I see people talking about 0.05% expense ratios, presumably meaning the Vanguard S&P 500 fund. Vanguard advertises an average expense ratio of 0.19%. Sounds great. But the index funds from iShares, DB x-Trackers and Lyxor I see in my bank's funds DB are much more expensive, mostly round 0.5% (even ETFs). And Vanguard is apparently only available to US residents.

So which are the cheapest options available in the EU? I'm looking for both specific funds and general information - for example, Vanguard also lists a 0.05% ratio for their S&P 500 ETF - can I simply by that on an exchange? Would it cause any problems?


3 Answers 3


There are many options. For example, iShares S&P 500 UCITS ETF (Acc), ISIN DE000A0YBR61, has a TER of 0.07%.

Vanguard is also available in Europe. See, e.g., https://www.vanguardinvestments.de/ and https://www.vanguard.co.uk/.

PS: iShares has update its product line in Germany and the cost for many iShares core ETFs has been reduced. See http://www.ishares.com/de/individual/de/campaign/core-series/ishares-core-series-page2-ind.

  • Interesting information about Vanguard. What's strange though is that my bank's funds database lists that iShares fund with a TER of 0.4% - I'll have to investigate that. Commented May 30, 2014 at 8:30
  • @MichaelBorgwardt If I remember correctly, the TER was 0.4%. iShares has reduced it just recently. Many financial websites, e.g., finanzen.net/etf/iShares_S&P_500_DE_UCITS_ETF_Acc, haven't updated it yet.
    – Weiwei
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 18:00

The lowest expense ratio among European index funds that I could find is the 0.16% of the iShares DAX (ISIN: DE0005933931).


You can search on, e.g. Boerse Frankfurt for ETFs with low management fees. Currently, it finds db x-trackers FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (DR) 1C (LU0838780707) or Source EURO STOXX 50 UCITS ETF (IE00B60SWX25).

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