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EX-32.1 - EXHIBIT 32.1 - TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORPamtd_20180930xex321.htm
EX-31.2 - EXHIBIT 31.2 - TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORPamtd_20180930xex312.htm
EX-31.1 - EXHIBIT 31.1 - TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORPamtd_20180930xex311.htm
EX-23.1 - EXHIBIT 23.1 - TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORPamtd_20180930xex231.htm
EX-21.1 - EXHIBIT 21.1 - TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORPamtd_20180930xex211.htm
EX-12 - EXHIBIT 12 - TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORPamtd_20180930xex12.htm
EX-10.18 - EXHIBIT 10.18 - TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORPamtd_20180930xex1018.htm

 
UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
FORM 10-K
þ
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from                 to                     
 
 
 
 
 
Commission file number: 1-35509
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Delaware
 
82-0543156
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
200 South 108th Avenue,
Omaha, Nebraska 68154
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(800) 669-3900
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock — $0.01 par value
 
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
 Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
 
 
 
(Title of class)
 
 
 
 
 
 
None
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  þ        No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  þ        No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  þ        No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    þ 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer þ
Accelerated filer ¨
Smaller reporting company ¨
Non-accelerated filer ¨ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Emerging growth company ¨
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes  ¨        No  þ
The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $33.3 billion computed by reference to the closing sale price of the stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on March 29, 2018, the last trading day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter.
The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of November 1, 2018 was 562,369,568 shares.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Definitive Proxy Statement relating to the registrant's 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed hereafter (incorporated into Part III hereof).
 



TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORPORATION
INDEX
 
 
 
Page No.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1.
 
Item 1A.
 
Item 1B.
 
Item 2.
 
Item 3.
 
Item 4.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 5.
 
Item 6.
 
Item 7.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 7A.
 
Item 8.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 9.
 
Item 9A.
 
Item 9B.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 10.
 
Item 11.
 
Item 12.
 
Item 13.
 
Item 14.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 15.
 
 
 
 
 


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Unless otherwise indicated, references to "we," "us," "our," "Company," or "TD Ameritrade" mean TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation and its subsidiaries, and references to "fiscal" mean the Company's fiscal year ended September 30. References to the "parent company" mean TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation.
PART I
Item 1.    Business
Form of Organization
The Company was established as a local investment banking firm in 1971 and began operations as a retail discount securities brokerage firm in 1975. The parent company is a Delaware corporation.
Operations
We are a leading provider of securities brokerage services and related technology-based financial services to retail clients and independent registered investment advisors ("RIAs"). We provide our services to individual retail investors and traders, and RIAs predominantly through the Internet, a national branch network and relationships with RIAs. We use our platform to offer brokerage services to retail investors and traders under a simple, low-cost commission structure and brokerage custodial services to RIAs.
We have been an innovator in electronic brokerage services since entering the retail securities brokerage business in 1975. We believe that we were the first brokerage firm to offer the following products and services to retail clients: touch-tone trading; trading over the Internet; mobile trading; unlimited, streaming, free real-time quotes; extended trading hours; direct access to market destinations; commitment on the speed of order execution and trading via chatbot and voice commands. Over the years the number of brokerage accounts, RIA relationships, average daily trading volume and total assets in client accounts have substantially increased. We have also built, and continue to invest in, a proprietary trade processing platform that is both cost-efficient and highly scalable, significantly lowering our operating costs per trade. In addition, we have made significant investments in building the TD Ameritrade brand.
Strategy
We intend to capitalize on the growth and consolidation of the retail brokerage industry in the United States and leverage our low-cost infrastructure to grow our market share and profitability. Our long-term growth strategy is to increase our market share of total assets in client accounts, while maintaining a leadership position in client trading, by providing superior offerings to retail investors and traders, and RIAs. We strive to enhance the client experience by providing asset management products and services, enhanced trading tools and capabilities and a superior, proprietary, single-platform system to support RIAs. The key elements of our strategy are as follows:
Focus on brokerage services.    We continue to focus on attracting retail investors and traders, and RIAs to our brokerage services. This focused strategy is designed to enable us to maintain our low operating cost structure while offering our clients outstanding products and services. We primarily route orders for execution of client trades on an agency, rather than a principal, basis. We maintain an inventory of fixed income securities to meet client demand.
Provide a comprehensive investor solution.    We continue to expand our suite of diversified investment products and services to best serve investors' needs. We help clients make investment decisions by providing investment tools, guidance, education and objective third-party research at levels that meet the needs of our clients.
Continue to be a leader in the RIA industry.    We provide RIAs with comprehensive brokerage and custody services supported by our robust integrated technology platform, customized personal service and practice management solutions.
Leverage our infrastructure to add incremental revenue.    Through our proprietary technology, we are able to provide a robust online experience for retail investors and traders. Our low-cost, scalable systems provide speed, reliability and quality trade execution services for clients. The scalable capacity of our trading system

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allows us to process a significant number of additional transactions while incurring minimal additional fixed costs.
Continue to be a low-cost provider of quality services.    We achieve low operating costs per trade by creating economies of scale, utilizing our proprietary transaction-processing systems, continuing to automate processes and locating much of our operations in low-cost geographical areas. This low fixed-cost infrastructure provides us with significant financial flexibility. In addition, our bank deposit account arrangements with The Toronto-Dominion Bank ("TD") and other third-party financial institutions enable our clients to invest in an FDIC-insured deposit product without the need for the Company to establish the significant levels of capital that would be required to maintain our own bank charter.
Continue to differentiate our offerings through innovative technologies and service enhancements.    We have been an innovator in our industry for over 40 years. We continually strive to provide our clients with the ability to customize their investing and trading experience. We provide our clients greater choice by offering features and functionality to meet their specific needs.
Leverage the TD Ameritrade brand.    We believe that we have a superior brand identity and that our advertising has established TD Ameritrade as a leading brand in the retail brokerage market.
Continue to evaluate opportunities for growth through acquisitions.    When evaluating potential acquisitions, we look for transactions that will give us operational leverage, technological leverage, increased market share or other strategic opportunities.
On September 18, 2017, we completed our acquisition of the brokerage business of Scottrade Financial Services, Inc. ("Scottrade"), a Delaware corporation. The transaction combined highly complementary franchises and added significant scale to our retail business with the addition of approximately 3.5 million funded client accounts, extended our leadership in trading, and expanded the size of our branch network. For additional information regarding this acquisition, see Note 2 - Business Acquisition under Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data - Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Client Offerings
We deliver products and services aimed at providing a comprehensive, personalized experience for retail investors and traders, and independent RIAs. Our client offerings are described below:
Trading and Investing Platforms
tdameritrade.com Web Platform is our core offering for self-directed retail investors and traders. We offer a broad array of tools and services, including alerts, screeners, conditional orders and free fundamental third-party research. Modules such as streaming news, stock events, and account balances allow clients to stay well informed. Free planning tools are also provided, such as Portfolio Planner to efficiently create a bundle of securities to trade, invest and rebalance and Retirement Planner to assess retirement needs. Social Signals is a trading resource that pulls insights from Twitter and compiles them in one place. A variety of third-party research supports clients in evaluating potential investments. Dividend Income Estimator allows clients to calculate and visualize estimated dividend income for their current holdings, watch list positions and specific securities.
thinkorswim® is a downloadable desktop platform designed for advanced traders, featuring easy-to-use interfaces, elite-level trading and analytical tools for complex trading strategies. Clients who use thinkorswim trade a broad range of products including stock and stock options, index options, futures and futures options, foreign exchange and exchange-traded funds ("ETFs").
TD Ameritrade Mobile allows on-the-go investors and traders to trade and monitor accounts from web-enabled mobile devices with features such as alerts, research, streaming market commentary and the ability to deposit a check directly from a smartphone or tablet. Through our mobile apps, clients can interact with our agents through chat messaging capabilities to service their accounts. Access is available through the TD Ameritrade Mobile App, the more advanced TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader App or via a mobile browser at the TD Ameritrade Mobile Site.

