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Ameritrade Doesn't Feel Pressured to Cut Commissions

CNBC.com
Thursday, 15 Feb 2007 | 5:11 PM ET

Don't expect Ameritrade to cut its commissions -- even as competition continues to heat up among banks and online brokerages.

Wells Fargo is the latest big bank to offer free online trading to active traders with accounts of a certain size, following a similar move by Bank of America last fall.

But Joe Moglia, chief executive officer of Ameritrade, is convinced that there are no free lunches -- or trades. If they charge you less for trading, they're likely "making up for it somewhere else."

And he doesn't feel pressured to follow suit. "People don't leave you because it's a little cheaper somewhere else," Moglia told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo. "They leave you because they don't have a good experience (or because) you haven't lived up to your part of the bargain. As long as we continue to do that, we'll do fine."

The online brokerage also asked investors about their take on the markets. The result? They're mostly upbeat.

"They feel great about where the markets are right now," Moglia said. "Inflation seems to be in check, corporate earnings are coming in pretty good, corporate balance sheets are pretty good and most of the indices are at record highs."

He also said that consumers -- they were polled at the end of January -- said they like technology shares more than they did in December, while they like the oil & gas and consumer goods sectors less. "But they still like oil a lot," Moglia said. "The consumer good thing is interesting, you saw a big drop off there, which is probably led by a concern [about] autos."

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