8 Best Fidelity Index Funds for Retirement

Retirement Financial Planning Concept.
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The aim of an index fund is to track the returns of a stock market index such as the S&P 500 or Wilshire 5000. Index funds can come in different forms, including mutual funds and ETFs. An index fund might buy all of the securities that comprise an index, or just a representative sample.

Some investors pick a few stocks and hope for a couple of big winners, but the index fund investor buys and holds a wide range of securities, hoping to ride the wave of long-term market growth. This makes index funds more stable and better suited for retirement investments. Just keep in mind that as with any investment, the money you put into an index fund is always at risk of losing value.

What Are Fidelity Index Funds?

Fidelity index funds provide investors with a simple, low-cost method of diversifying their portfolios across several sectors of the market.

If you wonder about the performance of a Fidelity index fund, a good starting place is to compare it to the performance of the index it tracks.

Good To Know

As of June 15, the S&P 500 index had returned -12.21% over the past 12 months and -21.63% year to date. In contrast, the Fidelity 500 Index Fund — which Fidelity says is designed to track the S&P 500 — reported a 12-month return of -0.32% and a year-to-date return of -21.06%. While the index and the fund both have declined significantly in this bear market — emphasizing the importance of looking at stocks as long-term investments — the fund still beat the S&P 500’s performance.

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Index funds make sense for the average investor looking toward retirement. As famed stock picker Warren Buffett says, an index fund is a good way to avoid the risk of picking individual stocks and the effects of fees and expenses on your investments.

Best Fidelity Index Funds for Retirement

So what are the best Fidelity index funds? This evaluation of the top Fidelity index funds to buy looks at several measures of performance to answer that question. You’ll find the following information associated with each fund:

Here’s a look at some of the top performers:

1. Fidelity Multi-Asset Index Fund (FFNOX)

Previously called the Fidelity Four-in-One Index Fund, the Multi-Asset Index Fund invests in seven Fidelity stock and bond index funds, allocating assets to achieve broad diversification.

  • Average annual returns
    • -20.34% year to date
    • -7.11% one year
    • 10.66% three years
  • Expense ratio: 0.11%
  • Average risk (5 on a scale of 1 to 10)

2. Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index Fund (FNCMX)

This fund is designed to closely track the price and yield of the Nasdaq Composite Index. Fidelity normally invests at least 80% of the assets into common stocks included in the Nasdaq. Top holdings include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, Alphabet and Facebook (Meta).

  • Average annual returns
    • -30.49% year to date
    • -11.41% one year
    • 18.36% three years
  • Expense ratio: 0.35%
  • Above-average risk (6 on a scale of 1 to 10)
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3. Fidelity Large Cap Growth Index Fund (FSPGX)

This fund invests at least 80% of its assets into securities included in the Russell 1000 Growth Index, with a focus on large-cap growth stocks. Major holdings include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook (Meta), Tesla and Alphabet.

  • Average annual returns
    • -27.86% year to date
    • -6.27% one year
    • 18.26% three years
  • Expense ratio: 0.035%
  • Above-average risk (6 on a scale of 1 to 10)

4. Fidelity 500 Index Fund (FXAIX)

This fund looks for results that correspond to the total return of U.S. common stocks. At least 80% of assets are invested in stocks included in the S&P 500 index. A few of the fund’s top holdings are Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook (Meta), Alphabet and Berkshire Hathaway.

  • Average annual returns
    • -21.06% year to date
    • -0.32% one year
    • 16.21% three years
  • Expense ratio: 0.015%
  • Above-average risk (6 on a scale of 1 to 10)

5. Fidelity Total Market Index Fund (FSKAX)

Managers of this fund aim for investment returns that track the total return of a broad range of domestic equities. With that in mind, they put 80% of the fund’s assets into securities included in the Dow Jones U.S. Total Market Index. Major holdings include Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook (Meta), Tesla and Alphabet.

  • Average annual returns
    • -22.30% year to date
    • -3.98% one year
    • 15.45% three years
  • Expense ratio: 0.015%
  • Above-average risk (6 on a scale of 1 to 10)
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6. Fidelity Inflation-Protected Bond Index Fund (FIPDX)

When it comes to Fidelity index funds, investors with their eyes on retirement often want a bond option because of its safety. However, with that safety comes low returns that could be outpaced by inflation. Fidelity’s Inflation-Protected Bond Index Fund invests at least 80% of assets in inflation-protected debt securities included in the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities Index.

  • Average annual returns
    • -9.41% year to date
    • -1.42% one year
    • 4.32% three years
  • Expense ratio: 0.05%
  • Below-average risk (4 on a scale of 1 to 10)

7. Fidelity Short-Term Treasury Bond Index Fund (FUMBX)

The Fidelity Short-Term Treasury Bond Index Fund typically invests at least 80% of assets in securities included in the Bloomberg Barclays 1-5 Year U.S. Treasury Bond Index.

  • Average annual returns
    • -5.63% year to date
    • -4.44% one year
    • 0.36% three years
  • Expense ratio: 0.03%
  • Below-average risk (2 on a scale of 1 to 10)

8. Fidelity US Sustainability Index Fund (FITLX)

This fund tracks the MSCI USA ESG Index, which MSCI says targets companies with positive environmental, social and governance performance that also share risk and return characteristics with companies in the fund.

  • Average annual returns
    • -22.36% year to date
    • -0.94% one year
    • 16.53% three years
  • Expense ratio: 0.11%
  • Above-average risk (6 on a scale of 1 to 10)

Why Invest In Fidelity Index Funds?

Fidelity index funds feature comparatively low costs well suited to buy-and-hold investors. Fidelity equity funds combine low expenses and good growth potential with index funds heavily tilted toward technology and consumer discretionary stocks. Bond funds provide a lower-risk option.

Investors looking for index funds that follow U.S. bond indexes and stock indexes of all market cap sizes, international equity markets, emerging markets and even bonds should consider Fidelity. You get a wide range of choices — including sustainable index stock and bond funds — allowing you to construct an asset-allocated portfolio just right for your needs and investment timeline. Some Fidelity index funds even pay dividends.

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

Data is accurate as of June 15, 2022, and is subject to change.

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About the Author

Harry Hoover is a freelance writer, copywriter, blogger and content developer. He writes on self-improvement topics, business and marketing, social media and tourism. Harry started his career as a print and broadcast journalist, covering business and government, as well as cops and courts. He wrote a media criticism column and was managing editor for an all-news radio station. Harry hosted a daily call-in talk show and was a college sports color commentator. Additionally, Harry spent 35 years in advertising and PR, where he handled banking, mortgage, tourism, business and industrial accounts. Most recently, he owned an advertising agency, which he sold in 2015. He is the author of Moving to Charlotte: The Un-Tourist Guide, Born Creative: Free Your Mind, Free Yourself, Get Glad – Your Practical Guide To A Happier Life and The Dad's Book Of Jokes.
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