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TD Ameritrade Institutional is a leading provider of comprehensive brokerage and custody services to more than 6,000 independent RIAs and their clients. Our advanced technology platform, coupled with personal support from our dedicated service teams, allows RIAs to grow and manage their practices more effectively and efficiently while optimizing time with clients. Additionally, TD Ameritrade Institutional provides a robust offering of products, programs and services. These services are all designed to help advisors build their businesses and help their clients meet their financial goals.
Other Offerings
TD Ameritrade Education offers a suite of investor education for stocks, options, income investing and portfolio management. TD Ameritrade Education offers free education to our clients primarily built around an investing method that is designed to teach investors, regardless of experience, how to approach the selection process for investment securities and actively manage their investment portfolios. Course offerings are accompanied by all-day webcasts on a variety of investing topics and live events for beginner, intermediate and advanced investors.
TD Ameritrade's Goal Planning sessions are a complimentary service where clients meet with a financial consultant and develop an investment plan, based on a variety of factors including personal goals, time to achieve goal, risk tolerance, assets and net worth. Clients learn how likely they are to achieve their goals and how hypothetical changes to their decisions could influence their plan.
Essential Portfolios is an automated, low-cost investing solution that uses advanced technology to help long-term investors pursue their financial goals, with access to five non-proprietary goal-oriented ETF portfolios. Our subsidiary, TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC ("TDAIM"), recommends an investment portfolio based on an investor's objective, time horizon and risk tolerance.
Selective Portfolios (formerly known as Amerivest®) is an advisory service that develops portfolios of ETFs or mutual funds, along with cash and cash alternatives, to help long-term investors pursue their financial goals. Our subsidiary, TDAIM, recommends an investment portfolio based on an investor's objective, time horizon and risk tolerance.
Personalized Portfolios is a more sophisticated advisory service designed to create a customized portfolio of ETFs or mutual funds that aims to satisfy each client's unique goals - balancing digital elements and human touch from credentialed portfolio and investment professionals. Also powered by TDAIM, the portfolios are based on each investor's objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon.
AdvisorDirect® is a national referral service for investors who wish to engage the services of an independent RIA. AdvisorDirect refers interested investors to one or more independent RIAs that are unaffiliated with TD Ameritrade and that offer investment management and/or financial planning services to investors served by TD Ameritrade's branch offices. We strive to have all independent RIAs participating in AdvisorDirect meet or exceed TD Ameritrade's professional eligibility requirements.
TD Ameritrade Network is our broadcast network, offering real-time market news, insights and investor education. The network's programming features experienced journalists and financial professionals.
TD Ameritrade Corporate Services provides self-directed brokerage services to employees of corporations, either directly in partnership with the employer or through joint marketing relationships with third-party administrators, such as 401(k) providers and employee benefit consultants. Trust and custody services are also offered to a wide range of plan types through our subsidiary, TD Ameritrade Trust Company.
TD Ameritrade Singapore Pte. Ltd. and TD Ameritrade Hong Kong Ltd. enable retail investors in Singapore and Hong Kong to trade the U.S. markets by providing access to trading technology, low commission rates, free education and customer service. Clients can trade stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and options on futures using the thinkorswim trading platform and thinkorswim Mobile. TD Ameritrade Singapore Pte. Ltd. is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and TD Ameritrade Hong Kong Ltd. is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission.

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Products and Services
We strive to provide the best value of retail brokerage services to our clients. The products and services available to our clients include:
Common and preferred stock.    Clients can purchase common and preferred stocks, American Depository Receipts and closed-end funds traded on any United States exchange or quotation system.
Exchange-Traded Funds.    ETFs are baskets of securities (stocks or bonds) that typically track recognized indices. They are similar to mutual funds, except that they trade on an exchange like stocks. Our ETF Market Center offers our clients approximately 300 commission-free ETFs from leading providers with Morningstar Associates, LLC research and ratings and diverse investment strategies. Trades in these ETFs are commission-free, provided the funds are held for 30 days or longer. Our website includes an ETF screener, along with independent research and commentary, to assist investors in their decision-making.
Options.    We offer a full range of option trades, including complex and multi-leg option strategies.
Futures.    We offer futures trades, as well as options on futures, in a wide variety of commodities, stock indices and currencies.
Foreign exchange.    We offer access to trading in over 75 different currency pairs.
Mutual funds.    Clients can compare and select from a portfolio of over 13,000 mutual funds from leading fund families, including a broad range of no-transaction-fee ("NTF") funds. Clients can also easily exchange funds within the same mutual fund family.
Fixed income.    We offer our clients access to a variety of Treasury, corporate, government agency and municipal bonds, as well as certificates of deposit.
New and secondary issue securities.    We offer primary and secondary offerings of fixed income securities, closed-end funds, common stock and preferred stock.
Margin lending.    We extend credit to clients who maintain margin accounts. Portfolio margin, which bases margin requirements on the net exposure of all positions in an account rather than just on individual positions, is also available for accounts with net liquidating values of at least $125,000.
Cash management services.    Through third-party banking relationships, we offer FDIC-insured deposit accounts and money market mutual funds to our clients as cash sweep alternatives. Through these relationships, we also offer free standard checking, free online bill pay and ATM services with unlimited ATM fee reimbursements at any machine nationwide.
Annuities.    We offer access to a full range of competitively priced fixed and variable annuities provided by highly-rated insurance carriers.

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We earn commissions and transaction fees on client trades in common and preferred stock, ETFs, exchange-traded notes, closed-end funds, options, futures, foreign exchange, mutual funds, fixed income securities and annuities. Order routing revenue generated from payments or rebates received from market centers is a component of commissions and transaction fees. Margin lending, securities borrowed and loaned transactions and client cash generate net interest revenue. Cash management services generate bank deposit account fees. Fees earned from mutual funds, investment program fees and referrals generate investment product fee revenues. Other revenues include proxy income, solicit and tender fees and other fees charged for ancillary services provided to clients. The following table presents the percentage of net revenues contributed by each class of similar services during the last three fiscal years:
 
 
Percentage of Net Revenues
Fiscal Year Ended September 30,
Class of Service
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Commissions and transaction fees
 
36.1
%
 
37.6
%
 
41.2
%
Bank deposit account fees
 
28.3
%
 
30.1
%
 
27.8
%
Net interest revenue
 
23.3
%
 
18.8
%
 
17.9
%
Investment product fees
 
10.2
%
 
11.5
%
 
11.3
%
Other revenues
 
2.1
%
 
2.0
%
 
1.8
%
Net revenues
 
100.0
%
 
100.0
%
 
100.0
%
We provide our clients with an array of channels to access our products and services. These include the Internet, our network of retail branches, mobile trading applications, interactive voice response and registered representatives via telephone.
Client Service and Support
We strive to provide the best client service in the industry as measured by: (1) speed of response time to telephone calls, (2) turnaround time responding to client inquiries and (3) client satisfaction with the account relationship.
We endeavor to optimize our client service by:
Ensuring prompt response to client service calls through adequate staffing with properly trained and motivated personnel in our client service departments, a majority of whom hold the Series 7 license;
Tailoring client service to the particular expectations of clients; and
Expanding our use of technology to provide automated responses to the most typical inquiries generated in the course of clients' trading, investing and related activities.
We provide client service and support through the following means:
Websites.    Our websites provide information on how to use our services, a variety of self-service capabilities and an in-depth education center that includes a selection of online investing courses. Clients also have access to a virtual agent that enables them to ask questions about our products, tools and services, as well as access to live agents through chat capabilities.
Branches.    We offer a nationwide network of retail branch offices, with more than 360 retail branches located in 48 states and the District of Columbia.
Email.    Clients are encouraged to use email to contact our client service representatives. Our operating standards require a response within 24 hours of receipt of the email; however, we strive to respond within four hours after receiving the original message.
Telephone.    For clients who choose to call or whose inquiries necessitate calling one of our client service representatives, we provide a toll-free number that connects to advanced call handling systems. These systems provide automated answering and directing of calls to the proper department. Our systems also allow linkage between caller identification and the client database to give the client service representative

