No Free Luch Re: “Commission-Free” ETFs

As observed by Forbes contributor Janet Brown, it seems the race to zero is becoming rampant in the brokerage community when promoting “commission-free trading for ETFs.” A closer look at the story tells us that discount broker talk is even cheaper than the commissions, and RIAs (and others) should read the fine print imbedded in various brokerage firm marketing materials.  Hold firm to Rule #1: : “There really ain’t no free lunch..”

According to Andy McOrmond, co-head of ETF trading for agency-execution firm WallachBeth Capital, “the article serves as yet another reminder that  beauty is not in the eyes of the ETF beholder when it comes to looking at trading screens, which simply don’t display the real best price available for even the most seemingly illiquid ETF product.”