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Von Aldo

TD Ameritrade Roping in Breakaways

Washington, D.C. --- I am here at the TD Ameritrade Institutional conference (Ticker: TDAM), where talk show host Charlie Rose interviewed columnist (and great American) George Will, who is a legendary baseball freak. Will quipped: "Football is a mistake. It's comprised of violance punctuated by committee meetings." He also said TARP was a "bad idea" and "improperly administrated." He called Social Security "an unsustainable business model."

TDAM announced that it has attracted 348 breakaway brokers in its fiscal year 2011, saying, the trend is being driven by breakaway brokers "moving from full-commission firms . . . by a continuing trend of investors choosing to work wih independent registered investment advisors and brokers seeking the stability of the RIA channel amid regulatory uncertainty."

The company says it delivered its fourth consecutive record year for asset gathering, and also enjoyed record average trades per day of 399,000. Net new assets firm-wide hit $14 billioin, a 12% annual growth rate. The company for the first time executed more than 100 million client trades in a single fiscal year. Client assets of grew by $79 billion to around $379 billion.

Of the net new assets, the company says 55% is coming from traditional full-service firms; nine out of 10 RIAs report that their total number of clients increased or held steady over the past six months; and that a survey of RIAs showed ab average revenue growth rate of 18% and added new clients at an average rate of 13%.

Best quote so far from this one day conference? "Politics comes from the Latin word meaning 'all' or 'many.' The word tics means blood-sucking insects," said Thomas Selman, of FINRA, to the delight of the few dozen or so assembled FAs in the breakout session, "Regulatory Update from Inside the Beltway."

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