ETF Week: Vanguard Cuts Fees On 21 ETFs

Plus, two volatility ETNs switch tickers and six ETFs close.

Reviewed by: Lara Crigger
Edited by: Lara Crigger

It was a busy week in fee wars, as Vanguard dropped prices on 21 of its already-low-cost ETFs. VanEck and First Trust revamped fees on several of their funds as well. Meanwhile, two "biblically responsible" ETFs debuted, while six ETFs announced closures.

Below is a roundup of the key developments in the ETF industry for the week ending May 3, 2019:

Vanguard Cuts Fees On 21 ETFs
Vanguard dropped fees on 21 of its ultra-low-cost ETFs, including the $114 billion Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) and the $112 billion Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), the third and fourth largest ETFs, respectively. (Read: 21 Vanguard ETFs Get Fee Cuts)

VanEck, First Trust Change Fees
Several VanEck and First Trust ETFs shifted expense ratios, as annual fee waivers were re-implemented for each of the funds. Among the impacted ETFs were the two largest gold mining ETFs: the $9.2 billion VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and the $3.7 billion VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETFs (GDXJ). (Read: Volatility ETNs Change Tickers)

Volatility ETNs Switch Tickers
Two volatility ETNs from Barclays changed their tickers to those used by similar products that matured at the end of January. These newer "Series B" ETNs offer investor-friendly upgrades over their previous versions, including a call feature, lower expense ratios, and more. (Read: Volatility ETNs Change Tickers)

Biblical Smart Beta ETFs Launch
ETF newcomer Timothy Plan debuted two smart beta ETFs using volatility-weighted indexes that screen for "biblically responsible" companies, excluding those that produce/distribute alcohol, tobacco, gambling, abortion, pornography, or that promote "anti-family entertainment" or "alternative lifestyles." (Read: Volatility ETNs Change Tickers)

DWS Closes 2 ETFs
DWS Group closed for trading two single-country Xtrackers-brand ETFs: the $2.1 million Xtrackers Germany Equity ETF (GRMY) and the $2.2 million Xtrackers MSCI United Kingdom Hedged Equity ETF (DBUK). DBUK was a currency-hedged version of a popular U.K. equity ETF. Notably, until 2017, GRMY had been an Italian equity ETF. (Read: DWS Closes 2 Int'l ETFs)

QuantX Brand To Shutter
The investment advisor for QuantX announced it was shuttering the brand's last remaining ETFs. Among the QuantX ETFs closing are two geographical- and capitalization-agnostic ETF-of-ETFs, and a U.S. equity ETF designed to maximize upside volatility. (Read: QuantX ETFs To Close)

State Street Closing China ETF
State Street is closing the $5.7 million SPDR MSCI China A Shares IMI ETF (XINA), a market-cap-weighted A-shares ETF. Its last day of trading is May 29. (Read: QuantX ETFs To Close)

Contact Lara Crigger at [email protected]

Lara Crigger is a former staff writer for and ETF Report.