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immediate access to the client's account data when the call is received. Client service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
TTY services for the hearing impaired. To ensure effective communication in connection with the provision of financial services, we provide sign language and oral interpreters and/or other auxiliary aids and services free of charge for the hearing impaired.
Mobile app.    Support on our TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader App allows clients to text with a trading specialist for immediate answers to their questions or share their screen for help with navigating the app.
Technology and Information Systems
Our technological capabilities and systems are central to our business and are critical to our goal of providing the best execution at the best value to our clients. Our operations require reliable, scalable systems that can handle complex financial transactions for our clients with speed and accuracy. We maintain sophisticated and proprietary technology that automates traditionally labor-intensive securities transactions. Our ability to effectively leverage and adopt new technology to improve our services is a key component of our success.
We continue to make investments in technology and information systems. We have spent a significant amount of resources to increase capacity and improve speed, reliability and security. To provide for system continuity during potential power outages, we have equipped our data centers with uninterruptible power supply units and back-up generators.
Advertising and Marketing
We intend to continue to grow and increase our market share by advertising online, on television, in print, on our own websites, and utilizing various forms of social media. We invest heavily in advertising programs designed to bring greater brand recognition to our services, and we intend to continue to aggressively advertise. From time to time, we may choose to increase our advertising to target specific groups of investors or to increase or decrease advertising in response to market conditions.
Advertising for retail clients is generally conducted through digital, search and social media, financial news networks and other television and cable networks. We also place print advertisements in a broad range of business publications. Advertising for institutional clients is significantly less than for retail clients and is generally conducted through highly-targeted media.
To monitor the success of our various marketing efforts, we utilize a media mix model that uses robust data sets to analyze the return on investment of our marketing channels. This model also supports decisions on spending levels and helps us determine the point at which we begin to experience diminishing returns. Additionally, our advanced data and analytics capabilities enable a more targeted, personalized experience for prospective and existing clients. How we share client information is disclosed in our privacy statement.
All of our securities brokerage-related communications with the public are regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"). All of our futures and foreign exchange brokerage-related communications with the public are regulated by the National Futures Association ("NFA").
Clearing Operations
Our subsidiary, TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc. ("TDAC"), provides clearing and execution services for our securities brokerage business. Clearing services include the confirmation, receipt, settlement, delivery and record-keeping functions involved in processing securities transactions. TDAC provides the following back office functions:
Maintaining client accounts;
Extending credit in a margin account to the client;
Engaging in securities lending and borrowing transactions;
Settling securities transactions with clearinghouses such as The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation and The Options Clearing Corporation;
Settling commissions and transaction fees;

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Preparing client trade confirmations and statements;
Performing designated cashiering functions, including the delivery and receipt of funds and securities to or from the client;
Possession, control and safeguarding of funds and securities in client accounts;
Processing cash sweep transactions to and from bank deposit accounts and money market mutual funds;
Transmitting tax accounting information to the client and to the applicable tax authority; and
Forwarding prospectuses, proxy materials and other shareholder information to clients.
We contract with external providers for futures clearing. We also contract with an external provider to facilitate foreign exchange trading for our clients.
Competition
We believe that the principal determinants of success in the retail brokerage market are brand recognition, size of client base and client assets, ability to attract new clients and client assets, client trading activity, efficiency of operations, technology infrastructure and advancements and access to financial resources. We also believe that the principal factors considered by clients in choosing a brokerage firm are reputation, client service quality, price, convenience, product offerings, quality of trade execution, platform capabilities, innovation and overall value. Based on our experience, focus group research and the success we have enjoyed to date, we believe that we presently compete successfully in each of these categories.
The market for brokerage services, particularly electronic brokerage services, continues to evolve and is highly competitive. We experience significant competition and expect this competitive environment to continue. We encounter direct competition from numerous other brokerage firms, many of which provide online brokerage services. These competitors include E*TRADE Financial Corporation, The Charles Schwab Corporation and Fidelity Investments. We also encounter competition from the broker-dealer affiliates of established full-commission brokerage firms, such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, as well as from banks, mutual fund sponsors, online wealth management services (including so-called "robo-advisors") and other financial institutions and organizations, some of which provide online brokerage services.
Regulation
The securities, futures and foreign exchange industries are subject to extensive regulation under federal and state law. Our broker-dealers, TD Ameritrade, Inc. and TDAC, are required to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and to be members of FINRA and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board ("MSRB"). Our futures commission merchant ("FCM") and forex dealer member ("FDM") subsidiary, TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC ("TDAFF"), is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") and is a member of, and the corresponding services functions are regulated by, the NFA. Our broker-dealer subsidiaries are subject to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") relating to broker-dealers, including, among other things, minimum net capital requirements under the SEC Uniform Net Capital Rule (Rule 15c3-1), best execution requirements for client trades under SEC guidelines and FINRA rules and segregation of client funds under the SEC Customer Protection Rule (Rule 15c3-3), administered by the SEC and FINRA. TDAFF is subject to regulations under the Commodity Exchange Act, administered by the CFTC and NFA, including CFTC Regulations 1.17 and 5.7, which require the maintenance of minimum adjusted net capital, and CFTC Regulation 1.20, which requires segregation of client funds.
Net capital rules are designed to protect clients, counterparties and creditors by requiring a broker-dealer, an FCM or an FDM to have sufficient liquid resources available to satisfy its financial obligations. Net capital is a measure of a broker-dealer's, an FCM's or an FDM's readily available liquid assets, reduced by its total liabilities other than approved subordinated debt. Under the Uniform Net Capital Rule, a broker-dealer may not repay any subordinated borrowings, pay cash dividends or make any unsecured advances or loans to its parent company or employees if such payment would result in a net capital amount below required levels. Broker-dealers are required to provide notice to the SEC and FINRA if their net capital is below certain required levels. Likewise, a FCM and FDM, such as TDAFF, must provide notice to the CFTC if its adjusted net capital amounts are below required levels.

