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Rating:Schwab Makes an Active Equity ETF Play, Times Six Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, August 08, 2013

Schwab Makes an Active Equity ETF Play, Times Six

Reported by Casey Quinlan

Walt Bettinger is making an active ETF play with the help of Rob Arnott.

Today Charles Schwab [profile] confirmed plans to launch six new ETFs tracking the Russell Fundamental Index Series, which is based on methodology from Arnott's Research Affiliates, LLC. The ETFs will be added to Schwab's OneSource. The funds are grouped alongside the Schwab cap-weighted ETFs. These ETFs won't be as low-priced as the cap-weighted ETFs because the cost of management is higher.

The ETFs are Schwab Fundamental U.S. Broad Market Index ETF, Schwab Fundamental U.S. Large Company Index ETF, Schwab Fundamental U.S. Small Company Index ETF, Schwab Fundamental International Large Company Index, Schwab Fundamental International Small Company Index, and Schwab Fundamental Emerging Markets Large Company Index.

Schwab is hoping that the products will catch on with RIA clients, as its in-house advisor service studied RIA preferences and found that 59 percent of RIA clients use fundamentally weighted products and one in five plan to invest in a fundamental product in the "near term."

The market-cap and active management helps to guard against volatility in the stocks and companies that are weighted heavily in the index, Rob Arnott explained.

"Active managers can adeptly respond to market conditions in periods of time where there is outperformance and play a role in creating a more diversified portfolio," Arnott explained.

The OER was 0.32 percent for nearly all of the ETFs, except for the international small company index and emerging markets large company index, which were 0.46 percent OER.
Company Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 8, 2013 – Charles Schwab Investment Management (CSIM), an exchange-traded funds (ETFs) industry leader, announced today that six new Schwab Fundamental Index® ETFs will begin trading next week. Along with Schwab’s other 15 proprietary ETFs, these new core funds will be available for purchase commission-free online in Schwab accounts beginning August 15.

CSIM is the sole asset manager to offer ETFs and mutual funds tracking the Russell Fundamental Index® Series, which is based on methodology developed by Rob Arnott and Research Affiliates, LLC. Since launching its first Fundamental Index mutual funds in 2007, Schwab has seen a steady increase in demand and its five mutual funds using this approach now have $4.5 billion in total assets under management as of June 30, 2013.

Fundamentally weighted methodologies are often referred to as “smart beta” because securities are screened and weighted based on objective factors like adjusted sales, cash flow, and dividends/buybacks. Traditional market-cap indexes weight securities based on market capitalization, so the largest companies have the largest weight in the index. Some experts believe that because traditional market-cap indexing over-emphasizes popular stocks and de-emphasizes undervalued securities, it can over-expose investors’ portfolios to market speculation, bubbles and fads. Fundamental Index methodologies break the link with price, and historically delivered excess returns relative to the market-cap equivalent[1].

CSIM believes both index structures should be used in combination to access the core markets and build portfolios with the potential for better results because they perform differently across market cycles.

“The world is not black and white when it comes to indexing,” said Marie Chandoha, president of CSIM. “We believe the systematic approach inherent in fundamentally weighted methodologies, when used alongside cap-weighted strategies, enables investors to diversify and balance their exposure.”

Chandoha added, “These ETFs add a new flavor to our ‘pure vanilla’ ETF market-cap line-up and further demonstrate our commitment to offering core products that help investors build their portfolios and potentially achieve better outcomes. We’re pleased to be able to join with other industry leaders to offer these competitively priced, well-constructed ETFs and educate investors through plain-talk and tools.”

