Another financial stock that's making our list is TD Ameritrade (AMTD - Get Report), a brokerage firm that tips the scales as one of the world's biggest. The firm is also one of the few holdovers from the online discount brokerage business of the late 1990s that's managed to hold onto its successes and become a large, diversified financial services firm. One way AMTD has done that is by taking its earnings needs off of commission income and focusing instead on fee generation (like FITB) and interest.
Let's face it: In general, investors don't trust the stock market right now. And they're unlikely to start trusting it anytime soon -- at least until we see a more meaningful rally in the S&P. When investors don't trust stocks, they're a lot less likely to generate commissions for their brokerage firm. But by generating other fees based on assets, as well as higher-spread margin loans to customers, TD Ameritrade is able to escape the market conditions that are otherwise hamstringing brokers right now.Ultimately, TD Ameritrade may be the best in breed among brokerage firms, but it's still the best in a less-than-stellar breed right now. While I do think that AMTD is likely to boost its dividend in the next quarter, investors looking for financial exposure (and a more meaningful yield) would do better to focus on Fifth Third Bancorp. To see these dividend plays in action, check out the at Dividend Stocks for the Week portfolio on Stockpickr. And if you haven't already done so, join Stockpickr today to create your own dividend portfolio. -- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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