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Unformatted text preview: market valuation overtook that of
Merrill Lynch, which at the time controlled three times as
much in customers’ assets . . .
(Schwab) has been in the forefront of a charge online that
has already transformed stock brokering in America, and is
rapidly doing so in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. The growth
has been phenomenal. E*Trade, for example, an online broker,
began Internet trading only in 1996. Now it claims to be the
world’s “most-visited online investing site.” Last year its number of customer accounts nearly tripled. By the end of March
it had reached 2.6 million accounts.
The online-broking market is now fiercely competitive. It is
still dominated by discount brokers, led by Schwab and E*Trade,
and including rivals offering even cheaper services, such as
Ameritrade, TD Waterhouse, and Datek. For years, the big Wall
Street firms either snootily ignored the sniper fire from the Internet, or were openly hostile. In 1998, one of Merrill Lynch’s
bosses famously called online trading firms “a serious t...
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- Spring '09