Charles Schwab may have just changed market access forever. The giant custodian and broker-dealer just announced that it was eliminating all trading commission on stocks, ETFs, and options. It is unclear if it is doing the same for advisors on its platform, but it said it would extend the offer to clients of RIAs who trade on its platforms. TD Ameritrade immediately matched Schwab’s offer within just a few hours. Following the announcements, brokerage stocks plunged. TDA fell about 26% and E*Trade fell 16% to new 52-week lows. Estimates are that the change in fees will depress both TDA and E*Trade’s earnings by 22%.
FINSUM: This is a game-changing move. Hopefully they will extend this to all trades for advisors. This is a brutally competitive landscape and retail investors and advisors are seeing the benefits.