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Rekenthaler Report

Fidelity's Free Funds and the Changing Brokerage Business

Understanding the company's index-fund giveaway.

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Ground Zero
Initially, I was confused by Fidelity's announcement last week that it launched two no-expense funds, Fidelity Zero Total Market Index (FZROX) and Fidelity Zero International Index (FZILX). No doubt, by offering costless funds, Fidelity will undermine its rivals. But that would seem to be a Pyrrhic victory. As the sage relates, nothing from nothing leaves nothing. There are no profits to be made from funds that collect no revenues.

(For another view of this announcement, see Jeff Ptak's article from last week, "Investing Crosses the Rubicon," which addresses the topic from another angle.)

John Rekenthaler does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.