Financial Connections Group began using TD Ameritrade (TDA) as their custodian for clients’ assets in 2003. In fact, Jill was on their National Advisors Panel for two years providing feedback for strategies TDA was considering and exchanging ideas to improve technology. When her two-year term ended, she became part of TD Ameritrade’s President’s Council.
These experiences provided Jill with an insight into TD Ameritrade corporate culture. TDA supports the fiduciary standard, putting the client’s interest first. Schwab does not operate this way. Needless to say, we are not happy with this acquisition.
Based on conversation with advisors who use both TD Ameritrade and Schwab, it appears much of the technology offered is better at TDA than Schwab. On the positive side, Schwab offers some products that TD Ameritrade does not.
There are numerous regulatory steps before the acquisition is approved. The target date is late 2020. We’ve also been told it will take 18-36 months for the melding of the two companies to be complete. We do not know which systems will survive.
As part of our due diligence, one of our projects next year will be to review alternatives to Schwab. Factors in our research will include service to Financial Connections and services available to our clients; technology interfaces with Financial Connections vendors, etc.
Brian Pon’s joke
What do you get when you cross TD Ameritrade and Schwab?