Originally Posted by Swanman
Here are a few indexes to look at:
S&P 500 - broad based large cap US index
Russell 3000 - index of small cap US stocks, bit more risky than S&P
MSCI-EAFE - international index covering developed countries outside of the US
MSCI Emerging Markets - index covering the emerging markets outside of the US (Brazil, Russia, India, China, etc)
There are also several different fixed income index funds you can look into.
So, practically speaking, how does this work? I take my $10K to a financial adviser, and say, "I want to put 1/3 in S&P 500, 1/5 in emerging markets, a 1/3 in Russell 3000, and the rest in a bond index." And then they know what to do?