The Vanguard Group giveth and also taketh away. The firm last week slashed expense ratios for three funds while upping expenses for two others.

The High Dividend Index Funds ETF shares saw its expense reduced from 13 basis points to 10 bps while its investor share shed 5 bps from 25 bps to 20 bps.

Also, the Select Value Fund dropped its expense ratio from 45 bps to 38 bps.

However, two other funds, the International Explorer Fund and the Mid-Cap Growth Fund, upped their expenses from 42 bps to 43 bps and 53 bps to 54 bps, respectively.

"We’re not making conscious board decisions to lower or raise expense ratios," Joel Dickson, senior ETF strategist, told Money Management Executive.

"We run our funds at cost so the cost to run all of our funds are charged back to the funds and whatever those expenses are you take the expenses divided by the assets and you get an expense ratio. In 2012, as assets were rising in our funds and expenses were increasing less than assets were rising, you were seeing lower expense ratios calculated for the 2012 fiscal year."

Dickson added that for the firm’s subadvisors, there are performance fees tagged onto the funds relative to how they perform against their benchmarks so the amount they’re paid can also influence the fund’s expense increases.