BlackRock has reduced the fee on its iShares Comex Gold Trust exchange-traded fund by more than a third, to 25 basis points. The firm apparently is tossing its hat into the ETF fee wars started by Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard.
BlackRock will have its work cut out for it, however, since its Comex Gold fund has $3.3 billion under management, whereas the iShares fund, the second-biggest ETF surpassed only by the iShares SPDR, has $50.6 billion under management.
Nonetheless, Morgan Stanley ETF anlyst Dominic Maister tells this morning's "Fund Track" column in The Wall Street Journal that while the BlackRock and State Street Corp. SPDR funds are very similar, the fee cut makes a "compelling case" for investing in the BlackRock gold ETF.
Money Management Executive's Monday, July 12, 2010 edition will have a cover story on the vicissitudes of investing in gold ETFs. Look for "Investors Get Gold Bug Just as Volatility Looms").
So far this year, the gold category is up 9%, whereas the S&P 500 Index is down 4.32%.