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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 general market efficiency or the efficiency of particular person sectors.
  • The NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite have some overlap, however the standards for inclusion differ vastly.

Seeking to put money into the tech sector? Then you definately’ll seemingly be NASDAQ shares, however the NASDAQ is a large alternate, and traders want methods to interrupt down the parts for evaluation. That’s why the NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite exist, so traders can have other ways to achieve publicity to NASDAQ-listed shares. Nonetheless, these indexes have main variations that traders should perceive with a view to assemble correct portfolios. Learn on to be taught 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 parts to the most important 100 non-finance shares buying and selling on the NASDAQ alternate, however the Composite consists of all public corporations buying and selling on the alternate. 

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 can 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, traders 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 client 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 alternate, one of many largest public exchanges specializing in tech and innovation. The Composite includes hundreds of shares, starting from large-cap tech giants to small-cap startups. The NASDAQ 100 additionally consists of shares within the NASDAQ alternate 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 companies 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 alternate, which was the primary main inventory alternate  to make the most of digital order books and computerized buying and selling. Naturally, a computer-based alternate will lean closely into the tech sector, however the NASDAQ is a large alternate that includes greater than 2,500 shares. If you wish to efficiently put money into NASDAQ, you’ll have to differentiate between these 2 indexes.


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

Sector Allocation

Each indexes weigh holdings primarily based on a market capitalization components, however the NASDAQ 100 has a couple of further guidelines for inclusion. Whereas the Composite tracks shares of all completely different sizes throughout numerous sectors, the NASDAQ 100 tracks solely the 100 largest non-finance companies buying and selling on the alternate. The index options corporations from completely different sectors, however it’s closely tilted towards large-cap tech shares. If you need publicity to a extra various group of sectors, you’ll seemingly choose the NASDAQ Composite’s methodology.

Market Capitalization

Diversification can typically be a double-edged sword. When you ought to by no means put all of your capital right into a single inventory, an intensive index may embrace shares of corporations you’d choose 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 most important and most profitable NASDAQ corporations. The variations could seem refined, however as you’ll see beneath, the performances of the two don’t at all times 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 commonest approach 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 justifiable share of volatility, from the growth-oriented Eighties to the Dot-Com Bubble of the late Nineteen Nineties to the tech resurgence of the final decade. Each indexes have traded durations 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 couple 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 rapidly 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 long run is unwritten, and corporations excluded from the NASDAQ 100 will be the massive winners within the subsequent decade. Specializing in what you may management and make investments primarily based in your targets and beliefs is crucial. Take into account these 3 components when constructing your portfolio:


  • Threat Tolerance – Something NASDAQ-related might be tech-heavy. Nonetheless, you’ll want to contemplate the chance profile of every asset. The NASDAQ 100 is much less risky due to the absence of small caps, however it’s possible you’ll choose the Composite if you would like publicity to smaller companies.
  • Asset Allocation – The doorway to the NASDAQ 100 has a strict bouncer: solely the 100 largest corporations and finance companies 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 improve publicity to, you’ll seemingly have a definite desire for 1 of those 2 indexes.
  • Timeframe – Lastly, time available in the market seemingly issues extra for returns than any allocation technique. Should you’re investing for a short-term objective, the volatility of the NASDAQ Composite may make you uneasy, whereas a long-term investor can abdomen the ups and downs for broader publicity. Timeline and threat tolerance are linked, so seek the advice of an advisor to make sure your portfolio matches your goals.


The NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ Composite will at all times share some similarities, however the variations are distinct sufficient that your funding technique will seemingly choose one to the opposite. The NASDAQ 100 is a extra centralized group of the highest tech companies, whereas the Composite is broad, various and risky. Ensure you perceive the sorts of corporations you’re getting publicity to via every index earlier than investing.

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