Banking & Finance

Joe Public Is Running Out of Excuses Not to Invest and Save for the Future

In order to have a safe and comfortable future, whether it’s for retirement or just building up a nest egg, it is important to understand that very few people can actually get there from their salaries alone. Company-sponsored pension funds are becoming less and less common these days, and Social Security is not exactly going to ever get credited for affording people to live a life of luxury. That means it’s every man and women for themselves when it comes to saving for the future.

24/7 Wall St. has written about encouragement for every person, regardless of income or age, to save for their future. Again, it’s almost impossible to get there just on your paycheck alone. You have to invest and let the money grow over time to build for retirement, or even to just to build a small safety net for rainy days. Starting to invest is becoming easier than ever in the world of modern communications and technology. It’s also becoming cheaper to start investing than it ever has been.

Too many people are procrastinating about investing for their future. Many people think they just cannot afford to invest because life’s expenses are just too much, and this has often been the most common issue cited in many studies over time. Other would-be savers feel that trading commissions or management fees may eat them alive over time. Others feel like “the game is rigged against them.” And many people just don’t know how to invest in a stock, mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF). That’s all changing. Hopefully, this is a wakeup call here: You really are running out of excuses not to invest and save for your future!

In recent days, Fidelity launched a no-management fee structure for certain core index mutual funds. That’s a zero-cost fund to begin investing in and there are no management fees. To make matters even more pressing, Fidelity also has shown that it will have no minimum investment. This means that people can even throw in $20 or $50 to start building for their future.

Now, a new report says that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is set to launch a zero-commission (or heavily discounted commission) service in an app called YouInvest. If you type in the website address, it is redirected to the Chase website, which currently does not show the details.

According to a CNBC report, JPMorgan (Chase) will launch its new service next week and all customers will get 100 free stock or ETF trades in the first year. Those customers who are in the Chase Private Client get unlimited trades. The move is a direct front to target the business dominated by discounted and online brokerages. CNBC noted that the program also comes with a portfolio building tool and no-fee access to the firm’s equity research.

The move by Fidelity was viewed by some in the industry as a direct targeting of BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) for its dominance in the world of ETFs and mutual funds. BlackRock manages the well-known iShares ETF group. As of June 30, 2018, the firm managed approximately $6.3 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide. Much of that is due to dominating the ETF business with literally hundreds of ETFs in total and with ETF assets of more than $1.8 trillion. BlackRock shares were trading above $500 as recently as August 1, but now they are closer to $475, and the 52-week trading range is $408.62 to $594.52.

Tuesday’s news about commission-free trading from JPMorgan is being viewed as a direct targeting of the major four online and discount brokerages. We have tracked the moves in the segment, and trading ranges and consensus analyst target prices from Thomson Reuters are meant to add additional color.

Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW) is the largest of the online and discount brokerages, with a $67 billion market value, and it also has gone into very low-fee funds of its own. Still, its shares were down 3.3% at $49.71 on the news that JPMorgan was getting into the game of no-fee investing. Schwab has a consensus analyst price target of $60.00 and a 52-week range of $38.06 to $60.22.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTD) is the second largest discount and online broker by market value, with a $32 billion market cap. Its shares were down almost 6% at $56.65 after the JPMorgan news. TD Ameritrade has a consensus price target of $68.32 and a 52-week range of $42.14 to $63.01.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) has a market value of almost $15.5 billion, and its shares were trading down 3.8% at $58.90 on Tuesday. The consensus price target is $70.00, and the 52-week range is $39.33 to $66.46.

Interactive Brokers Group Inc. (NASDAQ: IBKR) has a market cap of almost $26 billion, and its shares were trading basically flat at $62.00, after having been down about 1% in earlier trading indications. The consensus analyst target is $70.50, and the 52-week range is $39.70 to $80.32.

Many investors may wonder how firms can make money if they are offering services for free. The reality is that these services are all considered building blocks for future customer development. The larger banks and institutions also offer many banking, lending and other financial services in which they are profitable.

It’s easier and cheaper than ever to start investing for your future. The list of excuses to not begin investing and saving is getting shorter and shorter.

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