When most investors think of the Dow Jones, they're referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, made up of 30 of America's largest companies. Technically, you can't invest in the Dow -- it's an index, not a stock or a mutual fund. You can, however, buy shares in an index fund that holds the same 30 stocks as the DJIA in the same proportion. While you aren't owning the Dow, you're owning an extremely close approximation of it.
Open a stock brokerage account. Many brokers allow you to do this online by answering a few questions.
Fund your account. Depending on the type of account you have, you could drop off a check at the broker's physical office or transfer the money electronically from your bank to the brokerage account.
Buy shares in an index fund or mutual fund that tracks the Dow. As of August 2013, the only U.S.-based fund designed to match the holdings and performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average is the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "DIA."
Buy shares in related funds, if you'd like to either track other Dow Jones indices or would like to benefit from a different approach to investing in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
- Investing in stocks is risky and you could lose your money.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average represents a relatively small piece of the market. While it's diversified across multiple sectors, it isn't internationally diversified and it isn't diversified between the sizes of the companies it holds.
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.