A January 26 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission paves the way for Charles Schwab to enter the ETF marketplace.

The proposed ETF would be linked to the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index, which covers 95 percent of publicly traded companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. Similar ETFs are already available from iShares (IWV), SPDRs (TMW) and Vanguard (VTI).

The timing of the ETF launch is still uncertain, but if successful, it could lead to more Schwab ETFs that follow other categories like bonds and foreign stocks. Schwab’s ETF offerings may end up mirroring the company’s lineup of Schwab-branded index mutual funds. The company currently offers mutual funds that follow both traditional and fundamental indexes.

The San Francisco-based discount brokerage controls more than $1 trillion in client assets and provides retail banking, mortgage and brokerage services to individual investors.

Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of www.etfguide.com.