Charles Schwab‘s Senior Vice President Peter Crawford recently espoused the benefits of exchange traded funds (ETFs), citing in particular their ability to save investors money.

Fund provider Schwab has come to the conclusion that ETFs are ideal for diverse low-cost investing, and the firm itself is striving to provide individual investors with greater access to more markets at a competitive price. [More Ways to Cut the Cost of ETF Investing.]

Cassandra Sweet for The Wall Street Journal reports that that Crawford has noted that ETFs are useful because while it can be hard for individual investors to find a fund manager that can beat the market, “the thing you can control is investment costs.”

Schwab is serious about keeping costs down: it pioneered free in-house ETF trades, with no commission charges. The free trades apply to Schwab’s ETFs – all others have discounted commissions.

The provider has no plans to change this, and many providers have stepped up to the plate and offer the same in-house discount within their brokerage accounts. [Schwab Event Celebrates the ETF Industry.]

As a group, Schwab’s eight stock-based ETFs have grown 38% this year, with $1.5 billion in assets currently under management.

For more stories about ETFs, visit our ETF 101 category.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.