investing

Invest on the Cheap With Commission-Free ETFs

Expense ratios are being slashed by top providers.

ETF providers are slashing expense ratios, and Charles Schwab leads the pack in the race to the bottom. The broker’s 21 exchange-traded funds are among the cheapest available. Plus, if you’re a Schwab brokerage customer, you can invest in the ETFs commission-free.

Start with Schwab Broad Market ETF (SCHB, $57), whose portfolio of about 2,000 stocks covers 95% of the U.S. stock market. The fund charges 0.03% annually, making it the cheapest U.S. stock market proxy around.

For foreign exposure, try Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF, $30), which charges only 0.06% annually and tracks more than 1,100 stocks in 24 developed countries. For a bond fund, consider Schwab U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (SCHZ, $52). With an expense ratio of 0.04%, it’s the lowest-cost way to track the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond index. The fund yields 2.4%.

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