AMA The Fifth Person
Asked on 21 Feb 2019
Regarding this question, I definitely think that if you are a beginning investor, most professionals would advise you to invest in the S&P 500, and by proxy its ETF. This is because the S&P 500's composition is made up of the United State's 500 largest companies by market capitalization, which essentially provides fantastic diversification opportunities, and create stable market returns. More importantly is the ability of the S&P 500 to bounce back from recessions - thus far the S&P is on a long term uptrend, and after every recession we see that the S&P is able to bounce to twice, even thrice the previous high before the next business cycle hits. This general uptrend gives you great certainty that a "buy and hold" strategy will be able to generate positive total returns at the end of the day if you hold in for the long term. International stock markets may not have ability to do so, as evidence by Japan, whose stock price have yet to really break out from the real estate bubble highs of the 80s.
Essentially, it is on the assumption that the market will continuously grow at a steady pace that buy and hold strategies, and thus passive trading strategies, can provide steady returns in the long run. The ETF that is recommended by Mr Victor Chng is an excellent example of a passive ETF that has low fund management costs, ensuring that you obtain the maximum returns.
I prefer S&P 500 ETF, you may want to consider Vanguard S&P 500 ETF.
Yes, SP500 to me still seems the best investment for equity investing beginners, most important world market, many tech companies = progress prone. Maybe some day China will be #1 in the future. To be more diversified than U.S. there would be then ticker: VT, or other 'world' index ETFS (MSCI- or FTSE-based)
would be my choice
the points are lowest management fee and considering withholding tax in U.S.
USA on the other hand shines already with 0.00 USD commission and account management fees with some online brokerages