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Certain of our subsidiaries are also registered as investment advisors under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. We are also subject to regulation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, including registration requirements. TD Ameritrade Trust Company is chartered in the state of Maine as a state-regulated non-depository trust company.
In its capacity as a securities clearing firm, TDAC is a member of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation ("DTCC") and The Options Clearing Corporation ("OCC"), each of which is registered as a clearing agency with the SEC. As a member of these clearing agencies, TDAC is required to comply with the rules of such clearing agencies, including rules relating to possession or control of client funds and securities, margin lending and execution and settlement of transactions.
Margin lending activities are subject to limitations imposed by regulations of the Federal Reserve System and FINRA. In general, these regulations provide that, in the event of a significant decline in the value of securities collateralizing a margin account, we are required to obtain additional collateral from the borrower or liquidate security positions.
We are subject to a number of state, federal and foreign laws applicable to companies conducting business on the Internet that address client privacy, system security and safeguarding practices and the use of client information.
For additional, important information relating to government regulation, please review the information set forth under the heading "Risk Factors Relating to the Regulatory and Legislative Environment" in Item 1A — Risk Factors.
Risk Management
Our business activities expose us to various risks. Identifying and measuring our risks is critical to our ability to manage risk within acceptable tolerance levels in order to minimize the effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our management team is responsible for managing risk, and it is overseen by our board of directors, primarily through the board's Risk Committee. We use risk management processes and have policies and procedures for identifying, measuring and managing risks, including establishing threshold levels for our most significant risks. Our risk management, compliance, internal audit, and legal departments assist management in identifying and managing risks. Our management team's Enterprise Risk Committee ("ERC") is responsible for reviewing risk exposures and risk mitigation. Subcommittees of the ERC have been established to assist in identifying and managing specific areas of risk.
Our business exposes us to the following broad categories of risk:
Operational Risk — Operational risk is the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes or controls, human error or misconduct, systems and technology problems or from external events. It also involves compliance with regulatory and legal requirements. Operational risk is the most prevalent form of risk in our risk profile. We manage operational risk by establishing policies and procedures to accomplish timely and efficient processing, obtaining periodic internal control attestations from management and conducting internal audit reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of internal controls.
Cyber Security Risk  Cyber security risk is the risk of a malicious technological attack intended to impact the confidentiality, availability, or integrity of our systems and data, including sensitive client data. Our technology and security teams rely on a layered system of preventive and detective technologies, practices, and policies to detect, mitigate, and neutralize cyber security threats. Cyber-attacks can also result in financial and reputational risk.
Market Risk — Market risk is the risk of loss resulting from adverse movements in market factors, such as asset prices, foreign exchange rates and interest rates. Our market risk related to asset prices is mitigated by our routing for execution of client trades primarily on an agency, rather than a principal, basis and our maintenance of fixed-income securities to meet client requirements. Interest rate risk is our most prevalent form of market risk. For more information about our interest rate risk and how we manage it, see Item 7A — Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

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Credit Risk — Credit risk is the risk of loss resulting from failure of obligors to honor their payments. Our exposure to credit risk mainly arises from client margin lending and leverage activities, securities lending activities and other counterparty credit risks. For more information about our credit risk and how we manage it, see Item 7A – Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.
Liquidity Risk — Liquidity risk is the risk of loss resulting from the inability to meet current and future cash flow needs. We actively monitor our liquidity position at the holding company and at the broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiary levels. For more information, see Item 7 — Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources.
Strategic Risk — Strategic risk is the risk of loss arising from ineffective business strategies, improper implementation of business strategies, or lack of responsiveness to changes in the business and competitive environment. Our executive management is responsible for establishing an appropriate corporate strategy intended to create value for stockholders, clients and employees, with oversight by our board of directors. Our management is responsible for defining the priorities, initiatives and resources necessary to execute the strategic plan, the success of which is regularly evaluated by the board of directors.
Reputational Risk — Reputational risk is the risk arising from possible negative perceptions, whether true or not, of the Company among our clients, counterparties, stockholders, suppliers, employees and regulators. The potential for either enhancing or damaging our reputation is inherent in almost all aspects of business activity. We manage this risk through our commitment to a set of core values that emphasize and reward high standards of ethical behavior, maintaining a culture of compliance and by being responsive to client and regulatory requirements.
Risk is inherent in our business, and therefore, despite our efforts to manage risk, there can be no assurance that we will not sustain unexpected losses. For a discussion of the factors that could materially affect our business, financial condition or future results of operations, see Item 1A — Risk Factors.
Intellectual Property Rights
Our success and ability to compete are significantly dependent on our intellectual property. We rely on copyright, trade secret, trademark, domain name, patent and contract laws to protect our intellectual property and have utilized the various methods available to us, including filing applications for patents and trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and entering into written licenses and other technology agreements with third parties. Our patented and patent pending technologies include stock indexing and investor education technologies, as well as innovative trading and analysis tools. Our trademarks include both our primary brand, TD Ameritrade (including the "TD" name through trademark license agreement with The Toronto-Dominion Bank), as well as brands for other products and services. A substantial portion of our intellectual property is protected by trade secrets. The source and object code for our proprietary software is also protected using applicable methods of intellectual property protection and general protections afforded to confidential information. In addition, it is our policy to enter into confidentiality and intellectual property ownership agreements with our employees and confidentiality and noncompetition agreements with our independent contractors and business partners and to control access to and distribution of our intellectual property.
Employees
As of September 30, 2018, we had 9,183 full-time equivalent employees. None of our employees is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We believe that our relations with our employees are good.
Financial Information about Segments and Geographic Areas
We primarily operate in the securities brokerage industry and have no other reportable segments. Substantially all of our revenues from external clients for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2018, 2017 and 2016 were derived from our operations in the United States.
Websites and Social Media Disclosure
From time to time, the Company may use its website and/or Twitter as distribution channels of material information. The Company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, financial data and other important information regarding the Company is accessible through and posted on the Company's website at www.amtd.com and its Twitter account

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@TDAmeritradePR. We ask that interested parties visit or subscribe to newsfeeds at www.amtd.com/newsroom to automatically receive email alerts and other information, including the most up-to-date corporate financial information, presentation announcements, transcripts and archives. The website to access the Company's Twitter account is https://twitter.com/TDAmeritradePR. Website links provided in this report, although correct when published, may change in the future. We make available free of charge on our website at www.amtd.com/investor-relations/sec-filings our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with or furnish it to the SEC. Our SEC filings are also available on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov.
Item 1A.    Risk Factors
In addition to the other information set forth in this report, you should carefully consider the following factors which could materially affect our business, financial condition, future results of operations or stock price. Although the risks described below are those that we believe are the most significant, these are not the only risks facing our company. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently do not deem to be material also may materially affect our business, financial condition, future results of operations or stock price.
Risk Factors Relating to Our Business Operations
Economic conditions and other securities industry risks could adversely affect our business.
Substantially all of our revenues are derived from our securities brokerage business. Like other securities brokerage businesses, we are directly affected by economic, social and political conditions, broad trends in business and finance and changes in volume and price levels of securities transactions. Events in global financial markets in recent years resulted in substantial market volatility and increased client trading volume. However, any sustained downturn in general economic conditions or U.S. equity markets could result in reduced client trading volume and net revenues. Severe market fluctuations or weak economic conditions could reduce our trading volume and net revenues and have a material adverse effect on our profitability.
We have exposure to interest rate risk.
As a fundamental part of our brokerage business, we invest in interest-earning assets and are obligated on interest-bearing liabilities. In addition, we earn fees on our FDIC-insured deposit account arrangements with TD Bank USA, N.A. and TD Bank N.A. and with other third-party financial institutions, which are subject to interest rate risk. Continued uncertainty resulting from U.S. fiscal and political matters, including concerns about federal, state and municipal debt levels, taxes, U.S. debt ratings, immigration policies and international conflicts, have impacted and may continue to impact the U.S. and global economic recovery. The direction and level of interest rates are important factors in our profitability.
A rising interest rate environment generally results in our earning a larger net interest spread. Conversely, a falling interest rate environment generally results in our earning a smaller net interest spread.
Our most prevalent form of interest rate risk is referred to as "gap" risk. This risk occurs when the interest rates we earn on assets change at a different frequency or amount than the interest rates we pay on liabilities. For example, in a low (but rising) interest rate environment, sharp increases in short-term interest rates could result in net interest spread compression if the yield paid on interest-bearing client balances were to increase faster than our earnings on interest-earning assets. If we are unable to effectively manage our interest rate risk, changes in interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.

