Radical Guide to Online Bond Investing: TD Waterhouse

  • TD Waterhouse does not advertise a flat pricing schedule and is a participant on BondDesk. TD runs its own inventories and prices on a “net yield” basis, so its spread is in buried in every trade. 
  • One plus: like HarrisDirect, we were able to reach the trading desk with our questions.  We enjoy that access to the group involved in the markets. 
  • One negative is the lack of differentiation.  More quiet than the others, TDW has not announced itself in the retail bond markets in the way Schwab and Fidelity have.  It may well be a powerhouse in other areas; but in the retail bond markets, we just don’t see TDW.

While we clearly like these brokers, it is worth keeping in mind what bond investors are looking for.  Typically more affluent, older and more inclined toward wealth management, these investors should be treated holistically --- to filch a real ‘90s word --- by brokers. 

Many bond investors surely like the access to inventories.  Many like the independence and hassle-free way of buying and selling bonds.  But in looking at their portfolio needs, these investors may want more than a buy/sell button.  Here, the capabilities of the brokers above will vary greatly, too.

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June 3, 2005 | Permalink

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