Considerations to help you choose investments
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Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money.
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Stocks are represented by the Dow Jones Total Market Index from March 1987 to the latest calendar year. From 1926 to February 1987, stocks are represented by the Standard & Poor’s 500® Index (S&P 500® Index). The S&P 500® Index is a market capitalization–weighted index of 500 common stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation to represent U.S. equity performance. Bonds are represented by the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index from January 1976 to the latest calendar year. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a market value–weighted index of investment-grade fixed-rate debt issues, including government, corporate, asset-backed, and mortgage-backed securities, with maturities of one year or more. From 1926 to December 1975, bonds are represented by the U.S. Intermediate Government Bond Index, which is an unmanaged index that includes the reinvestment of interest income. Short-term instruments are represented by U.S. Treasury bills, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.
Stock prices are more volatile than those of other securities. Government bonds and corporate bonds have more moderate short-term price fluctuation than stocks but provide lower potential long-term returns. U.S. Treasury bills maintain a stable value (if held to maturity), but returns are generally only slightly above the inflation rate.
Foreign stocks are represented by the MSCI ACWI ex USA Index from December 2000 to the last calendar year. The MSCI ACWI ex USA Index captures large- and mid-cap representation across 22 of 23 developed markets (DM) countries (excluding the U.S.) and 23 emerging markets (EM) countries. From 1970 to November 2000, foreign stocks were represented by the Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australasia, Far East Index. The MSCI® EAFE® Index is a market capitalization–weighted index that is designed to measure the investable equity market performance for global investors in developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. Prior to 1970, foreign stocks are represented by the S&P 500® Index.