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Our brokerage operations have exposure to liquidity risk.
Maintaining adequate liquidity is crucial to our brokerage operations, including key functions such as transaction settlement and margin lending. We are subject to cash deposit and collateral requirements with clearinghouses such as the DTCC and the OCC, which may fluctuate significantly from time to time based on the nature and size of our clients' trading activity. Our liquidity needs to support interest-earning assets are primarily met by client cash balances or financing created from our securities lending activities. A reduction of funds available from these sources may require us to seek other potentially more expensive forms of financing, such as borrowings on our revolving credit facilities. Our liquidity could be constrained if we are unable to obtain financing on acceptable terms, or at all, due to a variety of unforeseen market disruptions. Inability to meet our funding needs on a timely basis would have a material adverse effect on our business.
We are exposed to credit risk with clients and counterparties.
We extend margin credit and leverage to clients, which are collateralized by client cash and securities. We also borrow and lend securities in connection with our broker-dealer business. A significant portion of our net revenues is derived from interest on margin loans. By permitting clients to purchase securities on margin and exercise leverage with options and futures positions, we are subject to risks inherent in extending credit, especially during periods of rapidly declining markets in which the value of the collateral held by us could fall below the amount of a client's indebtedness. In addition, in accordance with regulatory guidelines, we collateralize borrowings of securities by depositing cash or securities with lenders. Sharp changes in market values of substantial amounts of securities and the failure by parties to the borrowing transactions to honor their commitments could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and profitability. We also engage in financial transactions with counterparties, including securities sold under agreements to repurchase, that expose us to credit losses in the event counterparties cannot meet their obligations.
Our clearing operations expose us to liability for errors in clearing functions.
Our broker-dealer subsidiary, TDAC, provides clearing and execution services for our securities brokerage business. Clearing and execution services include the confirmation, receipt, settlement and delivery functions involved in securities transactions. Clearing brokers also assume direct responsibility for the possession or control of client securities and other assets and the clearing of client securities transactions. However, clearing brokers also must rely on third-party clearing organizations, such as the DTCC and the OCC, in settling client securities transactions. Clearing securities firms, such as TDAC, are subject to substantially more regulatory control and examination than introducing brokers that rely on others to perform clearing functions. Errors in performing clearing functions, including clerical and other errors related to the handling of funds and securities held by us on behalf of clients, could lead to regulatory fines and civil penalties as well as losses and liability in related legal proceedings brought by clients and others.
A default by a large financial institution could adversely affect financial markets.
The commercial soundness of many financial institutions may be closely interrelated as a result of credit, trading, clearing or other relationships among the institutions. For example, increased centralization of trading activities through particular clearing houses, central agents or exchanges is occurring. This is driven by market forces and by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the "Dodd-Frank Act") and similar laws in other jurisdictions, and it may increase our concentration of risk with respect to these entities. As a result, concerns about, or a default or threatened default by, one institution could lead to significant market-wide liquidity and credit problems, losses or defaults by other institutions. This is sometimes referred to as "systemic risk" and may adversely affect financial intermediaries, such as clearing houses, clearing agencies, exchanges, banks and securities firms, with which we interact on a daily basis, and therefore could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Systems failures, delays and capacity constraints could harm our business.
We receive and process trade orders through a variety of electronic channels, including the Internet, mobile trading applications and our interactive voice response system. These methods of trading are heavily dependent on the integrity of the electronic systems supporting them. Our systems and operations are vulnerable to damage or interruption from human error, natural disasters, power loss, computer viruses, distributed denial of service

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("DDOS") attacks, spurious spam attacks, intentional acts of vandalism and similar events. It could take several hours or more to restore full functionality following any of these events. Extraordinary trading volumes could cause our computer systems to operate at an unacceptably slow speed or even fail. Extraordinary Internet traffic caused by DDOS, spam attacks or extreme market volatility could cause our website or other trading applications to be unavailable or slow to respond. While we have made significant investments to upgrade the reliability and scalability of our systems and added hardware to address extraordinary Internet traffic, there can be no assurance that our systems will be sufficient to handle such extraordinary circumstances. Slowness or unavailability may not impact all trading channels evenly, and some trading channels may be impacted while others are not. Social media and media reports may conflate one channel being unavailable with all channels being unavailable. We may not be able to project accurately the rate, timing or cost of any increases in our business or to expand and upgrade our systems and infrastructure to accommodate any increases in a timely manner. Systems failures and delays could occur and could cause, among other things, unanticipated disruptions in service to our clients, substantial losses to our clients, slower system response time resulting in transactions not being processed as quickly as our clients desire, decreased levels of client service and client satisfaction and harm to our reputation. We are also dependent on the integrity and performance of securities exchanges, clearing houses and other intermediaries to which client orders are routed for execution and settlement. Systems failures and constraints and transaction errors at such intermediaries could result in delays and erroneous or unanticipated execution prices, cause substantial losses for us and our clients and subject us to claims from our clients for damages. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Further, a cybersecurity intrusion could occur and persist for an extended period of time without detection, and any investigation of a cybersecurity intrusion could require a substantial amount of time. During all this time we might not know the extent of the harm or how best to remediate it, and errors or omissions could be repeated or compounded before being discovered and remediated, all of which could aggravate the costs and consequences of the intrusion.
As our business model relies heavily on our clients' use of their own personal computers, mobile devices and the Internet, our business and reputation could be harmed by security breaches of our clients and third parties. Computer viruses and other attacks on our clients' personal computer systems, home networks and mobile devices or against the third-party networks and systems of Internet and mobile service providers could create losses for our clients even without any breach in the security of our systems and could thereby harm our business and our reputation. As part of our asset protection guarantee, we may reimburse our clients for losses in their accounts caused by a breach of security of our clients' own computers (through no fault of the client). Such reimbursements may not be covered by applicable insurance and could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to protect client data or prevent breaches of our information systems could expose us to liability or reputational damage.
We are dependent on information technology networks and systems to securely process, transmit and store electronic information and to communicate among our locations and with our clients and vendors. As the breadth and complexity of this infrastructure continue to grow, the potential risk of security breaches and cyber-attacks increases. Developing and enhancing new products and services, which is necessary for us to remain competitive, may involve the use or creation of new technologies, exposes us to cybersecurity and privacy risks that cannot be completely anticipated and increases the risk of security breaches and cyber-attacks. As a financial services company, we are continuously subject to cyber-attacks, DDOS and ransomware attacks, malicious code and computer viruses by activists, hackers, organized crime, foreign state actors and other third parties. Such breaches could lead to shutdowns or disruptions of our systems, account takeovers and unauthorized gathering, monitoring, misuse, loss, total destruction and disclosure of data and confidential information of ours, our clients, our employees or other third parties, or otherwise materially disrupt our or our clients' or other third parties' network access or business operations. In addition, vulnerabilities of our external service providers and other third parties could pose security risks to client information. The secure transmission of confidential information over public networks is also a critical element of our operations.
We, along with the financial services industry in general, have experienced losses related to clients' login and password information being compromised, generally caused by attacks capturing credentials directly from clients themselves, through phishing attacks, clients' use of non-secure public computers or vulnerabilities of clients' private computers and mobile devices. In 2007, we discovered and eliminated unauthorized code from our computer systems that had allowed an unauthorized third party to retrieve client email addresses, names, addresses and phone numbers

