First it would depend on what index you are talking about. Assuming you are referring to the SP 500, then this might be a good place for you to start. If you are asking this question to a bunch of random people who you don't know about what to do, then I have to assume you are a novice. Don't start by picking individual stocks. If you do, then you should start with a paper trading account. Use this time to learn as much as you can about investing and focus on areas that you know really well. If you don't have the time or the interest in investing, then an index fund may be a better way to go.
Of course it's your prerogative. But when starting out, you don't want to bet all your money on just a couple of stocks. It is always best to start out with a well-diversified portfolio. As you accumulate more wealth, you can begin to take more concentrated bets on specific stocks. Yes, Apple is a great company. But if they stumble badly on a new product, or a competitor comes out with an "iPhone killer" that is far better, the stock could get whacked - and your entire investment. And plenty of "good" companies have been hammered by accounting irregularities. But there is nothing inherently wrong with buying individual stocks.
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