has launched a new small-cap equity fund based on its proprietary stock rating system. Schwab launched its rating system last year after investors and regulators grew concerned over the independence of Wall Street analysts in wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals.
The new fund is the fourth product that Schwab has based on the stock rating system in the past year. The San Francisco-based brokerage also launched the Hedged Equity Fund
, Core Equity Fund
and a managed account product (Personal Portfolio
) that are based on the system.
, president of Charles Schwab Investment Management said that the fund is intended to fill an opening in Schwab's small-cap offering lineup by making available a fund based on its selection process.
"We see the rollout of this new fund as a way to further apply our ratings in a convenient mutual fund
offering," said Merk. "There are a myriad of dynamic, entrepreneurial small companies that are being under-researched, and we will apply our Schwab Equity Rating process to help identify and tap into higher rated stocks for clients."
The Schwab Small-Cap Equity Fund will start operations on July 1 and has now entered a subscription period, which ends on June 30. The fund comes in two share classes. Investor Shares carry a 130 basis point expense ration and initial investment of $2,500. Select Shares, offer a reduced 112 basis point expense ratio and carry a $50,000 minimum.
Schwab is guaranteeing those expense ratios through February 28, 2005. The fund manager is Geri Hom, vice president and senior portfolio manager for Charles Schwab Investment Management.
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