Ameritrade Celebrates 30th Anniversary
OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 2005--Once hailed as "the biggest non-event of the year," May 1, 1975, or "May Day," changed the landscape of investing in the United States.(1) It also inspired Nebraska entrepreneur Joe Ricketts to help shift the spotlight from Wall Street to Main Street by providing individual investors with the tools they need to pursue their financial goals.
1975 saw the Securities & Exchange Commission's Rule 19b-3 and the Securities Act Amendments eliminate fixed rate commissions. By allowing commission rates to be determined by basic competitive forces, these regulatory and legislative actions tore down the walls of exclusivity and ushered in a new era on Wall Street. And while the price for many consumer products continues to rise, brokerage commissions continue to trend downward.
Seeing opportunity, Ricketts took the first step of a 30-year journey that saw six U.S. Presidents, bull & bear markets and the explosion of the Internet. In 1975, he opened the doors of First Omaha Securities - later Ameritrade - with a staff of a half-dozen, a ticker tape machine and an office full of trade tickets. In 1994, K. Aufhauser & Company, Inc. (acquired by Ameritrade) revolutionized investing by becoming the first broker to offer an Internet trading platform. Three years later, in 1997, the Company went public as Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:AMTD), and with a $200 million investment in its technology and brand, helped begin a transformation in the industry.
"30 years ago, Joe Ricketts borrowed $12,000 to start a company he felt would help bring opportunity to the individual investor, and today, Ameritrade lives by this entrepreneurial spirit as it continues to provide innovative offerings to help retail investors," said Joe Moglia, chief executive officer.
Investing and the Internet
Today, there are about 30 million online accounts that enjoy electronic access to the markets and fast execution of trades - all at a low cost.(2) Gone are the days when individual investors had little access to the market, as advanced analytical tools and real time market information have leveled the playing field. With 74 million households connected to the Internet, and the number of households with broadband expected to nearly double by 2009, technology will continue to transform how individuals manage their financial futures.(3)
Ameritrade has become a leader by understanding and meeting the needs of individual investors, while constantly seeking out new opportunities to pioneer investing. Recent examples include the launch of an intuitive new online trading experience, and Amerivest, a powerful online portfolio advisory service for long-term investors.(4)
Ameritrade plans to commemorate its anniversary on May 5, 2005, with Moglia and a select group of clients and long-standing Ameritrade associates opening the NASDAQ Stock Market.
For more information and an interactive timeline of Ameritrade's history, please visit www.amtd.com.
About Ameritrade Holding Corporation
For 30 years, Ameritrade Holding Corporation has provided investment services to self-directed individuals through its brokerage subsidiaries. Ameritrade develops and provides innovative products and services tailored to meet the varying investing and portfolio management needs of individual investors and institutional distribution partners. A brokerage industry leader, Ameritrade, Inc.,(5) a subsidiary of Ameritrade Holding Corporation, recently received a four-star rating in the 2005 Barron's Review of Online Brokers for its Apex active trader program. For more information, please visit www.amtd.com.
(1) "Stocks Rally for 18.30 Gain; Brokers' Fees Now Negotiable," The New York Times, May 1, 1975.
(2) "Retail/Online Brokers: Comparing Key Metrics of the Top Online Brokers," Merrill Lynch, February 9, 2005.
(3) "Benchmark 2004 Data Overview," Forrester Research, June 29, 2004.
(4) Amerivest is an online investment advisory service of Amerivest Investment Management, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor. Brokerage services provided by Ameritrade, Inc., member NASD/SIPC. Ameritrade, Inc. and Amerivest Investment Management, LLC are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Ameritrade Holding Corporation.
(5) Ameritrade, Inc., member NASD/SIPC
CONTACT: Ameritrade Holding Corporation, Omaha
Donna Kush, 402-827-8931
Dave Pleiss, 402-597-5658
SOURCE: Ameritrade Holding Corporation
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