Large cap stocks tend to be stable, dividend-paying companies, large enough to handle stock market shocks.
best large cap stocks
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A recent surge in small cap stocks - companies with a market capitalization of under $1 billion - means individual investors should be placing at least a few of their chips in the small-cap arena.
In fact, the rally has pushed the Russell 2000, an index of 2,000 small cap stocks, to within shouting distance of record highs.
The benchmark has climbed a whopping 34% since its lows in early October and is within 5.8% of its closing high of 865.29 set back in April.
By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which earlier this month hit 13,000 for the first time since 2008, is still 7.9% from its record high in October 2007.
Yet many investors haven't been around to enjoy the ride.
Since the end of April 2011, small-cap mutual funds have seen $15.9 billion in outflows, and small-cap exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have seen $4.4 billion withdrawn.
That's probably because large-cap stocks outperformed their smaller brethren posting an 8.5% premium over them from April through September.
According to CBS News, investors have been voting with their feet, yanking money out of small-cap mutual funds in 37 of the 40 weeks since May.
But so far in 2012, that trend has begun to change.