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Mutual fund and ETF fees drop at record pace

The price of investing is falling at a record rate.

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Friday, June 3, 2016. U.S. stocks fell with the dollar, while Treasuries and gold rallied after American employers added the fewest jobs in almost six years in May, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to leave interests rates lower for longer. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

The average asset-weighted fee paid on U.S. mutual funds and ETFs declined by about 8% to 52 cents per $100 invested last year, according to a report from Morningstar. The drop was the biggest in the research firm’s data going back to 2000.

The cheapest 20% of funds, a group dominated by passive products, attracted almost $1 trillion in fresh customer cash in 2017, while the rest of the industry suffered net outflows of about $250 billion, the report found.

“The message investors are sending is crystal clear,” Morningstar analyst Patricia Oey said in a statement. “Cost counts.”