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This letter has made me feel a bit more secure. I was holding off on putting in a buy order, but now I think I will.

Other than the part about having 210,000 accounts that letter did not say one word that we already didn't know. Our accounts getting wiped out--nobody's even brought that up as a real possibility, at least not that I've seen. The problem for me is that I don't know how much of a headache it will be, and what anxiety I might feel if the website goes down and nobody answers the phones at the place.

The 210,000 tells us they get at least $630,000 in revenue every month, or $7.5M a year--if they haven't had a whole bunch of cancellations recently. We might be able to safely move that $7.5M figure up to $11M--if we were to assume that half their customers spend $6 a month. IF, IF, the 11.5M figure is correct or close, then it looks to me like it could be less of a going concern issue.

The reality to me appears to be that there's little chance of our getting wiped out, but that going concern is also a reality, a major one. And a headache over this is something I want to avoid, even if it costs me some money. I'm leaning toward selling out on Friday, keeping the account open and letting them charge me the $9.99 a month fee until things become clearer. We haven't gotten any real answers from anybody about what a headache this might be.

I guess I'll go on some of the other boards and read about other discount brokers this weekend. I think I'm leaning toward Ameritrade though. I went to eTrade today and spent about 10 minutes at the page and never could find out how much they charge for a trade. I guess they wanted you to set up the account first. Well, they lost a customer. At this point, I think I'd like to go with the biggest name, which is eTrade, but I'm not doing business with some outfit that is not forthcoming about charges.

This whole BUYandHOLD deal makes me feel kind of sick. I am not going to write them and tell them I'll gladly pay higher fees though. I'm going to keep the account open, but I'm not going to tell them I think they should charge more.

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