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Vanguard Announces Lower Expense Ratios for 5 International-Stock ETFs

The largest fund affected is Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF, whose fee is falling by 17%.

Robert Goldsborough, 03/03/2014

Last week, Vanguard revealed that expense ratios for five large exchange-traded funds had fallen between 5% and 20%, depending on the ETF.

All of the affected ETFs, which already were the lowest-priced or second-lowest-priced options in their respective categories, are devoted to international equities. And with the cuts, all of the funds now either rank as the lowest-cost option in their category or are in a tie for being the lowest-cost option in their respective category.

Because Vanguard says it runs its funds at cost, the firm's contention is that it doesn't actually cut its expense ratios, but rather that the funds' fees have dropped in response to rising asset levels.

Below are the affected ETFs with their expense ratio changes:

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF VWO, 0.18% to 0.15%

Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap ETF VSS, 0.25% to 0.20%

Vanguard Global ex-U.S. Real Estate ETF VNQI , 0.32% to 0.27%

Vanguard Total International Stock ETF VXUS , 0.16% to 0.14%

Robert Goldsborough is an ETF Analyst at Morningstar.

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