Investors have been fleeing some index funds in droves, resulting in large capital gains distributions.
ETF providers are working hard to bring down fees--even those that aren't reflected in expense ratios, says Ben Johnson.
The Morningstar Active/Passive Barometer establishes base rates for fund selectors.
ETFs have strategic and structural advantages that make them more tax-efficient than most mutual funds.
As more products come to market, fewer are likely to stick.
Although not all ETFs are tax efficient, Morningstar's Ben Johnson says low capital gains distributions can make them good choices for a taxable account.
Investors spend a massive amount of time trying to make all the right moves and not enough time avoiding the wrong ones.
Ben Johnson says exchange traded funds' inflows surpassed previous records this year, with BlackRock and Vanguard taking the bulk.
At face value, these two funds could not be more alike. A closer look reveals significant differences.
The complexion of emerging-markets stocks has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and will continue to do so.
Ben Johnson explains why some conventional wisdom may be outdated.
Ben Johnson says the new line of active factor-focused funds from Vanguard dovetails with the rest of the firm's lineup, and is unlikely to have a major near-term impact on the firm or the industry.
It's important to focus on the things that you can control.
Morningstar's Ben Johnson considers the future of factor investors. Plus, two other top take-aways from this year's ETF conference.
I tell you where you can find them, what you will find, and my favorite features of each.
Maximizing the benefits of owning small caps depends in part on how you piece the puzzle together.
Given the active bent of strategic beta ETFs, Morningstar's Ben Johnson says it is unsurprising that some are having trouble keeping up with more vanilla benchmarks.
It's important to look beyond these funds' label and understand what is in the tin.
Despite short-term trends, picking good active managers is hard and keeping costs low is paramount.
A bout of underperformance seems to have led many to jump ship.
Despite their advantages, on average, these funds haven't been a clear improvement over their cap-weighted counterparts.
Ben Johnson says we've seen nearly $100 billion of new money invested in ETFs so far this year, and he urges a focus on true investor-centric innovation.
Somewhat ironically, investors' bad behavior ensures the value premium's longevity.
With the inclusion of China A-Shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, we see an incremental step in the opening of Chinese markets to offshore investors.
The reasons for sticking to local stocks are fewer by the day.
Active investing will never die, but it's being forced to evolve.
It is hard not to like this fund, especially following another fee cut.
Investors in low-fee index funds can still rack up big bills by behaving badly.
Ben Johnson says the ETF asset milestone shows us how far the field has come. Plus, how to stay smart amid price wars, and how product development has gone wild.
Vanguard's Gemma Wright-Casparius cites manager skill in capturing credit premiums, along with low costs, as key drivers of outperformance.
Not all funds that set out to exploit factors, such as value, are created equal.
Investors know what they are paying in fees, but more should be asking if they are getting what they pay for.
Fussing over fees has smaller payoffs as some fund's expenses draw nearer to zero.
The total cost of owning an ETF may vary widely on a fund-by-fund and investor-by-investor basis.
Gold-rated iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap provides exposure to a slice of the market that has historically outperformed on a risk-adjusted basis.
Morningstar research uses active share to help determine whether investors are getting a good bang for their buck.
Morningstar's Active/Passive Barometer is a novel way of measuring one's odds of picking a winner.
Expense ratios represent the most apparent fees, but they are by no means the only costs borne by exchange-traded fund investors.
Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF bundles energy stocks from the S&P 500 for a low fee.
It's early days for these products, but they haven't been able to beat high-quality bonds' returns and low correlations, said Morningstar's Ben Johnson.
ETFs can be a good choice for tax-sensitive investors, but remember they aren’t tax-exempt.
Vanguard International High Dividend Yield Index and Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation are terrific, low-priced options.
Its narrow focus and sector concentration make this ETF best-suited for use as a tactical tool to complement a diversified portfolio.
Taking stock of these funds and the real-world results they have produced so far.
Big swings in 2016 performance highlight the challenges, and opportunities, of investing in strategic-beta funds, says Morningstar's Ben Johnson.
Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF is one of our favorite equity-income funds.
Last year demonstrated that diversification and discipline are required to put factors to good use.
As mid-cap funds go, this one is an odd duck, but it earns top marks.
Among the many new launches, there were plenty of lumps of coal and a few diamonds to be found.
Morningstar's Ben Johnson looks back at asset growth this year, the 'fee war,' and the increasing complexity and low usefulness of many new products.