Schwab and Fidelity are making hundreds more ETFs free to trade on their platforms. Fidelity specified that it would expand its commission-free lineup to more than 500 ETFs.
The back-to-back moves mark the latest salvo in a yearslong battle that has dragged prices lower on everything from advice and asset management to trading. Driving the broad changes across the money-management industry has been an investor base that is increasingly cost-conscious. Investors are increasingly forsaking pricier stock and bond pickers in favor of low-cost passive funds and finding other ways to save costs. ETFs, which charge as little as $3 a year for every $10,000 invested, have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of that trend. Assets in U.S. ETFs have swelled to $3.6 trillion from $793 billion at the end of 2009, according to Morningstar.