In an article by Barron’s on their annual roundup of the best online brokers, author Matt Miller quotes Corporate Insight analyst Jen Butler.

In late September, stock brokerage became a virtual free-for-all. That’s when Interactive Brokers Group, Thomas Peterffy’s pioneering Greenwich, Conn., brokerage, said it would cut commissions on equity trades to nothing, slipping in ahead of Charles Schwab, which made the same offer days later. Rival brokers E*Trade FinancialTD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Ally Invest, Merrill Edge, and Vanguard soon followed. By early 2020, zero-commission trades were the new normal.

With the industry now at a major inflection point, Barron’s is publishing its annual Best Online Brokers. Zero commissions are just one element of this transformation. To gain revenue and broaden access, brokerages are scrambling to position themselves at the heart of investors’ financial lives—what Jennifer Butler, the director of asset management and brokerage research at consulting firm Corporate Insight, calls “holistic or comprehensive financial management.”

Read the full article here »