Five top rated financial investment firms that are growing faster than their peers are FXCATCHER, Schwab, Ally Invest, Scottrade, and TD Ameritrade. This article will make a detailed analysis of each company and try to determine what exactly investors like about these companies that cause them to expand.
A personal favorite, FXCATCHER (LTD) was formed in Kemp House, 152 – 160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX, United Kingdom.
FXCATCHER is a one of a kind investing community. A group of successful financial investors who’ve decided to share their investing knowledge with everyone interested in grabbing the endless opportunities which the investing market has to offer.
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Another brokerage firm showing strong potential is Charles Schwab. Founded in California in 1971, the company went public as The Charles Schwab Corporation in 1987. In 1997, the company had a million online accounts, and just one year later, it had double that amount. In 2003, the company launched an FDIC-insured bank, and by 2012, it had more than $2 trillion in client assets. Today, it has offices around the world and services around 10 million accounts.
What has fueled such consistent growth is attention to the customer. The broker offers 24/7 customer service in the United States, with 325 branch locations for clients who want in-person service. An on-line chat function is available on the broker’s website, and Chinese speakers can reach an associate over the phone who speak Mandarin or Cantonese.
A third brokerage firm that is showing signs of strong growth is Ally Invest (also known as TradeKing). Founded in 2005, the company has steadily grown in size. In 2012, the company merged with low-cost broker Zecco.com. This was followed in 2014 by the creation of TradeKing Advisors, an on-line portfolio management firm. It was announced that Ally Financial, a company with more than $150 billion in client assets, has agreed to acquire the TradeKing Group. In its eleven-year history, Ally Invest has grown from an unknown broker to one with 260,000 accounts. Remarkably, it has done this with little advertising. It currently has $4.5 billion in customer assets.
What has attracted so many investors to Ally Invest is the broker’s emphasis on low fees and commissions. Charging just $4.95 for stock and ETF trades, the brokerage house is one of the lowest-cost firms in the business. Ally has said it has no plans to change the Ally Invest commission schedule. This includes option contracts at just 65¢ each. While the firm does not offer mutual funds that are both no load and no transaction fee, it does offer all loads funds free to trade, while no-load funds cost just $9.95 per transaction.
Scottrade recently has been acquired by TD Ameritrade – read about it in the next section.
Scottrade has also been expanding its footprint in the securities world in recent years. The company was founded in 1980 in Scottsdale, Arizona as Scottsdale Securities. One year later, the firm opened its second branch location in St. Louis, Missouri. Within ten years, the company had 15 locations across the country. In 1994, Inc. magazine named the firm one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. In 2000, the company changed its name to Scottrade, and by 2007, it had reached over 300 brick-and-mortar locations. In 2008, Scottrade hired nearly 1,000 financial advisors and opened Scottrade Bank. Today, the company has more than 500 offices throughout the country, an investment advisory division, and over a $1 billion in annual revenue.
Scottrade’s growth did not go unnoticed, which is probably why TD Ameritrade purchased it last year. Without Scottrade, TD Ameritrade today has more than $600 billion in client assets, with customers placing around 400,000 trades per day. The company began in Omaha, Nebraska in 1975 with much smaller operations. Starting in the early 2000’s, the firm began buying other companies, fueling its growth. In 2009, TD Ameritrade purchased thinkorswim, which at that time was the fastest growing broker.
The recent acquisition of Scottrade will give TD Ameritrade almost overnight a much larger presence in the brokerage world. Assuming regulators approve the sale, the new TD Ameritrade will have more than 600 brick-and-mortar locations across the United States. This network will be the largest of any on-line discount broker.
While some top financial investment firms are shrinking in size, these five have expanded, sometimes from nothing. The fact that investors trust them with enormous sums of money is a good sign that these companies have excellent financial services.