Despite a Delay, Nally Sticks to His NTF ETF Guns
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Despite a Delay, Nally Sticks to His NTF ETF Guns

Tom Nally is giving TD Ameritrade's RIA allies more time to adapt to a big platform change, but he's standing his ground when it comes to the end result.

Last week Jim Dario, managing director of product management at TD Ameritrade Institutional, unveiled a dramatic overhaul of the custodian's NTF ETF platform. The changes include: dramatically increasing the number of ETFs (296, up from 100) on the platform; adding First Trust, J.P. Morgan, ProShares, and QuantShares ETFs for the first time; adding more SSgA ETFs; keeping PowerShares, WisdomTree, and some iShares ETFs; and removing all Vanguard ETFs as well as the iShares Core ETFs. The changes don't affect TD's broader platform, so Vanguard and iShares Core ETFs will still be available but with a trading fee.

The Vanguard and iShares Core ETFs were initially going to be removed from the TD commission-free ETF platform in a month, on November 20. Yet some RIAs, notably Michael Kitces, cried foul. So now TD is tripling the wait time before the change, from 30 to 90 days — Nally, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, confirmed to InvestmentNews that the removals are now scheduled for January 19.

Yet Nally is otherwise sticking to the plan. And it's not hard to see why, at least when it comes to the Vanguard ETFs. After all, Vanguard famously doesn't pay platform fees, and with an NTF ETF platform not including trading fees for the platform either, that means TD Ameritrade gets a whopping $0 for Vanguard ETFs on that platform. And $0 probably doesn't cover their costs.

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