Broker Comparison – Commission Free ETFs

This is some great information out of today’s Wall Street Journal for investors looking to save a few dollars with commission free ETFs. How do the big 5 brokers compare in their offerings of commission free ETFs to investors?



Fidelity Fidelity Logo


Number of Commission Free ETFs: 66

ETF Sponsors: Mostly iShares, with one of Fidelity’s ETFs

Fine Print: $7.95 commission charged for any sales within 30 days of purchase.

Notable: iShares “Core” ETFs (Which we highlighted in an ETF Spotlight series here)


The complete link to all of Fidelity’s commission free ETFs can be found here:



VanguardVanguard Logo


Number of Commission Free ETFs: 65

ETF Sponsors: Vanguard

Fine Print: Buying or selling the same ETF more than 25 times in a year may result in a 60 day purchase restriction

Notable: Vanguard prides itself in low expense ratio ETFs. These funds will offer you the basics, U.S stocks, International stocks, Bonds and Real Estate. Nothing fancy, but always solid funds with the lowest costs in the industry.


The complete list of Vanguard ETFs can be found here:


E-TradeETrade Logo

Number of Commission Free ETFs: 89

ETF Sponsors: Wisdom Tree, Global X, Deutshe Bank

Fine Print: Up to $20 charged for ETFs sold in less than 30 days

Notable: E-trade offers great variety in funds, in specialized niches of the market. The only downside is many are very thinly traded, with only tens of thousands of shares or less traded a day.


The complete list for E Trade commission free ETFs can be found here:


TD AmeritradeTD_Ameritrade Logo


Number of Commission Free ETFs: 101

ETF Sponsors: iShares, Vanguard, State Street and others

Fine Print: $20 short term trading fee for shares held less than 30 days.

Notable: a well rounded selection of funds from many big name ETF providers.


The complete list of TD Ameritrade ETFs can be found here.


Charles SchwabSchwab Logo


Number of Commission Free ETFs: 105

ETF Sponsors: Power Shares, Charles Schwab, State Street and others

Fine Print: No short term trading fees.

Notable: Schwab has stepped up its commission free ETF portfolio recently and offers a great selection of funds.  Schwab offers some of the cheapest index funds in existence, along with popular funds such as PowerShares Low Volatility S&P 500, PowerShares senior loan ETF, Debt maturity funds from Guggenheim Investments and the only commission free gold fund.


The complete list of Charles Schwab commission free ETFs is found here:




As I have said before, it is really hard to go wrong with any of the brokers above. Charles Schwab seems to have greatly improved in the last couple years, Vanguard and Fidelity have always been phenomenal, and TD Ameritrade has been steadily gaining ground as well. If there is a loser here it is E Trade, whose commission free ETFs offered don’t quite match up to the quality and liquidity of the other guys, but may work for investors who are looking to get into very specific areas of the economy as cheaply as possible.


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