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from an internal database. Following the incident, we incurred significant remediation costs. In addition, in 2013, Scottrade, which we acquired in September 2017, experienced a database breach. We are aware of subsequent attempts by other attackers to penetrate our systems using similar techniques and similar attacks against other financial institutions. Although we have taken steps to reduce the risk of such threats, our risk and exposure to a cyber-attack or related breach remains heightened due to the evolving nature of these threats, our plans to continue to implement mobile access solutions to serve our clients, our routine transmission of sensitive information to third parties, the current global economic and political environment, external extremist parties and other developing factors. If a cyber-attack or similar breach were to occur, we could suffer damage to our reputation and incur significant remediation costs and losses.
In providing services to clients, we manage, utilize and store sensitive and confidential client data, including personal data. As a result, we are subject to numerous laws and regulations designed to protect this information, such as U.S. federal and state laws and foreign regulations governing the protection of personally identifiable information. These laws and regulations are increasing in complexity and number, change frequently and sometimes conflict. If any person, including any of our employees, negligently disregards or intentionally breaches our established controls with respect to client data, or otherwise mismanages or misappropriates that data, we could be subject to significant monetary damages, regulatory enforcement actions, fines and/or criminal prosecution in one or more jurisdictions. Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or confidential client data, whether through systems failure, employee negligence, fraud or misappropriation, could damage our reputation and cause us to lose clients. Similarly, unauthorized access to or through our information systems, whether by our employees or third parties, including a cyber-attack by third parties who may deploy viruses, worms or other malicious software programs, could result in negative publicity, significant remediation costs, legal liability, regulatory fines, financial responsibility under our asset protection guarantee to reimburse clients for losses in their accounts resulting from unauthorized activity in their accounts (through no fault of the client) and damage to our reputation and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. In addition, our liability insurance might not be sufficient in type or amount to cover us against claims related to security breaches, cyber-attacks and other related breaches.
We also face risk related to external fraud involving the misappropriation and use of clients' user names, passwords or other personal information to gain access to their accounts. This could occur from the compromise of clients' personal electronic devices or as a result of a data security breach at an unrelated company where clients' personal information is taken and then made available to fraudsters. This risk has grown in recent years due to the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime and other external parties, including foreign state-sponsored parties. Losses in client accounts reimbursed under our asset protection guarantee against unauthorized account activity (through no fault of the client) could have adverse impacts on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Aggressive competition could reduce our market share and harm our financial performance.
The market for electronic brokerage services is continually evolving and is intensely competitive. The retail brokerage industry has experienced significant consolidation, which may continue in the future, and which may increase competitive pressures in the industry. Consolidation could enable other firms to offer a broader range of products and services than we do, or offer them at lower prices. There has been aggressive price competition in the industry, including various free trade offers, reduced trading commissions and higher interest rates paid on cash held in client accounts. We expect this competitive environment to continue in the future. We face direct competition from numerous retail brokerage firms, including E*TRADE Financial Corporation, The Charles Schwab Corporation and Fidelity Investments. We also encounter competition from the broker-dealer affiliates of established full-commission brokerage firms, such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, as well as from banks, mutual fund sponsors, online wealth management services (including so-called "robo-advisors") and other financial institutions and organizations, some of which provide online brokerage services. Some of our competitors have greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources, offer a wider range of services and financial products, and have greater name recognition and a more extensive client base than we do. We believe that the general financial success of companies within the retail securities industry will continue to attract new competitors to the industry, such as software development companies, insurance companies, providers of online financial information and others. These companies may provide a more comprehensive suite of services than we do or offer services at lower prices. Increased competition, including pricing pressure, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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We will need to introduce new products and services and enhance existing products and services to remain competitive.
Our future success depends in part on our ability to develop and enhance our products and services. In addition, the adoption of new Internet, networking or telecommunications technologies or other technological changes could require us to incur substantial expenditures to enhance or adapt our services or infrastructure.
There are significant technical and financial costs and risks in the development of new or enhanced products and services, including the risk that we might be unable to effectively use new technologies, adapt our services to emerging industry standards or develop, introduce and market enhanced or new products and services. An inability to develop new products and services, or enhance existing offerings, could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.
Advisory services subject us to additional risks.
We provide investment advisory services to investors through our SEC-registered investment advisors, TD Ameritrade, Inc., TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC and TradeWise Advisors, Inc. ("TradeWise"). TD Ameritrade, Inc. offers AdvisorDirect,® a service that refers a client to an independent RIA. TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC recommends an investment portfolio, through Essential, Selective or Personalized Portfolios, based on an investor's objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. TradeWise provides an option advisory service for self-directed investors. The risks associated with these investment advisory activities include those arising from possible conflicts of interest, unsuitable investment recommendations, inadequate due diligence, inadequate disclosure and fraud. Realization of these risks could lead to liability for client losses, regulatory fines, civil penalties and harm to our reputation and business.
We rely on external service providers to perform certain key functions.
We rely on a number of external service providers for certain key technology, processing, service and support functions. These include the services of other broker-dealers, market makers, exchanges and clearinghouses to execute and settle client orders. We contract with external providers for futures and foreign exchange clearing. External content providers provide us with financial information, market news, charts, option and stock quotes, research reports and other fundamental data that we offer to clients. These service providers face technological, operational and security risks of their own. Any significant failures by them, including improper use or disclosure of our confidential client, employee or company information, could interrupt our business, cause us to incur losses and harm our reputation.
There is no assurance that any external service providers will be able to continue to provide these services to meet our current needs in an efficient, cost-effective manner or that they will be able to adequately expand their services to meet our needs in the future. Some external service providers have assets that are important to the services they provide us located outside the United States, and their ability to provide these services is subject to risks from unfavorable political, economic, legal or other developments, such as social or political instability, changes in governmental policies or changes in laws and regulations.
An interruption in or the cessation of service by an external service provider as a result of systems failures, capacity constraints, financial constraints or problems, unanticipated trading market closures or for any other reason, and our inability to make alternative arrangements in a smooth and timely manner, if at all, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Employee misconduct, which can be difficult to detect and deter, could harm our reputation and subject us to significant legal liability.
There have been a number of highly-publicized cases involving fraud or other misconduct by employees in the financial services industry. There is a risk that our employees could engage in misconduct that adversely affects our business. The precautions that we take to detect and deter this activity may not be effective if our employees engage in misconduct. If one or more of them were to improperly access, use or disclose confidential information or to engage in other misconduct, we could be subject to regulatory sanctions and suffer serious harm to our financial condition, reputation, current client relationships and ability to attract future clients.

