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Money Management

Vanguard expands commission-free ETFs for retail brokerage clients

Vanguard Group on Tuesday expanded the number of exchange-traded funds available to its retail brokerage clients with commission-free online transactions to nearly 1,800 from 77.

Vanguard's suite of commission-free ETFs now includes about 90% of the approximately 2,000 ETFs now trading on major exchanges, confirmed Emily Farrell, a company spokeswoman.

Vanguard's internally managed ETFs have been available commission-free since 2010, Ms. Farrell said, noting that the firm's retail brokerage clients now can invest in commission-free offerings from providers including BlackRock (BLK), Charles Schwab Investment Management and State Street Global Advisors.

Previously, Vanguard retail investors had online-transaction access to externally managed ETFs from other managers but on a non-commission-free basis, Ms. Farrell said.

"Vanguard's expanded commission-free platform offers value, access and convenience to the increasing number of investors turning to ETFs as their preferred investment vehicle," said Karin Risi, managing director and head of Vanguard's retail investor group, in a news release.

"Ownership of Vanguard's ETFs has quadrupled in the last five years, and ETFs are being held by a broad range of investors from millennials to retirees," Ms. Risi added.

Vanguard Group managed $5.2 trillion as of July 31, of which $986 billion was managed in ETFs.