Advisors Irked by ETF Redemption Fees in Fidelity-BlackRock Deal: Report

ETF Trends

An extended ETF partnership unveiled this week will let Fidelity Investments customers trade more of BlackRock’s iShares without paying commissions. However, some financial advisors are upset over fees they will pay if they want to sell the iShares ETFs within two months, according to a report.

Fidelity is tacking on an additional fee of $7.95 a trade to investors who sell the ETFs within 30 days and to financial advisers who sell within 60 days, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“Advisors also complained that Fidelity replaced 10 of the commission-free iShares ETFs on its previous menu. Nine of the new ETFs have lower trading volumes, suggesting they are less popular with investors,” the newspaper said. “The episode is another blow for Fidelity, which has missed out on the ETF boom of the past several years.” [Fidelity, iShares Expand ETF Partnership: What Does it Mean?]

Earlier this week, Fidelity announced it is raising the number of iShares ETFs that can be traded commission-free to 65 from 30 as part of its deeper partnership with BlackRock (BLK). [Fidelity, BlackRock in ETF Partnership]

Yet the WSJ reports some advisors’ enthusiasm over the announcement faded as they dug into the details of the deal. “Even though the changes are disclosed on Fidelity’s website and in marketing material, some advisors said the new deal wasn’t as sweet as Fidelity suggested,” according to the article.

A Fidelity executive in the report called the redemption fee “prudent,” adding that the vast majority of investment advisors don’t sell ETFs within 60 days.

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