During the last 30+ years, Windsor has witnessed many game changers in the way we can implement investment recommendation for our clients. In the beginning years, in order to invest in best of class money manager, we literally had to mail in separate paper applications and checks to many different individual mutual fund companies. The advent of discount brokerage companies such as Schwab and Fidelity allowed Windsor to better service our clients and enhance the investment options available to implement our independent advice.
Windsor continuously analyzes changes in product offering and technology in order to benefit clients. Over time, we have continuously negotiated to reduce transaction fees. As the years progressed, we negotiated transaction fees that have been reduced several times. In addition, both Schwab and Fidelity introduced a no transaction fee mutual fund list. Again, Windsor was able to add these options to our toolbox to utilize when appropriate for our client’s needs. As part of our investment selection process, Windsor continually monitors applicable fees and expense in light of other important investment considerations.
Late last year, Charles Schwab did again what the company has done since it was created – disrupt the stock brokerage industry. Major competitors are following suit. What did Schwab do? Schwab offered zero commissions on individual stocks and ETFs. Fellow discount broker Fidelity quickly followed suit. As I write this, Morgan Stanley, an old line Wall Street firm is purchasing E*TRADE.
Is this the next game changer? The race to lower investments costs is on - which is good for investors. With anticipated expected returns falling for both stocks and bonds in the next five years, reduced transaction costs and expense ratios make sense.
Windsor will continue to evaluate this change in order to implement the best overall investment strategy for our clients based on their financial goals and objectives.