Investors have displayed a preference for large-cap exchange traded funds, a theme that was on full display last year when three of the top asset-gathering ETFs were S&P 500 funds, including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY).
Beyond S&P 500 funds, investors have a dizzying array of large-cap ETFs, many of which feature paltry fees, from which to choose. However, it pays to remember that an ETF’s annual fee is just one component of total cost of ownership.
“The expense ratio is just one aspect of cost. Trading costs also have an impact on total return. While the underlying stocks in each of these indexes are mostly the same and are all liquid, some of the ETFs with fewer assets trade less and have wider bid-ask spreads,” according to Morningstar.
Still, investors, both retail and professional, readily embrace ETFs with the lowest fees. Reputations for highly liquid, low-cost ETFs in large part explain Vanguard’s asset-gathering proficiency and the ascent of Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW) up the ETF industry ladder.
The $3.8 billion Schwab U.S. Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: SCHX) is one of Schwab’s bread and butter equity ETFs and is an alternative to standard S&P 500 funds. In 2014, SCHX performed inline with the S&P 500 with a comparable level of volatility. Over the past three years, the Schwab ETF has slightly outpaced the benchmark U.S. index. [Low-Cost, Diversified ETFs]
SCHX tracks the Dow Jones US Large Cap Total Stock Market Index.