For years, a growing chorus has called for exchange traded funds (ETFs) to be given access to the 401(k) market. Now that 401(k)s are under heightened scrutiny and the markets have turned tumultuous, they’re making some headway.
WisdomTree has announced an agreement to offer its ETF-based 401(k) plan through a nationwide retirement advisor. Invest n Retire, a 401(k) service provider specializing in ETFs, says it’s seeing greater interest from employers.
The key features of ETFs 401(k) plan participants find most of interest are low fees and a clear disclosure of holdings and expenses, reports Eleanor Laise for the Wall Street Journal. The timing couldn’t be better, either: regulators are demanding better disclosure of fees.
While many mutual funds have complicated matters with “revenue sharing” agreements that have costs that are often passed along to plan participants, ETFs don’t, making disclosure a snap.
ETFs have also become more attractive because of the market turmoil, which has underscored the importance of transparency. While mutual funds are required to disclose holdings once a quarter, ETFs reveal their holdings daily.
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