Several factors contribute to pricing ETFs and affect individual ETF costs. The total cost of owning an ETF depends largely on your chosen portfolio strategy as well as the asset class the fund invests in. ETF fees are lower than traditional mutual funds however they do have a wide variety of different pricing terms. ETF spreads also vary in relation to ETF activity.
The tracking difference is the difference between fund performance and index performance. The fund performance represents all costs relevant to the fund and all income flows into the fund. Both the ETF total expense ratio and the tracking difference are published in the fund's semi-annual and annual report.
Total Expense Ratio (TER)
The total expense ratio is the ratio between total costs and the average fund size during a fiscal year. Costs are defined as all expenses in the income statement, including management, administration, custody, auditing, legal and advisory fees (operating expenses). The ETF total expense ratio is expressed retroactively as a percentage of the average fund assets and is calculated in accordance with the guidelines on the calculation and disclosure of the TER of collective investment schemes.