Schwab Reduces Online Equity Commissions

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. of San Francisco has announced several broad-based pricing changes that, combined with the company‚s June price reductions, mean that every Schwab client trading stocks online will benefit from reduced prices.

Schwab is lowering its base online equity trade commission by 33%, so no Schwab retail client will pay more than $19.95 per online equity trade for the first 1,000 shares. Active traders who make at least 30 equity or option trades per quarter will pay $9.95 per online equity trade for unlimited shares.

Schwab is also reducing its commissions on online and broker-assisted trades of options contracts by as much as 60% and is lowering its commissions on equity trades made through Schwab‚s automated phone service by 40% for trades of up to 1,000 shares.

Schwab has also eliminated quarterly service fees associated with its Schwab Independent Investing Signature Service. Now any Schwab client with at least $100,000 in household assets at Schwab will automatically qualify for enrollment in this premier service.

The premier service includes access to Schwab Equity Ratings, quarterly gain/loss and market performance reporting, priority call routing and expanded access to Schwab‚s investing insight. Formerly, enrollment in Schwab Independent Investing Signature would have been $25 per quarter for clients with between $100,000 and $250,000. Fees were waived for those clients with at least $250,000 in household assets.

The pricing changes could reduce consolidated revenues by about 2% from current levels during the 12-month period following implementation. For more information on Schwab, visit

Standard & Poor‚s New Automated Service

New York City-based Standard & Poor‚s launched a new automated service that helps users understand credit risk exposure. The Obligor Link service will allow users to instantly identify obligations connected to a specific entity and its related obligors for more than 680,000 municipal bonds. This service is available to customers via Internet FTP delivery in a delimited format on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Standard & Poor‚s automated service allows rapid identification of obligors across the municipal bond market.

The new service provides updates for a subset of the municipal bond universe, including publicly traded companies serving as an obligor for industrial development or economic development bonds, as well as obligors pertaining to higher education and health care bonds. For more information about the service, visit

DST Vision Export To Morningstar Principia

Kansas City, Mo.-based DST Vision, a leading account management Web site for financial advisors, and Morningstar Inc. have joined forces to help advisors conduct business more efficiently. Advisors who use Vision can now systematically transfer customer account information into Morningstar Principia and Morningstar Advisor Workstation Office Edition. This export capability eliminates the need to enter client data manually. For more information, visit Vision at