Schwab’s newest ETFs will deliver many of the key benefits of ETF investing in general, including diversification, intra-day trading and transparency, with operating expense ratios that are priced competitively relative to others using a fundamental approach. All six ETFs will be added to Schwab ETF OneSource™ — the ETF platform that gives investors and advisors access to the most commission-free ETFs anywhere in the industry[2] — on the first day of trading. The new ETFs are as follows:

· Schwab Fundamental U.S. Broad Market Index ETF (FNDB) – Seeks to track the Russell Fundamental U.S. Index; OER – 0.32%

· Schwab Fundamental U.S. Large Company Index ETF (FNDX) – Seeks to track the Russell Fundamental U.S. Large Company Index; OER – 0.32%

· Schwab Fundamental U.S. Small Company Index ETF (FNDA) – Seeks to track the Russell Fundamental U.S Small Company Index; OER – 0.32%

· Schwab Fundamental International Large Company Index ETF (FNDF) – Seeks to track the Russell Fundamental Developed ex-U.S. Large Company Index; OER – 0.32%

· Schwab Fundamental International Small Company Index ETF (FNDC) – Seeks to track the Russell Fundamental Developed ex-U.S. Small Company Index; OER – 0.46%

· Schwab Fundamental Emerging Markets Large Company Index ETF (FNDE) – Seeks to track the Russell Fundamental Emerging Markets Large Company Index; OER – 0.46%

Appetite Among RIAs

Like its five Fundamental Index mutual fund counterparts, Schwab expects the new Fundamental Index ETFs will be embraced first by Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). These advisors have already shown an avid interest in understanding how Fundamental Index strategies compare to a market-cap index approach. This year alone, more than 900 RIAs have attended three Schwab-hosted special events aimed at educating advisors about the two forms of index strategies, and three white papers for RIAs have been distributed by Schwab. Seven additional regional events for advisors on this topic are scheduled to take place before year-end.

According to the latest Independent Advisor Outlook Study by Schwab Advisor Services, 59 percent of its RIA clients currently invest in fundamentally weighted products, and roughly one in five plan to invest more in the near term. Additionally, the research shows that 34 percent of RIAs believe fundamentally weighted products can serve as an effective complement to market-cap weighted and actively managed products.

“We’re here to help advisors and investors alike recognize that Fundamental Index funds – whether ETFs or mutual funds – are a thoughtful way to gain broad industry exposure, right alongside their market cap-weighted counterparts,” said Chandoha. “Fundamental Index methodologies have become important to the institutional investing community, and we think it’s time all investors benefit from this approach.”

The new funds are grouped alongside cap-weighted Schwab ETFs, which continue to have the lowest operating expenses in their respective Lipper categories[3].

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. continues to be a mainstay in the retail ETF marketplace, with more than $167 billion in total ETF assets custodied on its platform and $12 billion in assets under management in Schwab ETFs as of June 30, 2013.

Retail investors can learn about and choose ETFs through Schwab’s online tutorials, research and tools such as the ETF Select List™ and Schwab ETF Portfolio Builder™, as well as by attending live events in local Schwab branches. Investors at every level of the investing spectrum can also visit the Schwab ETF Education Exchange™

(www.schwabetfeducationexchange.com), to access timely education and information about ETFs and the markets from some of the leading ETF experts across the industry. And with more than 100 ETFs to choose from, Schwab ETF OneSource™ offers investors the most commission-free ETFs from a range of top providers2.

About Charles Schwab Investment Management

Founded in 1989, CSIM, a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation, is one of the nation's largest asset management companies with more than $205 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2013. It is among the country's largest money market fund managers and is the third-largest provider of retail index funds. In addition to managing Schwab’s proprietary funds, CSIM provides oversight for the sub-advised Laudus Fund family. CSIM currently manages 76 mutual funds in addition to two separate account model portfolios, and 15 ETFs.

About Charles Schwab

At Charles Schwab we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.

More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and our Schwab Talk blog.

Disclosures

SCHWAB is a registered trademark of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. FUNDAMENTAL INDEX is a registered trademark of Research Affiliates LLC.

Through its operating subsidiaries, The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; compliance and trade monitoring solutions; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and lending services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com and www.aboutschwab.com.
 

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