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Since 2009, Charles Schwab has been releasing a line of ETFs determined to undercut the competition when it comes to expense ratios. With this line of products has come a new standard for the cheapest ETF on the market, charging just 0.04% per year for investment (there are some ETFs that temporarily charge no fees, but we have omitted them from the conversation). Now that these products have had several years on the market, we decided to take a look behind their makeup and how they stack up against the competition. [click to continue…]


Charles Schwab continued the ETF industry’s downward pressure on fees by announcing last week that it is drastically reducing the expense ratios charged by several of its exchange-traded products. Schwab, which pioneered the concept of commission-free trading for ETFs within the last few years, joins a long list of issuers who have reduced fees in an effort to woo cost conscious investors. Though Schwab ETFs generally maintain low expense ratios to begin with, some of the cuts were substantial. For example, expenses on the Schwab Equity Income ETF (SCHD) declined by more than 50%, dropping from 0.17% to 0.07%. That makes SCHD the cheapest dividend ETF, surpassing Vanguard’s VIG and VYM[click to continue…]

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Ultimate Guide To VTI

by on September 19, 2012 | Updated October 18, 2012

Cheap and easy diversification are two staples of the exchange-traded product structure, which have helped make this the preferred investment vehicle for investors of all walks. ETFs have made their way into countless portfolios as many have embraced the cost-efficient nature of these financial instruments, which now cover virtually every corner of the global market. As such, adding […]


Did Wall Street Forget About Greece?

by on March 5, 2012

Bullish euphoria bolstered equity markets higher last week as better-than-expected economic data stole the headlines. Investors were more than happy to see a big jump in consumer confidence as well as an encouraging GDP report, both of which boosted confidence in the recovery. The biggest surprise on Wall Street was Ben Bernanke’s testimony before Congress; […]

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The Top 10 Cheapest And Most Expensive ETFs

by on December 20, 2011 | Updated November 2, 2012

One of the founding principles of the ETF industry was cost competitiveness; after being charged upwards of 150 basis points for their favorite mutual funds, investors had grown tired of surrendering a substantial portion of their gains to the managers of big name funds. Now, there are ETFs that charge as low as 5 basis […]

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Any investor who hasn’t been living under a rock probably has some idea as to why the ETF industry has been expanding so quickly over the last several years. Intra-day liquidity, enhanced tax efficiencies, and a degree of transparency not available in many other structures are all common causes of the explosive growth in both […]


FocusShares, the company acquired last year by Scottrade, has debuted 15 U.S. equity ETFs that are among the cheapest exchange-traded products available. The new products, which include both market cap-specific and sector-specific funds, are all linked to indexes developed and maintained by Morningstar. The new FocusShares ETFs include:

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Ten New Years’ Resolutions For ETF Investors

by on December 30, 2010 | Updated January 3, 2011

With 2011 just around the corner, tis the season for pledges to better everything from health to wealth to happiness in the coming year. Below, we offer up ten New Years’ Resolutions for ETF investors looking to cut expenses, round out their portfolios, and maximize returns in 2011 [for more ETF insights, sign up for […]

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As ETFs have become increasingly popular among more active traders in recent years, it may be easy to forget that the vehicle was  originally designed with the long-term buy-and-holder in mind. For those who take stock in the numerous academic studies indicating that active management generally destroys value over the long haul, cost efficient vehicles […]

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Free ETF Trading: Comparing All The Options

by on October 22, 2010 | Updated July 9, 2014

As the ETF world continues to grow, the competitive landscape continues to evolve. A growing number of firms have attempted to differentiate themselves by offering unique exposure to asset classes and strategies not previously available–such as funds tracking the Philippine stock market or ETNs linked to the price of industrial metals such as zinc or […]


Ten Commandments Of ETF Investing

by on October 21, 2010 | Updated June 30, 2014

As ETFs have burst on to the scene in the early 2010s and worked their way into the investing mainstream, the number of products available and complexity of exposure offered has increased significantly. Advisors and investors have taken steps to educate themselves on the ins and outs of ETFs, but many are still scrambling to play […]


Considering The Total Cost Of ETF Investing

by on September 23, 2010 | Updated December 21, 2012

The surge in ETF assets over the past several years has been driven by a number of factors, as investors have embraced the enhanced liquidity and tax efficiency these vehicles offer relative to traditional mutual funds and the improved diversification relative to individual stocks and bonds. But a big driver of the growth in ETF […]

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