Computerized Investing > January/February 2005

Comparison: On-Line Discount Brokers 2005

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Since last year, the number of brokers featured in our survey has fallen from 54 to 47, continuing the consolidation trend of the past three years. Many brokerage firms were forced to merge or be acquired by other firms as well as cut costs and reduce staff in order to survive.

In the face of reduced revenue and heightened competition, the trend among on-line brokers these past few years has been toward becoming niche players in order to differentiate from the competition. Brokers seeking active stock traders will likely feature a different cost structure, research offerings and order-entry process than a broker acting as a one-stop center for investors seeking banking services, financial planning and management of varied portfolios of stocks, mutual funds, and bonds.

Figure 1.
Growth of On-Line Brokers

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