Advisors Irked By ETF Redemption Fees In Fidelity-BlackRock Deal: Report

by: Tom Lydon

By John Spence and Tom Lydon

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."

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 (NYSE:BLK).

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.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.