Charles Schwab’s individual investor and independent advisor clients are scooping up exchange-traded funds.

The asset management company, with more than $186 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2010, announced on Tuesday that ETF assets exceeded $100 billion, in part because of the success of Schwab’s own ETF products.

Charles Schwab Investment Management ETFs now exceed $2 billion and Schwab Managed Portfolios ETFs, which debuted in January through Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Inc., has raked in $1.7 billion to-date.

Schwab’s success is part of a larger trend of investors diving into ETFs. On Monday, State Street Global Advisors announced that assets in U.S. exchange-traded funds rose to $924.9 billion as of October 31 - its highest level on record - up $39.9 billion or 4.5% during the month. ETF investors increased their appetite for dividend/fundamental ETFs in October, as assets in this category increased $2.9 billion or 12% during the month, State Street reported.

Although Schwab is not one of the three largest ETF managers (BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard hold that title) it has still seen an increase in ETF assets.

“ETFs have skyrocketed in popularity, and the success of our ETF program shows that Schwab is the destination for investors seeking ETFs,” said Peter Crawford, senior vice president of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in a press release on Tuesday. “Whether they are long-term buy and hold investors who are looking for great value in terms of operating expenses, or more active investors whose focus is low-cost trades, we are the place for investors seeking ETFs.” 

The first Schwab ETFs were launched just one year ago. Schwab clients can trade ETF shares with no commissions online through a Schwab account.

“Schwab ETFs have had significant traction this first year,” added Crawford. One reason is because of their low cost. “Our straightforward approach to pricing and focus on core categories have really helped Schwab ETFs take off, as evidenced by them crossing the $2B threshold one year to the day since they debuted.”

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