American Express Company launched American Express Brokerage () – a service that combines attractive online pricing, including free equity trades for account holders with minimum balances, innovative online financial planning tools and access to American Express’ 9,300 financial advisors. The company announced plans to launch American Express Brokerage Oct. 5.
“With the launch of American Express Brokerage, there is now one place on the Web where all kinds of investors, from the beginner to the most sophisticated, will find what they need to help achieve their financial goals,” said Doug Lennick, executive vice president, Advice and Retail Distribution Group, American Express.
American Express Brokerage provides access to the tools for online investing that customers value most, including:
Low-cost equity trading. Online equity buys are free and sells are $14.95 with a minimum account balance of $25,000. For account balances of $100,000 or more, online equity buys and sells are free, although online sells are $14.95 if the stock was bought the same day. With an account balance of less than $25,000, online buys and sells are each $14.95. All equity buys and sells over 3,000 shares have an additional charge of three cents per share.
Instant online account opening. Qualified customers can open an account online and begin trading in minutes.
Financial planning tools. A comprehensive online financial planning tool will be available in the coming weeks. This tool helps investors set their goals and evaluate their financial situation through an interactive, easy-to-use “roadmap” integrating all areas of financial planning, from tax planning to estate planning to retirement and investment planning and more. Investors who use the tool will have a deeper understanding of their overall financial needs and will be able to ask smarter investment questions and make better investment choices.
The site will also include: An online asset allocation tool that helps investors determine the percentage of stocks, bonds and cash to keep in their portfolios and provides specific mutual fund selections to help clients meet their goals. An online equity evaluation tool that evaluates stocks to determine if they are a good fit for an investor’s overall portfolio based on the investor’s goals and risk tolerance.
Access to American Express financial advisors. Clients can choose to work with an American Express financial advisor to get whatever level of advice and help they need. Advisors can provide comprehensive financial planning as well as advice on individual investments. Advisors are able to offer American Express Brokerage as a tool for their clients, and Brokerage customers can use an online advisor locator to find an advisor in their area.
A choice of close to 2,000 mutual funds. These include funds from many well-known fund families, as well as the American Express index funds.
Free electronic bill payment, unlimited check writing and an American Express Gold Card. With a minimum balance of $5,000, clients have access to a cash management account featuring free, unlimited check writing, unlimited debit card use and ATM access at more than 94 percent of the ATMs in the United States, with automatic rebates for surcharges — up to $1.50 per transaction, four times per month. Customers who have qualifying assets of $25,000 or more can receive free electronic bill payment and an American Express Gold Card, with the $75 annual fee compliments of American Express. Gold Card charges will be debited from the cash management account monthly.
Professional research. Buy-side research from American Express Financial Advisors is available online, plus company profiles from Standard and Poor’s, earnings estimates from Zack’s and news and analysis from SmartMoney.com and TheStreet.com. Free real-time quotes and email price alerts are also available.
Service. American Express professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer technical and investment questions at 1-800 AXP-8800.
“Our aim is to be a leading destination site in financial services online,” said Ruediger Adolf, senior vice president, Strategic Planning and Business Development, American Express Company. “Now, with just the click of a mouse, customers can move from American Express Brokerage, to Membership B@nking, to personal or Corporate Card accounts, and even book a trip – all at americanexpress.com.”
American Express first introduced an online investing capability, Financial Direct, in 1996. Financial Direct customers have been automatically upgraded to the more comprehensive American Express Brokerage account.
American Express Company ([http://www.americanexpress.com]) gives consumers, small businesses and corporations access to a range of Internet products and services:
Through My American Express, consumers can tailor the American Express Web site so that those services of particular interest will automatically appear on the start page. Options include the ability to view and pay American Express Card bills online; view Membership Rewards program points; consolidate and track travel rewards programs in a single, centralized location; make travel reservations and find last minute travel bargains; and receive special online offers.
Consumers interested in online financial services can conduct online banking with free bill payment and ATM rebates.
Resources for small businesses include tips on incorporation, managing staff, and franchising business opportunities. Corporate customers can choose from retirement planning, purchasing, travel and expense management services.
American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, network, and financial services provider founded in 1850. American Express Company and its subsidiaries are leaders in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking. For more information, visit [http://www.americanexpress.com].
American Express Financial Advisors, Inc. Member NASD and SIPC. Insurance products are issued by IDS Life Insurance Company, except in New York, where IDS Life Insurance Company of New York is the issuer. American Express Company is separate from American Express Financial Advisors Inc. and is not a broker-dealer.
For more complete information on Investment products, including fees and expenses, consumers may obtain a prospectus by calling 1-800 AXP-8800, option 1. Consumers should read the prospectus before investing or sending money.
Investments are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of or guaranteed by a financial institution, involve investment risks including possible loss of principal. All deposit products and services are offered by American Express Centurion Bank, member FDIC.
American Express Travel related Services Company, Inc., offers charge cards, credit cards and travel services.