to make a selection based not only on how much you're willing to spend up front, but how often you also plan to buy future shares. At any rate, you should expect to capture good market average returns with a good low-cost index fund.

At the end of the day, index mutual funds and ETFs have done much better than many actively managed funds over time. For instance, the Vanguard 500 Index, which mirrors the standard & poor's index has outpaced about 80% of the actively managed large companies and U.S. oriented stock funds in the last three years.