Charles Schwab announced Friday that it had cut operating expense ratios on all of its proprietary ETFs, and also said that testing was underway on an ETF-only 401(k) option that might be available in late 2013 or some time in 2014.
Marie Chandoha, president, Charles Schwab Investment Management, was joined on the “Every Third Friday” conference call by Walt Bettinger, president and CEO of Charles Schwab. The call was opened with the announcement that, according to Chandoha, the firm was “making dramatic reductions to expense ratios for all Schwab ETFs.”
The 15 proprietary ETFs already have, she added, the lowest prices in their respective Lipper categories. However, the firm had cut prices further on all of them, by 25% to 59%. The price on the Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF (SCHB), she added, has been dropped from 6 basis points to “an industry low of 4 bp.” The weighted price for the entire line, she said, is now below 8 bp. In response to a later question, she said that the exact figure is 7.7 bp.
Bettinger referred to the price cut as taking “the next step on behalf of the average investor,” and continued, “One certainty with investing is expenses, which detract from returns. We don’t think it should cost clients a lot to do the right things with their money.” He added that the price cuts were not a “temporary response” or a “marketing strategy.”