Fidelity is eying a bigger presence in the ETF universe
About: ETF Profit Report, Fidelity, iShares ETFs, Schwab, iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (NYSE: EEM), iShares S&P 500 Index ETF (NYSE: IVV), SPDRs (NYSE: SPY)
Mutual fund giant Fidelity hasn't been much of a player in the ETF arena with just one exchange traded offering the firm doesn't promote much at all, but there has been speculation that Fidelity is eying a bigger presence in the ETF universe. The company took a big step toward accomplishing that goal on Tuesday when it announced it would not charge commissions to Fidelity clients on 25 iShares ETFs.
The move by Fidelity is seen as a response to online broker Schwab's promotion that offers clients no commissions on ETFs issued by Schwab. Yet it must be noted that the Fidelity offer covers a broader swath of ETFs, including nine domestic ETFs along with international and fixed income choices. Popular iShares ETFs covered by the Fidelity included the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (NYSE: EEM) and the iShares S&P 500 Index ETF (NYSE: IVV). IVV is essentially the same type of offering as the SPDRs (NYSE: SPY) and both have the same expense ratio, so investors may lean to IVV in the future knowing that Fidelity won't charge them a commission.
Some analysts are expecting other brokerages to respond in kind, essentially creating a price war among brokerages that market ETFs to retail investors. Under that scenario, investors would be the ultimate winners. One downside to the Fidelity/iShares news: Fidelity will not be featuring many of iShares' popular country-specific and emerging markets offerings in an effort to limit competition with Fidelity mutual funds.
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