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Risk Factors Relating to the Regulatory and Legislative Environment
Legislation has and may continue to result in changes to rules and regulations applicable to our business, which may negatively impact our business and financial results.
The Dodd-Frank Act, enacted in 2010, requires many federal agencies to adopt new rules and regulations applicable to the financial services industry and also calls for many studies regarding various industry practices. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act gives the SEC discretion to adopt rules regarding standards of conduct for broker-dealers providing investment advice to retail customers.
The U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") enacted regulations changing the definition of who is an investment advice fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and how such advice can be provided to account holders in retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). The DOL regulations deemed many of the investment, rollover and asset management recommendations from us to our clients regarding their retirement accounts fiduciary "investment advice" under ERISA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has vacated the DOL's conflict-of-interest rule in its entirety, and the DOL has announced a conditional enforcement policy pending the issuance of further guidance and may take further actions in light of the Fifth Circuit's decision. In addition, New York and several other states have proposed or are expected to propose a heightened standard of care for financial professionals in their respective states and/or relating to the sale of retirement savings and investment products.
One of the most significant impacts on our business from the DOL regulations and related prohibited transaction exemptions is the impact on our fee and compensation practices, which are likely to continue to some degree even though the DOL regulations have been vacated. These regulations also continue to subject us to an increased risk of class actions and other litigation and regulatory risks. In addition, the SEC or the states' promulgation or enactment, respectively, of an enhanced standard of care could similarly have adverse impacts on our business. Additional rulemaking or legislative action on the part of federal or local governments and governmental agencies could negatively impact our business and financial results. While we have not yet been required to make other material changes to our business or operations as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act or other rulemaking or legislative action, it is not certain what the scope of future rulemaking or interpretive guidance from the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, NFA, DOL, banking regulators and other regulatory agencies may be, how the courts and regulators might interpret these rules and what impact this will have on our compliance costs, business, operations and profitability.
Our profitability could also be affected by new or modified laws that impact the business and financial communities generally, including changes to the laws governing banking, the securities market, fiduciary duties, conflicts of interest, taxation, electronic commerce, client privacy and security of client data. As existing laws are modified and new laws are implemented, we may incur significant additional costs and have to expend a significant amount of time to develop and integrate appropriate systems and procedures to ensure initial and continuing compliance with such laws. These additional costs could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.
Failure to comply with net capital requirements could adversely affect our business.
The SEC, FINRA, CFTC, NFA and various other regulatory agencies have stringent rules with respect to the maintenance of specific levels of net capital by securities broker-dealers, FCMs and FDMs. Net capital is a measure of a broker-dealer's, an FCM's or an FDM's readily available liquid assets, reduced by its total liabilities other than approved subordinated debt. Our broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries are required to comply with net capital requirements. If we fail to maintain the required net capital, the SEC or the CFTC could suspend or revoke our registration, and FINRA or the NFA could expel us from membership, which could ultimately lead to our liquidation, or they could impose censures, fines or other sanctions. If the net capital rules are changed or expanded, or if there is an unusually large charge against net capital, then our operations that require capital could be limited, and we may not be able to pay dividends or make stock repurchases. A large operating loss or charge against net capital could have a material adverse effect on our ability to maintain or expand our business.
Extensive regulation and regulatory uncertainties could harm our business.
The securities industry is subject to extensive regulation by federal, state, international government and self-regulatory agencies, and financial services companies are subject to regulations covering all aspects of the securities business. Regulations are intended to ensure the integrity of financial markets, appropriate capitalization of broker-

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dealers, FCMs and FDMs and the protection of clients and their assets. These regulations often serve to limit our business activities through capital, client protection and market conduct requirements, as well as restrictions on the activities that we are authorized to conduct. Federal, state, self-regulatory organizations and foreign regulators can, among other things, censure, fine, issue cease-and-desist orders to, suspend or expel a regulated entity or any of its officers or employees. Despite our efforts to comply with applicable legal requirements, there are a number of risks, including in areas where applicable laws or regulations may be unclear or where regulators could revise their previous guidance, and we could fail to establish and enforce procedures to comply with applicable legal requirements and regulations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Past turmoil in the financial markets has contributed to changes in laws and regulations, heightened scrutiny of the conduct of financial services firms and increasing penalties for violations of applicable laws and regulations. We may be adversely affected by new laws or regulations, changes in the interpretation of existing laws or regulations or more rigorous enforcement. The new laws and regulations may be complex, and we may not have the benefit of regulatory or federal interpretations to guide us in compliance. Changes in laws and regulations or new interpretations of existing laws and regulations also can have adverse effects on our methods and costs of doing business. We also may be adversely affected by other regulatory changes related to suitability of financial products, supervision, sales practices, application of fiduciary standards, best execution and market structure, which could limit the Company's business. Because TD, among other things, owns more than 25% of our common stock, we are considered a non-bank subsidiary of TD under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (the "BHC Act").  As a result, under the BHC Act, we are subject to the supervision and regulation of the Federal Reserve.  These banking regulations limit the activities and the types of businesses that we may conduct and the types of companies we may acquire, and under these regulations the Federal Reserve could impose significant limitations on our current business and operations.  TD is currently regulated as a "financial holding company" under the BHC Act, which allows TD and us to engage in a much broader set of activities than would otherwise be permitted under the BHC Act.  Any failure of TD to maintain its status as a financial holding company could result in substantial limitations on certain of our activities.
Financial services firms are subject to numerous conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest, over which federal and state regulators and self-regulatory organizations have increased their scrutiny. Addressing conflicts of interest is a complex and difficult undertaking. Our business and reputation could be harmed if we were to fail, or appear to fail, to address conflicts appropriately.
In addition, we use the Internet as a major distribution channel to provide services to our clients. A number of regulatory agencies have adopted regulations regarding client privacy, system security and safeguarding practices and the use of client information by service providers. Additional laws and regulations relating to the Internet and safeguarding practices could be adopted in the future, including laws related to access, identity theft and regulations regarding the pricing, taxation, content and quality of products and services delivered over the Internet. Complying with these laws and regulations may be expensive and time-consuming and could limit our ability to use the Internet as a distribution channel, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and profitability.
While we maintain systems and procedures designed to ensure that we comply with applicable laws and regulations, violations could still occur. In addition, some legal and regulatory frameworks provide for the imposition of fines or penalties for non-compliance even though the non-compliance was inadvertent or unintentional and even though systems and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations were in place at the time. There may be other negative consequences resulting from a finding of non-compliance, including restrictions on certain activities. Such a finding may also damage our reputation and our relationships with regulators and could restrict the ability of institutional investment managers to invest in our securities.
We are subject to litigation and regulatory investigations and proceedings and may not always be successful in defending against such claims and proceedings.
The financial services industry faces substantial litigation and regulatory risks. We are subject to arbitration claims and lawsuits in the ordinary course of our business, as well as class actions and other significant litigation. We also are the subject of inquiries, investigations and proceedings by regulatory and other governmental agencies. Actions brought against us may result in settlements, awards, injunctions, fines, penalties and other results adverse to us. Predicting the outcome of such matters is inherently difficult, particularly where claims are brought on behalf of various classes of claimants or by a large number of claimants, when claimants seek substantial or unspecified

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damages or when investigations or legal proceedings are at an early stage. A substantial judgment, settlement, fine or penalty could be material to our operating results or cash flows for a particular period, depending on our results for that period, or could cause us significant reputational harm, which could harm our business prospects. In market downturns, the volume of legal claims and amount of damages sought in litigation and regulatory proceedings against financial services companies have historically increased. We are also subject to litigation claims from third parties alleging infringement of their intellectual property rights. Such litigation can require the expenditure of significant resources, regardless of whether the claims have merit. If we were found to have infringed a third-party patent or other intellectual property right, then we could incur substantial liability and in some circumstances could be enjoined from using the relevant technology or providing related products and services, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Risk Factors Relating to Acquisitions
We may not realize all of the financial and strategic goals of our Scottrade acquisition.
Risks we face in connection with our acquisition and continuing integration of Scottrade include that:
the Scottrade acquisition might not further our business strategy as we expected, we might not integrate Scottrade's business or technology as successfully as we expected, or we might have overpaid for Scottrade or otherwise might not realize the expected return on our investment to the extent or in the timeframe forecasted, which could adversely affect our business or results of operations;
we may not realize the benefits or cost savings anticipated to be derived from the Scottrade acquisition as initially predicted, if at all, for a number of reasons, including if a larger than predicted number of customers decide not to continue to use Scottrade's or our services;
our financial condition or results of operations could be adversely impacted by: claims or liabilities that we assumed from Scottrade or that are otherwise related to the acquisition, including claims made by government agencies, terminated employees, current or former customers, former stockholders or other third parties; contractual relationships of Scottrade that we would not have entered into but for the merger, the termination or modification of which may be costly or disruptive to our business; and intellectual property claims or disputes; and
we may have failed to identify or assess the magnitude of liabilities, shortcomings or other circumstances of Scottrade, which could result in unexpected litigation or regulatory exposure, unfavorable accounting treatment, unexpected increases in taxes, a loss of anticipated tax benefits or other adverse effects on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
As a result of these risks and challenges, we may not realize the financial and strategic goals that we initially anticipated from the Scottrade transaction in a timely manner or at all.
Acquisitions involve risks that could adversely affect our business.
We may pursue other acquisitions of businesses and technologies. Acquisitions entail numerous risks, including:
difficulties in the integration of acquired operations, services and products;
failure to achieve expected synergies;
diversion of management's attention from other business concerns;
assumption of unknown material liabilities of acquired companies;
amortization of acquired intangible assets, which could reduce future reported earnings;
potential loss of clients or key employees of acquired companies; and
dilution to existing stockholders.
As part of our growth strategy, we regularly consider, and from time to time engage in, discussions and negotiations regarding transactions, such as acquisitions, mergers and combinations within our industry. The purchase price for possible acquisitions could be paid in cash, through the issuance of common stock or other securities, borrowings or a combination of these methods.

