Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) is an investment firm known for its strategic index funds. Its index funds are available to institutional accounts including corporations, pensions, profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, labor unions, and government entities and to individual clients of a select group of fee-only financial advisory firms. Founded in 1981, DFA currently holds approximately $213.7 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2011.

DFA's funds are designed according to Nobel Prize winning research and are based on the principles of efficient markets, diversification, asset allocation, and the relationship between time, risk and return. DFA implements many of the principles that make up Modern Portfolio Theory, a theory of finance which attempts to maximize return and minimize risk by implementing prudent asset allocation. Additionally, DFA works with and employs many highly respected academic financial economists who provide findings and strategies based on their ongoing empirical research.

DFA's many benefits include:

  • Potentially maximized returns through tilts toward crucial risk factors
  • Minimized trading costs
  • Low expense ratios
  • Low turnover rates
  • Asset class persistence