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Key Factors

  • The NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite are each inventory market indexes monitoring a selected group of corporations.
  • Inventory market indexes can be utilized to gauge total market efficiency or the efficiency of particular person sectors.
  • The NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite have some overlap, however the standards for inclusion differ tremendously.

Seeking to spend money on the tech sector? Then you definitely’ll doubtless be NASDAQ shares, however the NASDAQ is a large change, and buyers want methods to interrupt down the elements for evaluation. That’s why the NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite exist, so buyers can have other ways to realize publicity to NASDAQ-listed shares. Nonetheless, these indexes have main variations that buyers should perceive in an effort to assemble correct portfolios. Learn on to study extra in regards to the NASDAQ 100 and the NASDAQ Composite.

The NASDAQ Composite consists of all of the shares within the NASDAQ 100, plus about 2,500 extra. The NASDAQ 100 limits its elements to the biggest 100 non-finance shares buying and selling on the NASDAQ change, however the Composite consists of all public corporations buying and selling on the change. 

These are the two mostly used indexes for NASDAQ investments, and a big selection of ETFs and mutual funds have been constructed round them. However with hundreds of corporations differentiating the 2, it is necessary to grasp the dangers and rewards of investing in every.

What Are Inventory Market Indexes?

Analyzing each inventory could be unimaginable. The World Federation of Exchanges estimated that as of 2022, over 58,000 public corporations exist worldwide, with an estimated 5,000 to six,000 buying and selling on US-based exchanges. And that doesn’t even take into consideration penny shares buying and selling over-the-counter.

As a substitute of analyzing every inventory individually, buyers can use inventory market indexes as proxies for the general market or particular sectors and subsectors. For instance, the Dow Jones Industrial Common (DJIA) is likely one of the oldest inventory indexes, consisting of 30 large-cap shares targeted on older sectors like industrials and shopper staples.

The NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite are each examples of inventory market indexes. The NASDAQ Composite is an inventory of all public corporations buying and selling on the NASDAQ change, one of many largest public exchanges specializing in tech and innovation. The Composite contains hundreds of shares, starting from large-cap tech giants to small-cap startups. The NASDAQ 100 additionally consists of shares within the NASDAQ change however with a extra slender view and stringent guidelines for inclusion. All NASDAQ 100 shares are included within the Composite, however solely the largest non-finance corporations discover themselves within the NASDAQ 100.

Key Variations Between NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite


Each the NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite monitor shares buying and selling on the NASDAQ change, which was the primary main inventory change  to make the most of digital order books and computerized buying and selling. Naturally, a computer-based change will lean closely into the tech sector, however the NASDAQ is a large change that includes greater than 2,500 shares. If you wish to efficiently spend money on NASDAQ, you’ll have to differentiate between these 2 indexes.


The largest distinction between the two indexes is clear as quickly as you have a look at their elements. The NASDAQ 100 is aptly named because it options round 100 of the biggest corporations on the NASDAQ change, an adjusted quarterly checklist. The NASDAQ Composite tracks all corporations buying and selling on the change, from the small caps to the mega caps.

Sector Allocation

Each indexes weigh holdings based mostly on a market capitalization formulation, however the NASDAQ 100 has a number of further guidelines for inclusion. Whereas the Composite tracks shares of all totally different sizes throughout numerous sectors, the NASDAQ 100 tracks solely the 100 largest non-finance corporations buying and selling on the change. The index options corporations from totally different sectors, however it’s closely tilted towards large-cap tech shares. If you need publicity to a extra numerous group of sectors, you’ll doubtless desire the NASDAQ Composite’s methodology.

Market Capitalization

Diversification can typically be a double-edged sword. Whilst you ought to by no means put all of your capital right into a single inventory, an intensive index would possibly embody shares of corporations you’d desire to keep away from. The NASDAQ Composite is an unlimited group of corporations; many are small startups with dangerous outlooks. The index is cap-weighted, so small caps by no means get an excessive amount of publicity, however the NASDAQ 100 narrows its holdings to solely the biggest and most profitable NASDAQ corporations. The variations could seem delicate, however as you’ll see beneath, the performances of the two don’t all the time monitor in lockstep. 

Historic Efficiency of NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite

Investing in indexes just like the NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite has been simplified due to the lots of of ETFs and mutual funds utilizing them of their technique. The NASDAQ Composite is quoted subsequent to the Dow Jones and S&P 500 on monetary media. Nonetheless, the most typical solution to monitor within the NASDAQ 100 is thru Invesco QQQ (NASDAQ: QQQ), the $268 billion ETF. Though QQ was launched in 1999, the NASDAQ 100 was first tracked in 1985.

The NASDAQ Composite is 14 years older than the NASDAQ 100 and has skilled its fair proportion of volatility, from the growth-oriented Eighties to the Dot-Com Bubble of the late Nineties to the tech resurgence of the final decade. Each indexes have traded intervals of outperformance because the bursting of the bubble, however the chart beneath shares how the final 10 years have been dominated by large-cap tech.

The Composite loved a number of years of superior efficiency following the Dot-Com period due to the run in finance shares main as much as the Nice Recession. Nonetheless, the finance-free NASDAQ 100 recovered extra shortly within the aftermath as low charges fueled funding within the tech sector. 

Because the finish of the Nice Recession bear market, the NASDAQ 100 has considerably outperformed the NASDAQ Composite. QQQ is up 1400% since March 2009, in comparison with 998% for the Composite. Each indexes have outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Common and S&P 500 because the restoration started. Nonetheless, the NASDAQ 100 shows the dominance of massive tech during the last decade (and with much less volatility than the bigger Composite).

Which Index Is Proper for Your Funding Technique?

Investing within the incorrect index can drastically alter your efficiency. Whereas the NASDAQ 100 has outperformed during the last decade, the longer term is unwritten, and firms excluded from the NASDAQ 100 will be the massive winners within the subsequent decade. Specializing in what you may management and make investments based mostly in your objectives and beliefs is crucial. Think about these 3 components when constructing your portfolio:


  • Threat Tolerance – Something NASDAQ-related will probably be tech-heavy. Nonetheless, you’ll want to contemplate the chance profile of every asset. The NASDAQ 100 is much less unstable due to the absence of small caps, however it’s possible you’ll desire the Composite if you would like publicity to smaller corporations.
  • Asset Allocation – The doorway to the NASDAQ 100 has a strict bouncer: solely the 100 largest corporations and finance corporations aren’t allowed. The NASDAQ Composite has a lot looser guidelines, permitting corporations of all sectors and sizes. Relying on which sectors you wish to restrict or enhance publicity to, you’ll doubtless have a definite choice for 1 of those 2 indexes.
  • Timeframe – Lastly, time out there doubtless issues extra for returns than any allocation technique. In case you’re investing for a short-term aim, the volatility of the NASDAQ Composite would possibly make you uneasy, whereas a long-term investor can abdomen the ups and downs for broader publicity. Timeline and danger tolerance are linked, so seek the advice of an advisor to make sure your portfolio matches your aims.


The NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite will all the time share some similarities, however the variations are distinct sufficient that your funding technique will doubtless desire one to the opposite. The NASDAQ 100 is a extra centralized group of the highest tech corporations, whereas the Composite is broad, numerous and unstable. Be sure you perceive the sorts of corporations you’re getting publicity to by way of every index earlier than investing.

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