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Rating:Speeding up the IRA Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, February 06, 2001

Speeding up the IRA

Reported by Alfred Wang

Online-savvy investors have more tax-season IRA options, with Ameritrade's introduction of Express Account Opening. The new technology allows Ameritrade's investors to open and fund traditional, Roth, Rollover, SEP, and Simple IRAs electronically.

Ameritrade stated that it has timed the feature's debut to capture pre-tax filing dollars from 2000. While that benefit is purely ephemeral, the company will definitely reap one long-term benefit: improving the bottom line.

"Express Account Opening for IRAs will further streamline the delivery of services, reducing our overall costs and strengthening our operating leverage," said Ameritrade president Jack McDonnell in a statement.

Despite greater operating efficiency, the feature still has all the trappings of a loss-leader: improving Ameritrade's position for the more lucrative rollover accounts. The company follows in the footsteps of a raft of fund firms and other platforms looking to lure in the hefty accounts.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based brokerage expects the new feature to expedite the paperwork-processing times for investors seeking out tax-time savings.

"By reducing the amount of time and paperwork it traditionally takes to open an IRA, investors now have a more convenient option during the busy tax season" said McDonnell.

The online process allows access to equities and over 9,000 mutual funds.  

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