The strategic direction of Edward Jones is something that is constantly changing due to the steady growth and expansion of the company. Currently we have been attempting to implement a strategy where we achieve growth not by gaining new clients, but by holding a higher portion of our current client’s total assets. By digging deeper into our client’s wallets, we feel that we will be able to keep our company tradition and have deeper relationships with our clients rather than expanding beyond our capabilities. In order to do this we have began to create additional investment opportunities for our clients. Currently we are providing cash management accounts, mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards, and even some insurance products.
The problem with how we have been implementing our current strategy of ‘digging deeper’, is that we have placed our company at a disadvantage by entering all of these other highly competitive markets. As a result, it is crucial that we find a way to bundle these new investment opportunities with our existing mutual funds at a slightly discounted rate. This will help to give our existing clients an incentive to further invest additional assets into Edward Jones. In addition, bundling will help to create high switching costs for clients who are thinking about taking their retirement funds elsewhere to invest, which has been a critical problem we have been facing.
Along the line of international expansion, we have made an attempt at it in Canada and in the UK, but we have not been profitable to say the least. It has been ten years since we expanded outside of the US and we have yet to break even. In order to limit costs, in these countries we have implemented all of the same strategies and software that we use here in the US. In order to get proper financial figures, we simply convert US prices at the prevailing exchange rate. We have made an attempt to expand our horizons with