From our perspective, the Schwab acquisition of TD Ameritrade is the best of two great worlds. As the announcement of the merge notes, nothing will change for now and they’re giving lots of time to organize transitions for us – their clients.
When we decided to become completely independent 15 years ago, we engaged in a thorough due diligence review of the leading custodians to transfer our existing accounts and place new accounts. Our review led to choosing TD Ameritrade (TD Waterhouse at the time). Our decision came down to TD and Schwab with whom many of our peers were using in roughly equal numbers. At that time, it was clear that TD Ameritrade served a wider array of firm types – larger and smaller than did Schwab. TD Ameritrade also had a longer and stronger public presence advocating for independent RIA’s and had lobbied strongly for the independent advisor model on behalf of investment advice consumers.
Now that Charles Schwab his acquired TD Ameritrade, we feel that our services will benefit from the scale and efficiencies brought by the move. The two firms will represent just over half the custodial business marketplace. The next leading custodial platform is Fidelity which is less than half the size of the combined Schwab/TD merger. Fidelity was never a strong contender for our business as the corporate culture and business values of the two firms, now joined, are much better aligned with those of Worthwhile Wealth Council and the needs of our clients.
We do not anticipate any noticeable difference to our clients in this process and will monitor communications regarding the process over the next 12-36 months. Please be assured that our due diligence regarding all vendors, and especially custodians, is an annual regulatory requirement for us. As the marketplace continues to evolve, we are continuously watching for opportunities to enhance our services for clients as competition continues to offer a broader range of technology and data access in running our business processes. And we will not hesitate to make changes where doing so will afford you better service in our client engagements.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call for any questions you might have about this or any other questions regarding your accounts and our services to you.
~Your WWC Team