Fidelity fires the latest salvo in ETF fee war

No more commissions for 18 BlackRock ETFs

Oct 12, 2016 @ 2:02 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

Fidelity Investments on Wednesday made the latest move in the exchange-traded fund fee war by removing commissions on “all the newly price-reduced U.S. iShares Core ETFs.”

The announcement is promoted as building on Fidelity's alliance with BlackRock Inc., the leading ETF provider with $939 billion in ETF assets under management.

According to Fidelity, all 18 iShares Core ETFs in the commission-free offering have a “lower expense ratio than Vanguard and State Street counterparts, and Fidelity is the only provider that offers all 18 ETFs commission-free” to financial advisers and investors.

The announcement follows an Oct. 7 move by Charles Schwab & Co. to cut fees on five of its ETFs.

BlackRock announced fee cuts to 15 of its iShares ETFs on Oct. 5, and Fidelity cut fees on 27 index funds and ETFs in June.

“We want customers to receive the best value possible, whether that means offering a Fidelity solution or one from a third-party leader,” said Ram Subramaniam, president of Fidelity Brokerage Services.

“At Fidelity, investors can now build an even lower-cost, diversified equity and bond portfolio in the industry using both index mutual funds and ETFs,” he added.

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