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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 50161  
Subject: Re: Zero-commission discount broker?!?!? Date: 12/19/2013 9:48 PM
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I am aware of several free trade systems. Bank of America announced one some years before they acquired Merrill Lynch. It was based on free trades while you maintained a minimum balance.

It was quite something at the time. There was lots of discussion about the implications. Of course free checking with a minimum balance is common in banking. Adding stock trades would be a minor deal. This was bankers newly admitted to the brokerage industry leveraging their account base. How could a traditional broker compete? Would they have to become a bank with banking services? (Most did at least on line with checking and ATM networks.)

I saw it as an effort to gain market share. In the broker business, brand name is important because few are willing to risk their investment funds with an unknown.

I am not aware that the BofA system has been discontinued, but they do not talk about it much any more. Instead we hear mostly about wealth management services at Merrill Lynch.

There are also brokers who will do free trades for a fixed lump sum payment per year.
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