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Why Vanguard Australia (ASX:VAS) Investors Are A Bit Wealthier

Vanguard Australian Share ETF (ASX: VAS) investors are going to be better off thanks to a change to the management fees charged.

Vanguard is an investment group that is owned by its investors, the structure aligns Vanguard’s interests with its owners. Vanguard Group was founded in 1975 and has $6.8 trillion of assets under management (AUM). It offers 187 funds in the US and 207 outside of the US with around 16,600 employees worldwide.

What Has Happened?

Vanguard is famous for offering investors access to funds with very low management fees, for example the Vanguard US Total Market Shares Index ETF (ASX: VTS) has an annual management fee of 0.03%.

However, Vanguard did not offer the lowest annual management fee for funds focused on the ASX. BetaShares Australia 200 ETF (ASX: A200) has an annual management fee of 0.07% and the Vanguard Australian Share ETF had a management fee of 0.14%.

Vanguard couldn’t allow a local for-profit business charge a fee that was half of its own, so Vanguard is cutting the annual management fee to 0.1% from 1 July 2019. A 0.04% fee is not much in the grand scheme of things, but over a lifetime it could make a noticeable difference to an investor’s wealth.

The iShares Core S&P/ASX 200 ETF (ASX: IOZ), provided by global ETF provider Blackrock has also cut its annual management fee to 0.09% per year.

Despite these changes the BetaShares Australia ETF is still the cheapest one, so the other two have just become more price competitive.

This is a similar effect to where Coles Group Limited (ASX: COL) and Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) shoppers benefited from Aldi’s existence even if they didn’t shop at Aldi. The lower price at a competitor forced their hand.

I think it’s a great thing that Aussie investors get to benefit from even lower management fees. There are plenty of good ETF options to consider on the ASX.

At the time of publishing, Jaz does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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