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SDAX Index

The SDAX selection index of the Deutsche Börse is a powerful tool for stock investors.


It provides a snapshot of the German small-cap market, comprising 70 companies from sectors diverse in technology, healthcare, industrial goods, and consumer products. However, its importance extends beyond merely offering a snapshot of Germany's economic landscape.


Why is the SDAX index so crucial, what are its unique features, and should it feature on every discerning investor's radar?

SDAX Index

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SDAX Index

At a Glance

One of the primary reasons why the SDAX index is so important lies in its composition. The index primarily tracks the performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), often overlooked in favour of large-cap stocks. SMEs are pivotal in the German economy, known for their innovative spirit and agility. They often barometer the economy’s health, indicating how smaller businesses perform under various market conditions. Hence, the SDAX offers a unique window into this critical sector.

The SDAX index stands out in its resilience to market fluctuations, often showing a robust performance in both bull and bear markets. When considering its performance during the bullish periods, SDAX has demonstrated impressive growth rates. For instance, from 2012 to 2017, it increased by more than 150%, outpacing the DAX, which grew by just over 100%. The primary driver of this growth was the high level of innovation within these SMEs, enabling them to adapt to changing market conditions and seize new opportunities quickly.

During bear markets, the SDAX has also proven to be resilient, largely due to the diversified nature of the SME sector. The wide range of industries in the index can insulate it from the impacts of downturns in specific sectors. This was evident in the 2008 financial crisis, when the SDAX fell by 48.2%, while the DAX index lost 54.4% of its value.

Comparing the SDAX’s overall performance to indices in other countries reveals an interesting picture. Over the past decade, the SDAX has consistently outperformed the FTSE AIM (the UK’s equivalent small-cap index) and France’s CAC Mid & Small index. This consistent outperformance indicates Germany’s SME sector’s robust health and ability to compete globally.

Regarding numbers, the SDAX has a strong story to tell. As of May 2023, the index has an annual return rate of 9.2%, outperforming the DAX’s return rate of 8.7%. This growth trajectory has been consistent over the past five years, indicating the index’s stability and resilience.

In conclusion, the SDAX index provides a compelling investment opportunity. Its focus on Germany’s SME sector offers unique exposure to innovative and agile companies that often lead the way in growth. Its proven resilience in both bull and bear markets and impressive historical performance compared to other countries’ indices make it a valuable addition to any investment portfolio. As the global economy continues to evolve, the SDAX index is poised to capture the dynamism and innovation at the heart of Germany’s economy.

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