Charles Schwab Investment Management announced on May 5 that it has made a permanent move to lower expenses, simplify share classes, and lower minimum investment levels to $100 for all of its Schwab equity index funds.
“All investors will now pay the same low price for all Schwab funds,” said Peter Crawford, senior VP, investment management services, at a press event in New York. He added that with expense ratios that now run from nine to 29 basis points, the expense reductions on the six equity index funds average more than 50%.
Crawford said that this move has been in the works for close to a year and that Schwab has invested “tens of millions of dollars,” in the effort with the intention of putting “more money in our clients pockets,” or in their investment portfolios.
Using data from their rivals Web sites, Schwab compared its S&P 500 Index Fund (minimum: $100; expense ratio: 9 b.p.) to Vanguard’s 500 Index Investor Shares (minimum: $3,000; expense ratio: 15 b.p.) and Fidelity’s Spartan 500 Index Fund Investor Class (minimum: $10,000; expense ratio: 10 b.p.) to make the case that this move will help small investors who couldn’t afford the higher minimums.