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September 25, 2006 / ronkenner

Check out these Alexa rankings

We are certainly getting a lot of attention from savvy netizens these days. Alexa ranking before we leaked the story that we will be offering zero-commission trading = 412.000. Alexa ranking 36 hours later: 3.160! And climbing. Also comparisons with E*Trade, Amex, Schwab etc is fun at the moment …

Obviously rankings alone will not get the job done. We open our doors for business on October 9th and what we need is customers. Plus all the friends we can get. Launching a frontal attack on a 160 billion industry is fun and scary at the same time. But the good news is that the big boys will not be able to follow us into zero-commission territory. Take E*Trade as an example … they had revenues of around 1,5 billion last year … of which $500 came from commissions. But they had expences of around$1,2 billion so doing away with commissions would leave them some $300 in the hole.

A lot of people have asked how can offer zero-commission trading and still hope to survive … but the answer is relatively simple. A trade costs around $2 and we are willing and able to absorb that as doing businesss with you the customer because we do not spend the approx $6 per trade in sales and marketing costs that the big guys like Schwab, E*Trade etc. do.

Instead we believe a great deal and word of mouth is all we need to get the publics attention … after all, why pay as much as $15 a trade for something that should and can be made free?

Another question I have gotten from many people is whether their money will be safe with and whether the trade-execution will be as fast as our competitors. The answer to both of those questions is yes. used Penson as our settlement and clearance house — one of the largest such institutions in the US. Customers money are kept at Penson and trades are executed on their infrastructure (incidentally the same infrastructure used by many of our larger competitors). Equity and cash in accounts at pension are heavily regulated and insured … so your money is just as safe with as with any other US online brokerage. You can check out pensons website here. — one reason we chose these guys over several other possibilities was their phenomenal trackrecord!


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