Charles Schwab Investment Management is launching a new suite of low-cost, no-minimum target-date mutual funds.
The Schwab Target Index Funds are designed to appeal to small retirement plans, with expense ratios of eight basis points and no minimum investment requirements regardless of plan size.
The San Francisco-based-company claims the funds’ expense ratio are the lowest-cost offering available to retirement plans today. Using Schwab ETFs, the new funds are targeted to retirement dates in five-year increments between 2010 and 2060.
“At a time when some asset managers are inundating investors with confusing, complex products, we’re experiencing greater demand for our straightforward, transparent products that deliver great value on their own or with professional management built in,” said Marie Chandoha, Schwab Investment Management president, in a released statement. “Schwab ETFs function as key ingredients we draw on to develop affordable managed solutions like Schwab Target Index Funds. We think this is uniquely powerful and relevant against the backdrop of changing client expectations.”
As with many other target-date products, the allocations within Schwab’s new funds are adjusted annually, becoming more conservative as they move through their target date. For example, the Schwab Target 2060 Fund begins with 95 percent of its assets allocated to equity and 5 percent to fixed income and cash. In 2060, the fund would allocate approximately 40 percent to equity and 60 percent to fixed income, then continue reducing its equity allocation for another 20 years before reaching a final allocation of approximately 25 percent equity and 75 percent fixed income.
Schwab designed its target-date fund suite with cost in mind — the company’s recent 401(k) Participant Survey found that fees are top of mind when plan participants select their investments, second only to a fund’s five-year performance record.
The Target Index Funds will be available to investors outside of qualified plans for 13 basis points with a $100 minimum investment.
In a simultaneous move, Schwab has lowered fees on its existing suites of target-date funds to align with the eight-basis-point expense ratio of its new Target Index Funds.