Following is an updated comparison of ETF offerings from Schwab, Vanguard, iShares/Fidelity, and SPRDs, courtesy of Schwab. Obviously, they highlight their own offerings! Recall that the Schwab, Vanguard, and Fidelity customers can trade these ETFs without paying transaction charges. Schwab currently has 8 such offerings, Vanguard has 43, and Fidelity/iShares has 25:
|Domestic Equity ETFs||Schwab||Vanguard||iShares||SPDRs|
|U.S. BROAD MARKET||0.06% |
|U.S. LARGE-CAP||0.08% |
|U.S. LARGE-CAP GROWTH||0.13% |
|U.S. LARGE-CAP VALUE||0.13% |
|U.S. SMALL-CAP||0.13% |
|International Equity ETFs||Schwab||Vanguard||iShares||SPDRs|
|INTERNATIONAL EQUITY||0.13% |
|INTERNATIONAL SMALL-CAP |
|EMERGING MARKETS EQUITY||0.25% |
Source: Charles Schwab & Co
In the end, all three brokerage firms have ample low-cost offerings and the differences are negligible. I wouldn't move my money to Schwab simply because they currently have slightly lower expenses (which are subject to change and aren't significant to begin with, except for perhaps the SCHE / EEM difference). But it's certainly good news that the firms are continually trying to get our business by providing more low-cost offerings. The more competition, the better.
The bigger news to me that dropped back in April is that three Schwab bond ETFs are in the works. Schwab's largest obstacle in my mind for getting individual investors to have the entirety of their portfolio with them was the lack of diversified and inexpensive bond funds. Supposedly, they'll be offering a TIPS ETF, a short-term US Treasury fund, and an intermediate-term US Treasury fund. While those three pale in comparison to what Vanguard offers, most people could make a decent portfolio with them. You certainly could do much worse.