BlackRock Announces Changes to iShares Core for Buy-and-Hold Investors

Enhancements seek to meet the evolving needs of long-term investors with lower costs and greater diversification

BlackRock offers broad, competitively priced exposures to the U.S. equity market with iShares ETFs and BlackRock index mutual funds

NEW YORK--()--BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) today announced changes to its U.S.-listed iShares Core product suite designed for long-term, buy-and-hold investors. Building on the success of the iShares Core ETF suite launched in October 2012, these enhancements are part of the continued evolution to provide investors with broad, competitively-priced ETF exposures.

The changes include:

  • Lower expense ratios on seven Core funds, as low as 0.03%
  • Greater diversification through international bonds with the launch of iShares Core International Aggregate Bond ETF (IAGG)
  • Enhanced exposure to the total U.S. stock market with a new, broader benchmark for iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT)

Ruth Weiss, head of U.S. iShares product team at BlackRock commented, “We launched iShares Core in October 2012 as a branded suite of ETFs for buy-and-hold investors looking for a simple, low cost way to invest over the long-term in stocks and bonds. With today’s changes we are providing investors with broader and more diversified exposures at competitive prices.”

Lower expense ratios on seven Core funds, as low as 0.03%

Fee reductions on seven iShares Core ETFs effective today:

Category     Fund     Ticker     Previous     New
expense ratio expense
                  (%)     ratio (%)
U.S. Equity     iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market     ITOT     0.07     0.03
      iShares Core U.S. Growth     IUSG     0.09     0.07
      iShares Core U.S. Value     IUSV     0.09     0.07
International Equity     iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets     IEMG     0.18     0.16
      iShares Core MSCI Europe     IEUR     0.14     0.12
      iShares Core MSCI Pacific     IPAC     0.14     0.12
Fixed Income     iShares Core Total USD Bond Market     IUSB     0.15     0.12

iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT) and the BlackRock Total Stock Market Index Fund (BKTSX) are now both priced at 0.03%. Launched earlier this year, the BlackRock Total Stock Market Index Fund seeks to track the investment results of a broad-based index composed of U.S. equities, based on the Russell 3000 index.

Amy Schioldager, Global Head of Beta Strategies at BlackRock commented: “Given today’s changes, investors can create well-diversified portfolios with broad U.S. equity exposure, consisting entirely of iShares ETFs or BlackRock index mutual funds.” The BlackRock index mutual fund family includes U.S. equity, fixed income, real estate, and international index strategies. BlackRock has been managing index investment strategies on behalf of clients for more than 40 years.

Greater diversification through international bonds with the launch of iShares Core International Aggregate fund (IAGG)

iShares Core International Aggregate Bond ETF (IAGG) seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of international investment-grade bonds while seeking to mitigate foreign currency risk. IAGG will become part of the iShares Core at launch on Thursday. The iShares Core GNMA Bond ETF (GNMA) will no longer be part of the Core line-up and will change its name to the iShares GNMA Bond ETF.

Enhanced exposure to the total U.S. stock market with new benchmark for iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT)

Effective December 18, 2015, iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT) will have a new, broader index:

      Current     New
Index     S&P Composite 1500 Index     S&P Total Market Index (TMI)

“The new S&P benchmark for ITOT provides greater breadth of coverage relative to the current index with over 2,000 additional small-cap and micro-cap stocks,” said Weiss. “With these changes, we now have the lowest cost ETF in the market for investors seeking broad U.S. equity exposure.”

Growth of iShares Core

Since launch, buy-and-hold investors ranging from global institutions to U.S. retail advisors have embraced iShares Core and its value proposition, adding more than $62.8 billion in assets to the suite including the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets fund (NYSEArca: IEMG), now one of the largest and most popular emerging market ETFs in the world with nearly $7.2 billion in assets. Building on this momentum, BlackRock launched iShares Core lines in its Canadian and European businesses in 2014.1

Investors around the world continue to recognize and embrace the versatility of all ETFs – whether it’s for their buy-and-hold investments, to express a view on virtually any market, or as efficient substitutes for futures and swaps.

iShares is a global leader in ETFs and has attracted $69.6bn in net new assets as of Sept. 30, 2015.

About BlackRock

BlackRock is a global leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients. At September 30, 2015, BlackRock’s AUM was $4.506 trillion. BlackRock helps clients around the world meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. As of September 30, 2015, the firm had approximately 12,900 employees in more than 30 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at | Twitter: @blackrock_news | Blog: | LinkedIn:

About iShares

iShares is a global leader in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with more than a decade of expertise and commitment to individual and institutional investors of all sizes. With over 700 funds globally across multiple asset classes and strategies and more than $1 trillion in assets under management as of September 30, 2015, iShares helps clients around the world build the core of their portfolios, meet specific investment goals and implement market views. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock, trusted to manage more money than any other investment firm.2

A registration statement has been filed for the iShares Core International Aggregate Bond ETF (IAGG) and the registration statement has become effective. However, shares of IAGG are not yet available for purchase or sale. Carefully consider the iShares Funds’ investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus, which may be obtained by visiting the SEC website for IAGG or or Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. iShares Funds are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders. Shares of the iShares Funds may be sold throughout the day on the exchange through any brokerage account. However, shares may only be redeemed directly from a Fund by Authorized Participants, in very large creation/redemption units.

International investing involves risks, including risks related to foreign currency, limited liquidity, less government regulation and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments. These risks often are heightened for investments in emerging/ developing markets or in concentrations of single countries. There is no guarantee that dividends will be paid. Fixed income risks include interest-rate and credit risk. Typically, when interest rates rise, there is a corresponding decline in bond values. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the bond issuer will not be able to make principal and interest payments.

Diversification and asset allocation may not protect against market risk or loss of principal.

The Fund's use of derivatives may reduce the Fund's returns and/or increase volatility and subject the Fund to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the other party in the transaction will not fulfill its contractual obligation. The Fund could suffer losses related to its derivative positions because of a possible lack of liquidity in the secondary market and as a result of unanticipated market movements, which losses are potentially unlimited. There can be no assurance that the Fund's hedging transactions will be effective.

The Funds are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, “BlackRock”).

The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by MSCI Inc. and S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, nor does this company make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. BlackRock is not affiliated with the company listed above.

©2015 BlackRock. All rights reserved. iSHARES and BLACKROCK are registered trademarks of BlackRock. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. iS-17043


1 Source: Bloomberg and BlackRock as of 9/30/15

2 Based on $4.506 trillion in AUM as of 9/30/15.


BlackRock, Inc.
Peter McKillop, 212-810-3737
Melissa Garville, 212-810-5528


BlackRock, Inc.
Peter McKillop, 212-810-3737
Melissa Garville, 212-810-5528