So far every single one of Schwab's 8 ETFs has been a loser. There's no way you can get hurt if you buy conservatively each time one hits a new high and purchase more liberally when it hits a new low, but the portfolios are too diverse and are overloaded with too many stocks. Every one of them is tied to the market as a whole. They may come with no sales charge, lo fee, but they're so lo-fi who cares? Schwab needs to come up with some sector funds--individual countries, gold and precious metals, bonds, even bear funds (unlikely). Hype to the contrary, it doesn't appear to me that these funds have exactly been smash successes. Unless Schwab can become more creative, none of their funds can hope to be better than this dismal market. In fact, these ETFs merely expose what a lousy investment stocks are.
Check back in 20 yaars. Most money managers do not beat the indices over long periods of time - 95% fail to do so.
This product is so cheap that as you say it's almost free. Sector funds are an invitation to disaster when you move in and out of the market using your crystal ball. A broad maket fund like this contains ALL the sectors, in proportion to their capalzaion. Thus you can buy a bunch of sector funds and at the end of 20 years you will be outperformed by a broad market index fund like this one because of the lower costs.
Do the math. Take a fund with a .5% expense ration, deduct SCHB's .09%, compound the .41% differnce over 20 years and see for yourself.
Stay smart, keep this product along with a bond fund and an allworld ex-USA fand, add mney rgularly and grow rich... slowly.