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Storm Capsizes Another Small Boat

Traders Magazine, April 2002

Peter Chapman

In a sign of hard times, H&R Block Financial Advisors, formerly Olde Discount, shut down its market making operation last month. The broker blamed lower profitability due to the introduction of penny increments and the slump in retail volume. "In the current market environment, the business model is no longer sustainable," said Tom Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of the broker dealer subsidiary of the well-known tax preparation house. "Adapting to the changes in hopes of increasing profitability would have required us to take on significantly more risk and expend more resources."

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