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Two Dollar Signs Fighting

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Let Them Kill Each Other: The Fee War Heats Up

Aaron Levitt Sep 12, 2017


When it comes to investing, there are several variables that help determine your success. Most of them – like bear/bull markets, recessions, technological disruption, political environment and consumer trends – are pretty much out of your control. You really can’t predict what interest rates will be or control generational trends.

But what you can control is how much you pay for investments.

And as it turns out, that cost is one of the biggest determinants of an investor’s overall success, which is a good thing considering several investment sponsors have been going toe-to-toe to lower costs and attract more assets under their umbrella. It’s a fight that will claim some managers, but a battle in which all investors will win.

Use the Dividend Screener to find high-quality funds and ETFs. You can even screen securities with DARS ratings above a certain threshold.

Vanguard’s Latest Announcement

A lot has been written about the so-called “fee war,” but the gist is that investing – especially in index and passive products – has become commoditized. And in that commoditization, investors have realized that there is no difference in, say, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) or the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO). Both own all the stocks in the S&P 500.

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