Charles Schwab & Co. has joined the index mutual funds price war by temporarily slashing fees on a popular investment that tracks the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. In a letter to its affiliated financial advisers, Schwab guaranteed price reductions of between 10 and 15 basis points its Select S&P 500 Fund until Dec. 31. In addition, the letter, obtained by MME, maintains that the fund's "aggregate adviser minimum" has been reduced to $50,000 from $250,000. The "aggregate" minimum means that an investor can enter the fund for $2,500 through an adviser who has at least $50,000 of his client's assets in the same fund. Retail investors attempting to purchase the fund without dealing with an adviser face a lofty $50,000 minimum investment.

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