For three decades, Ameritrade’s evolution has been guided by a commitment to individual investors. We have
constantly pursued a strategy of innovation, while maintaining the type of entrepreneurial spirit that helped
reshape an industry.
Never before has one year produced such exceptional results as those we saw in 2004. As I’ve said in past
letters, it’s essential for a business to constantly innovate and build on its foundation. This is the Ameritrade
standard, and it’s the reason for my unremitting optimism. Our management team’s diligence and focus on profitable
growth over the past few years delivered a record year in 2004. They didn’t just carry out a strategy, they
believed in that strategy, and today there’s tremendous opportunity to build on the strength of our business.
I’m extremely pleased with our new offerings, including changes to www.ameritrade.com and the incredible
experience it delivers to our clients.1 We also spoke at length this past year about the opportunity available
in the long-term investor space. We acted on this opportunity, and expanded our brand with the recent launch
of Amerivest.2 These enormous initiatives have once again redefined and improved upon an already strong
value proposition. With our organization’s renewed focus on understanding the needs of individual investors,
expect us to continue to revolutionize this industry.
I’ve always felt leadership is less about words and more about attitude and actions, which is why it
would be an understatement to say Joe Moglia has been a gift to Ameritrade. His discipline has been the
bridge between the goals this organization has set and our incredible accomplishments over the past few
years. Mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, new initiatives, difficult market conditions and an extremely
competitive industry might test anyone’s character, yet Joe continues to inspire us to succeed.
I would also like to commend our Board of Directors for their leadership and professionalism over the past
year. It’s a group that constantly embraces Ameritrade’s commitment to act with integrity and conduct itself as
an accountable business, and their sincere respect for one another is representative of this organization.
Ameritrade has had an incredible journey since 1975, when this company opened with a staff of a halfdozen,
a ticker tape machine and an office full of trade tickets. Almost 30 years later, we continue to be in
the business of achieving great things for individual investors and shareholders. Accomplishing this, you can
count on us to not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. I appreciate your recognition of
Ameritrade’s long-term potential.
J. Joe Ricketts
Chairman and Founder