A.G. Edwards says its business is down by about one third. In a quarterly filing with the SEC on July 17, the firm reported that total commissions fell 36% during the quarter that ended May 31, 2001, compared to the same period in 2000.
“This decline reflects the decrease in client trading activity following the record level of activity in the same period last year,” the company reported. “Many of the company’s clients have opted out of the equities market in favor of debt products or money market funds.”
The number of trades in commission-based accounts fell by 33%, according to the firm. However, there was one bright spot during the quarter: insurance commissions were up 8% during the quarter “due to continued client demand for variable annuities,” according to the 10-Q report.
The company reported that an increasing number of clients are moving toward fee-based accounts, such as the Client Choice account it launched last year. Edwards did not provide statistics on the use of those accounts.
The firm also reported that the number of branches and the number of financial consultants at the firm continue to rise. The firm operated 701 branches at the end of the quarter, populated with 7,179 brokers.
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