Friday, December 07, 2007

Hot Topic for Investors

In my most recent Barron’s column, which will appear here tomorrow, I concluded with the following query:

OUR 13TH ANNUAL REVIEW of online brokers is coming up. What’s most important to you these days as you consider opening—or moving additional money to—an online brokerage account? Let us know at

So far, the overwhelming majority—about 3/4 of the 100 or so responses to date—has been, “How safe is my money?” Today I queried most of my broker contacts as follows:

Given the interesting events at E*Trade recently, I’m asking my broker contacts to comment on the following.  I’m turning in another column very soon (by noon Monday) so I’d appreciate a quick turnaround—and apologize in advance for rushing you.

I have to write about how safe one’s investments are at various brokers soon, in light of the mess at E*Trade.  Can you get me a comment regarding your firm’s excess SIPC/FDIC coverage, and the safety of an investor’s money at the firm?  What would happen to an investor with $1 million invested in stocks and options with you if, for some horrible reason, the bottom fell out tomorrow and you guys went bankrupt? 

The responses are coming in, and will be in my next column, which will appear a week from tomorrow. 

Posted by twcarey on 12/07 at 02:04 PM
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