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Rating:There's a Devil in the Details of Schwab ETF OneSource Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

There's a Devil in the Details of Schwab ETF OneSource

News summary by MFWire's editors

Schwab's new ETF OneSource platform, complete with commission-free trading of 105 ETFs, is not revolutionary, at least not in Chuck Jaffe's eyes. Yesterday the MarketWatch columnist analyzed the new platform which launched last week.

Jaffe notes that, when Schwab launched Mutual Fund OneSource 20 years ago, one-stop mutual fund shopping wasn't available. Yet today you can already buy a variety of ETFs through any broker.

And the new platform's ETF selection sometimes includes smaller, more lightly-traded ETFs as opposed to larger competitors, meaning higher bid-ask spreads that Jaffe worries could wipe out the savings from the free trading. And Jaffe wonders if ETF providers will simply raise expense ratios to compensate for commission-free platform's like Schwab's.

"In the end, all things being equal, free trading is the best deal," Jaffe concludes. "The key is to make sure that all things really are equal; if the real cost of your free lunch is more than an inexpensive sandwich, it's not a bargain." 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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