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Why ultra-low fees can be a dangerous red flag for unwary ETF investors

Elizabeth MacBride

Investors have been reaping the rewards for lower ETF fees, or expense ratios, which have been on a steady decline over the last five years. The No. 1 rule for long-term individual investors picking funds used to be simple: Look for low fees, also known as low expense ratios. "Cost has become the new performance metric," said Fran Kinniry, head of portfolio construction in Vanguard's Investment Strategy Group.