CFDs are complex financial instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are complex financial instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What is the Russell 2000 Index and how do you invest in it?

The Russell 2000 Index is considered the world's biggest 'small' index. Learn how to trade and invest in the Russell 2000'?

Trader Source: Bloomberg

What is the Russell 2000 Index?

The Russell 2000 Index is a collection of US stocks you can get exposure to with us. It can be thought of as the world’s ‘biggest small index’, as it’s comprised of America’s top small-cap stocks by market capitalisation.

Called the US 2000 Index on our platform, tthe Russell 2000 is actually part of a larger index, the Russell 3000. While most of the latter’s weighting is made up of the 1000 biggest public companies in the United States, the Russell 2000 consists of the remaining top small-cap and mid-cap companies.

For this reason, the Russell 2000 is known for being a reliable benchmark for investors of small publicly traded US companies, similar to the how the S&P 500 is for larger stocks.

How does the Russell 2000 Index work?

The Russell 2000 is weighted by capitalisation, which means that not all companies are weighted equally. Instead, weightings are proportionate to how big each company is in terms of market cap. The price of the index is then calculated using the collective value of these companies’ stock prices.

Because companies’ market capitalisation changes frequently, the Russell 2000 Index is recalibrated (where the index is rebalanced to best reflect its companies most recent caps) once a year, usually in June.

Components of the Russell 2000 Index

Pie chart image of Russell 2000 Index’s constituent sectors by order of weighting as of June 2020.

The Russell 2000 is a diverse index made up of many very different companies across several sectors. Sectors represented in the index include financial companies, healthcare, industries, technology, energy and real estate, among others.

Some of the most famous components of the Russell 2000 Index include car rental corporation Avis Budget Group, shoemaker Crocs, AMC Entertainment and department store titan Macy’s.

How to trade or invest in the Russell 2000 Index

Graph showing the performance of the US 2000 index (what the Russell 2000 is called on our platform) over the past decade.
Graph showing the performance of the US 2000 index (what the Russell 2000 is called on our platform) over the past decade.

Learn more about the Russell 2000 Index

If you’d like to know more about the Russell 2000 Index, we have a host of resources for you to educate yourself with. Try IG Academy for interactive courses for every trading skill level. Then, enjoy some reading on our trade analysis and strategy articles to help hone your skills.

Of course, the best learning is by doing, too – which is why you can open a demo account with us, for free. Here, you can practise and perfect your Russell 2000 Index trading strategy with $20,000 in virtual funds.

Choose whether to trade or invest in the Russell 2000

You can invest in the Russell 2000 Index with us via our share trading platform. Here, you’ll buy shares in Russell 2000 companies themselves. As a shareholder, you’ll be eligible to receive dividends and other shareholder rights or privileges.1

Or, you can invest in an ETF that tracks the index’s performance. Either way, you’ll take outright ownership of the shares and will make a profit if the Russell 2000 increases in value.

If you’d prefer to speculate on the Russell 2000 Index rather than investing outright, you’ll trade the performance of the index as a whole via CFDs. You can go long or short on (buy or sell) the index’s underlying market price without taking ownership of any assets outright.

Trade the Russell 2000 on the spot with continuous, real-time pricing as a cash index, or with futures to open a longer-term position.

CFDs are leveraged products, meaning you’ll put down an initial deposit (called margin) to open your position. This will be just a percentage of your full trade’s size. However, leverage means that your profits and losses are calculated on the full position size – so both can substantially outweigh your initial margin amount. Therefore, you should take steps to manage your risk.

Open an account or practise on a demo

With us you can open two different account types:

You can open and fund one or both types of accounts to begin trading or investing in the Russell 2000.

Not ready to trade just yet? You can always perfect your strategy by opening a demo account for free.

Choose your position size and manage your risk

Once you’ve opened an account, it’s time to decide on the size of your first trade or investment. To do this, input the amount that you’d be comfortable risking and potentially losing if the market moves against you.

If you’re trading with us, there are ways to manage your risk. You can set up a stop order and limit order to ensure you never lose more than you’re comfortable with. However, remember that this doesn’t prevent the risk of negative slippage, as the market may move faster than it takes to close the position. To avoid this, you’d need to set up a guaranteed stop.

Place your deal and monitor your position

You can now click on ‘place deal’ in the deal ticket.

After this, you’ll need to keep an eye on your open trade. You can also set up trading alerts, so that you’re notified if there’s any changes in market events. Note that it’s your responsibility to monitor your trades, and you shouldn’t rely solely on alerts for any updates on your position.

The Russell 2000 Index summed up

  • The Russell 2000 is an index of 2000 small-cap and mid-cap publicly traded US stocks
  • The Russell 2000 is a subset of the larger Russell 3000 index and consists of companies, like Avis Budget Group and AMC Entertainment, across various diverse sectors
  • With us, you can trade the Russell 2000 Index using CFDs. You won’t own any assets outright, but will instead speculate on the price of the index by going long or short
  • You can also invest in the Russell 2000 Index by buying Russell 2000 companies’ stocks via our share trading platform, or by investing in an ETF which tracks the index

1 Additional charges for this may apply.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.
CFDs are a leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.

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