Vanguard, the money management firm behind the market’s largest emerging markets ETF, has slashed fees on 11 ETFs, most of which are U.S. sector funds, by anywhere from 7.7 to 26 percent. The cuts come less than a week after the firm slashed fees on four equity and seven fixed-income ETFs —some by as much as 20 percent—as a result of asset growth.
Nearly a year ago to the date, the firm cut fees on its roster of sector ETFs by roughly 20 percent. This time around, nine Vanguard U.S. sector funds are seeing their expense ratios reduced by 26 percent, coming down to 0.14 percent a year from 0.19 percent previously.
The funds, and their respective assets under management, include:
- Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF (VCR), $594 million
- Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), $1.32 billion
- Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE), $2.13 billion
- Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), $1.13 billion
- Vanguard Industrials ETF (VIS), $529 million
- Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT), $2.63 billion
- Vanguard Materials ETF (VAW), $824 million
- Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU), $1.42 billion
- Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX), $504 million
Additionally, Vanguard is cutting fees on its Vanguard Financials ETF (VFH) by 17 percent to 0.19 percent, from 0.23 percent previously. The fund has just under $1 billion in assets.
The $707 million Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury ETF (EDV) is the only non-U.S. sector fund included in this round of fee cuts. EDV will now cost 0.12 percent in expense ratio, or 7.7 percent less than it did at 0.13 percent previously.
The growth of fund assets allows fund sponsors to spread the mostly fixed costs of running a given portfolio across a bigger base of fund holders, which, in turn, allows the firm to lower costs for each investor in its funds.
Vanguard has a unique profile among fund sponsors in that it is owned by its fund holders, and the prices of its portfolios reflect the actual costs of running the funds. While that puts the Valley Forge, Pa.-based firm at the center of a so-called fee war in the world of ETFs, the firm is loath to describe its price-cutting as part of any concerted effort to undercut competitors.
A look at fund flows data compiled by IndexUniverse shows that the Vanguard funds in question have, for the most part, been hauling in fresh assets in the past year. Vanguard, the No. 3 U.S. ETF firm by assets, with more than $243 billion under management, has mostly been at the top of monthly league tables this year.
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