What are equity investments?

An equity investment is money invested in a company through the purchase of its shares. When people speak about equity investment, they generally refer to the buying of shares in the stock of a company traded on a stock exchange.

Equity investors purchase shares in the expectation that they will rise in value in the form of capital gains and/or generate capital dividends from the company. Should an equity investment rise in value, the investor receives the monetary difference only through the sale of the held shares or if the company's assets are liquidated and all its obligations are met.

What are the potential benefits of equity investments?

The main benefit from equity investments is the possibility to increase the value of the principal amount invested. This comes in the form of capital gains and dividends.

An equity fund offers investors a diversified investment option for typically a minimum initial investment amount. To diversify a portfolio manually to the same extent that equity funds are diversified would require much more capital investment. Another potential benefit is to increase investment through rights shares should the company wish to raise additional capital.

Learn more about equity investments

Why BlackRock

Broad selection of equity offerings across index, factors through iShares® ETFs, and active strategies through mutual funds and SMAs. 
Leader in ETF and factor investing, complemented with a strong active franchise. 
Competitively priced products across equity market exposures.

Popular equity strategies

Seeking returns above the index to help clients achieve financial well-being
Seek consistent alpha with lower levels of risk

Equity solutions

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iShares Core ETFs are a low cost and tax-efficient way to help build a strong foundation for a portfolio. If you are seeking strategies which have the potential to enhance returns or reduce risk, consider iShares Edge Smart Beta ETFs.


Fund Ticker Exposure Gross / Net Expense Ratio
iShares Core ETFs
iShares Core S&P 500 ETF IVV S&P 500 0.04%
iShares Core S&P U.S. Value ETF IUSV Value 0.04%
iShares Core S&P U.S. Growth ETF IUSG Growth 0.04%
iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF IXUS Total Int’l Market 0.10%
iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF IEFA EAFE 0.08%
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF IEMG Emerging Markets 0.14%
iShares Edge Smart Beta ETFs
iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF USMV Minimum Volatility 0.15%
iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA ETF LRGF Multifactor 0.20%
iShares Edge MSCI USA Value Factor ETF VLUE Value factor 0.15%

View all iShares equity ETFs

Active equity offerings are organized under four distinct product ranges, each designed to meet evolving client needs.

As of 12/31/18 (Institutional shares)


Fund Inception date Gross / Net Expense ratio
Core alpha
Advantage Small Cap Core Fund 03/13/2013 0.93% / 0.50%
Advantage Small Cap Growth Fund 09/14/1993 0.75% / 0.50%
Advantage Large Cap Core Fund 12/22/1999 0.82% / 0.48%
Advantage Large Cap Growth Fund 08/25/1986 0.92% / 0.62%
Advantage Large Cap Value Fund 12/22/1999 0.92% / 0.54%
Advantage International Fund 01/31/2006 0.87% / 0.64%
Advantage Emerging Markets Fund 10/06/2011 1.36% / 1.01%
Outcome oriented
Equity Dividend Fund 11/29/1988 0.73% / 0.73%
Global Dividend Fund 04/07/2008 0.72% / 0.72%
Impact U.S. Equity Fund 10/05/2015 1.19% / 0.55%
High conviction alpha
Basic Value Fund 07/01/1977 0.55%/ 0.55%
Mid-Cap Growth Equity Fund 12/27/1996 0.97% / 0.80%
Capital Appreciation Fund 12/31/1997 0.81%/ 0.81%
Total Emerging Markets Fund 05/16/2013 1.09% / 0.91%
International Fund 10/30/1998 1.02% / 0.90%
Country and sector specialty
Health Sciences Opportunities Fund 10/16/2000 0.89% / 0.89%
Science & Technology Opportunities Fund 05/15/2000 1.14% / 0.92%
Commodity Strategies Fund 10/03/2011 1.01% / 0.76%

For fund performance and standardized ranking periods, click on the fund name.

Separately managed accounts (SMAs) give you the opportunity to build equity portfolios through a personal and flexible approach. BlackRock offers a range of equity SMAs and model investment strategies for advisors.

Equity strategies to fit your sophisticated investment goals.

Paper models for financial advisors to use as a guide in building an
equity portfolio.
A selection of portfolio strategy designed with specific outcomes and goals in mind.

Models are not customized to client's unique needs.

Truths and the Future of
Active Equity Investing
Are active equities a thing of the past?
Are holdings set to shrink? Do fees matter most?
Our Active Equities Survey tackles some common myths.
Read more Read more

More about equity investments

How do BlackRock equity investments compare to others?

Equity investment has historically provided investors with a high growth potential over the long-term, and as the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock has long been a leader in this area.

BlackRock equity investment products are competitively priced, and investors can choose from a wide variety of equity strategies.

Risks associated with equity investments

While there are many potential benefits to investing in equity, like all investments, there are risks as well. Market risk impacts equity investments directly. The equity will rise or fall in value based on market forces. As a result, investors can lose some or all of their investment due to market risk.

Other types of risk that can affect equity investment include credit, foreign currency, liquidity, political, economic, concentration and inflation, among others.

Misunderstandings associated with
equity investments

Myth #1: High-yield assets are always best
Truth: While equity investments that produce high yields lead to income growth, it is a misconception that investors should focus solely or predominantly on them. A forecast of high yield indicates a heightened level of risk. Higher risk levels may mean that the asset is more vulnerable to value loss. In some equity investment cases, this can result in lower dividend payments or a complete failure to pay dividends to shareholders.

While high-yield investment has its place, a balanced portfolio seeks to temper it with more sustainable dividends.


Myth #2: Equity investment is not for growth investors
Truth: There is a widespread belief that investment in equities is for income investors only. While periodic dividend payments do create an income source, if they are reinvested they become a powerful form of compound investment. This makes equity investment an attractive option for investors eager to continually grow their portfolio value and investment reach.


Myth #3: Companies that pay dividends are unsuitable for growth-seeking investors
Truth: While some investors believe that dividends are a sign of limited room for growth, paying periodic dividends actually demonstrates financial discipline on the part of issuing companies. Many companies actually struggle to allocate capital effectively in pursuit of growth. Dividends can be indicative of a well-run company while providing an income source for investors. Note: There is no guarantee that a company will continue to pay dividends.

Investment Stewardship
On behalf of all clients, our dedicated Investment Stewardship team feels a responsibility to monitor portfolio companies and engages with them to encourage business and management practices that support sustainable financial practices over the long-term.
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