NEW YORK, March 13 Worried about having enough
to get you through retirement?
E*Trade Financial Corp and TD Ameritrade Holding
said on Wednesday they are reaching into their
marketing budgets to sponsor what each calls an "Education Day"
over the next week.
E*Trade, which has been cutting staff and trimming budgets
as it recovers from home-lending losses over the last 5 years,
is holding a day-long round of online seminars and in-person
forums at some of its offices on Thursday, March 14. Its
"Retirement Education Day" runs from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Eastern time, including a 2-1/2 hour "retirement evening" at
several of its branches.
TD Ameritrade Holding said investors should bone up
on their fixed-income investment questions in preparation for a
"Free Investor Education Day" it plans to hold next Tuesday,
March 19. The event, which will address issues such as how bonds
will perform when interest rates eventually go up, will include
a series of webcasts from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.
The retirement seminars include presentations from money
managers who sell funds through the firms. Pacific Investment
Management Co (PIMCO), the giant West Coast bond manager, is
participating in both events.
Brokerage and fund firms for years have stepped up marketing
campaigns aimed at promoting tax-deferred retirement investments
before income taxes are due on April 15. Advertising and
marketing comprise a major part of discount brokerage budgets,
even as interest rates and investor interest in trading stocks
E*Trade, the smallest of the three brokers, with the weakest
revenue stream, said it is reaching into its depleted marketing
budget to sponsor the event. It expects to spend about $110
million this year on marketing and advertising, down from $139.5
million in 2012.
Omaha-based TD Ameritrade spent $248 million in its fiscal
2012 ended on September 30, and forecast spending $220 million
to $250 million on advertising and marketing this year.
Charles Schwab Corp, which is based in San
Francisco, told investors earlier this year that its 2013
marketing budget will rise from the $241 million it spent in
2012. A spokesman at the San Francisco-based company said the
company holds more than 10,000 free branch workshops annually
across a range of topics but has no specific nationwide
"education day" set in coming weeks.
The brokerage industry is particularly interested in
encouraging soon-to-retire employees to roll over their
employer-sponsored defined contribution 401(k) plans into
personal retirement accounts that the firms can manage after
TD Ameritrade and E*Trade said their events are free and
open to investors of all levels of experience.