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For my 401(k), I am trying to diversify while avoiding high expense ratios. Luckily among my investment choices are the Vanguard Target Retirement date funds which have fairly low expense ratios (≤0.18%), so I could probably safely invest 100% in one of those.

However, I'd like to be a little more hands-on and get lower expense ratios with part of my money. There are excellent options for domestic stock, however, there is only one international stock fund which has a low expense ratio. It is called "Black Rock MSCI ACWI ex-US Index Non-Lendable Fund F", with an expense ratio of only 0.11% (the other international options are ≥0.60%).

My concern is it doesn't seem to have a ticker symbol. It appears to be a little over a year old. Why doesn't it have a ticker symbol, and should this or its age dissuade me from investing in it?

  • Just for perspective, you're looking at a difference in expense ratios of .07%. If you have $100,000 invested, that's a difference of $70 per year. Personally, I wouldn't worry about that amount. YMMV. – Pete Becker Jun 21 '18 at 11:50
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That share class may not have a ticker symbol though "Black Rock MSCI ACWI ex-US Index" does have a ticker for "Investor A" shares that is BDOAX. Some funds will have multiple share classes that is a way to have fees be applied in various ways. Mutual fund classes would be the SEC document about this if you want a government source within the US around this.

Something else to consider is that if you are investing in a "Fund of funds" is that there can be two layers of expense ratios to consider. Vanguard is well-known for keeping its expenses low.

  • Currently I have 50% of my 401(k) in VFIFX, and if I am reading the answer to this question correctly, there is no additional layer of expense ratio. Plus if there was the overall expense ratio would have to reflect that, right? And it's only 0.18%. – Craig W May 7 '13 at 18:44
  • Yes, that would be my understanding too. – JB King May 7 '13 at 18:48
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The fund is a bank-maintained collective investment trust managed by BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, a banking association under US law operating as a limited purpose trust company and exempt from the registration requirements of federal securities laws. As such, investments in the fund are not registered with the SEC or any state securities commission. The fund itself is not registered with the SEC due to an exclusion from the definition of an investment company in the Investment Company Act of 1940. Therefore, no prospectus requirements or listed pricing by ticker for this privately offered fund.

The OCC oversees the trust companies compliance with the governing trust instrument, including sound fiduciary principals. Lack of product operating history should not be an issue here as this is a passive strategy.

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