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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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As the summer winds down, apparently so too does the impressive pace of expansion in the ETF space. Although August launches were a big dropoff from the previous month, the industry still saw the introduction of more than a dozen new exchange-traded products. Whereas many of the products rolled out in previous months have been “first-to-market” concepts, the new ETFs that began trading in August will compete more closely with existing funds [see A Look Back At July's ETF Additions]. August has debuted products which are variations of a pre-existing fund. The new funds range from fixed-income to emerging market local debt to the first Indian Infrastructure ETF [see India ETFs: Five Ways To Play].

Not surprisingly, the ETF pipeline continued to fill with some interesting ideas, some of which could hit the market in the fourth quarter of the year. August also saw a handful of funds shut down; in total, seven ETFs from Claymore and Grail went the way of the dodo. [click to continue…]

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By most accounts, Charles Schwab’s venture into the ETF industry has been an extremely successful one. After launching its first fund in late 2009, the firm has subsequently rolled out seven additional equity ETFs offering exposure to all corners of the domestic and international equity markets. At the end of July, Schwab ETFs had $1.4 […]

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The reasons for the rise of the ETF industry are numerous: intraday liquidity, (potentially) superior tax efficiency, and enhanced transparency relative to traditional actively-managed mutual funds have all contributed to the billions of dollars of inflows that these funds have seen in recent years. But the real attraction for most ETF investors is the reduced […]

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