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We cannot be certain that we will be able to identify, consummate and successfully integrate acquisitions, and no assurance can be given with respect to the timing, likelihood or business effect of any possible transaction. For example, we could begin negotiations that we subsequently decide to suspend or terminate for a variety of reasons. However, opportunities may arise from time to time that we will evaluate. Any transactions that we consummate would involve risks and uncertainties to us. These risks could cause the failure of any anticipated benefits of an acquisition to be realized, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Risk Factors Relating to Owning Our Stock
The market price of our common stock has experienced, and may continue to experience, substantial volatility.
Our common stock, and the U.S. securities markets in general, can experience significant price fluctuations. The market prices of securities of financial services companies, in particular, have been especially volatile. The price of our common stock could decrease substantially. Among the factors that may affect our stock price are the following:
speculation in the investment community or the press about, or actual changes in, our competitive position, organizational structure, executive team, operations, financial condition, financial reporting and results, effectiveness of cost reduction initiatives, or strategic transactions;
the announcement of new products, services, acquisitions, or dispositions by us or our competitors;
sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock by (i) TD or (ii) J. Joe Ricketts, our founder, and certain members of his family and trusts held for their benefit, who currently have registration rights covering approximately 234 million shares and 59 million shares, respectively, of our common stock; and
increases or decreases in revenue or earnings, changes in earnings estimates by the investment community, changes in the interest rate environment or in market expectations regarding the interest rate environment and variations between estimated financial results and actual financial results.
Changes in the stock market generally or as it concerns our industry, as well as geopolitical, economic, and business factors unrelated to us, may also affect our stock price.
Because the market price of our common stock can fluctuate significantly, we could become the object of securities class action litigation, which could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management's attention and resources and could have a material adverse effect on our business and the price of our common stock.
We are restricted by the terms of our revolving credit facilities and senior notes.
Our senior unsecured revolving credit facilities contain various covenants and restrictions that may, in certain circumstances and subject to carveouts and exceptions, which may be material, limit our ability to:
incur additional indebtedness;
create liens;
sell all or substantially all of our assets;
change the nature of our business;
merge or consolidate with another entity; and
conduct transactions with affiliates.
Under our revolving credit facilities, we are also required to maintain compliance with a maximum consolidated leverage ratio covenant (not to exceed 3.00:1.00) and a minimum consolidated interest coverage ratio covenant (not less than 4.00:1:00). TDAC is required to maintain compliance with a minimum consolidated tangible net worth covenant and our broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries are required to maintain compliance with minimum regulatory net capital covenants.

20


Our senior unsecured notes contain various covenants and restrictions that may, in certain circumstances and subject to carveouts and exceptions, which may be material, limit our ability to:
create liens;
merge or consolidate with another entity; and
sell all or substantially all of our assets.
As a result of the covenants and restrictions contained in the revolving credit facilities and our senior unsecured notes, we are limited in how we conduct our business. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to remain in compliance with these covenants or be able to obtain waivers for noncompliance in the future. A failure to comply with these covenants could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition by impairing our ability to secure and maintain financing.
Our corporate debt level may limit our ability to obtain additional financing.
As of November 1, 2018, we had approximately $3.55 billion of long-term debt, consisting of:
$500 million of 5.600% Senior Notes with principal due in full on December 1, 2019;
$600 million of variable-rate Senior Notes with principal due in full on November 1, 2021;
$750 million of 2.950% Senior Notes with principal due in full on April 1, 2022;
$400 million of 3.750% Senior Notes with principal due in full on April 1, 2024;
$500 million of 3.625% Senior Notes with principal due in full on April 1, 2025; and
$800 million of 3.300% Senior Notes with principal due in full on April 1, 2027.
Our ability to meet our cash requirements, including our debt repayment obligations, is dependent upon our future performance, which will be subject to financial, business and other factors affecting our operations, many of which are or may be beyond our control. We cannot provide assurance that our business will generate sufficient cash flows from operations to fund our cash requirements. If we are unable to meet our cash requirements from operations, we would be required to obtain alternative financing. The degree to which we may be leveraged as a result of the indebtedness we have incurred could materially and adversely affect our ability to obtain financing for working capital, acquisitions or other purposes, could make us more vulnerable to industry downturns and competitive pressures or could limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes and opportunities in our industry, which may place us at a competitive disadvantage. There can be no assurance that we would be able to obtain alternative financing, that any such financing would be on acceptable terms or that we would be permitted to do so under the terms of existing financing arrangements. In the absence of such financing, our ability to respond to changing business and economic conditions, make future acquisitions, react to adverse operating results, meet our debt repayment obligations or fund required capital expenditures could be materially and adversely affected.
Our business, financial position, and results of operations could be harmed by adverse rating actions by credit rating agencies.
If our counterparty credit rating or the credit ratings of our outstanding indebtedness are downgraded, or if rating agencies indicate that a downgrade may occur, our business, financial position, and results of operations could be adversely affected and perceptions of our financial strength could be damaged. A downgrade would have the effect of increasing our incremental borrowing costs and could decrease the availability of funds for borrowing. In addition, a downgrade could adversely affect our relationships with our clients.
TD exercises significant influence over TD Ameritrade.
As of September 30, 2018, TD owned approximately 42% of our outstanding common stock. As a result, TD will generally have the ability to significantly influence the outcome of any matter submitted to a vote of our stockholders and as a result of its significant share ownership in TD Ameritrade, TD may have the power, subject to applicable law, to significantly influence actions that might be favorable to TD, but not necessarily favorable to our other stockholders.

21


The stockholders agreement provides that TD may designate five of the twelve members of our board of directors, subject to adjustment based on TD's ownership positions in TD Ameritrade. As of September 30, 2018, based on its ownership positions, TD has the right to designate five members of our board of directors. Accordingly, TD is able to significantly influence the outcome of all matters that come before our board.
TD is permitted under the stockholders agreement to exercise voting rights on up to 45% of our outstanding shares of common stock until termination of the stockholders agreement (January 24, 2021). If our stock repurchases cause TD's ownership percentage to exceed 45%, TD is required to use reasonable efforts to sell or dispose of such excess stock, subject to TD's commercial judgment as to the optimal timing, amount and method of sales with a view to maximizing proceeds from such sales. TD has no absolute obligation to reduce its ownership percentage to 45% by the termination of the stockholders agreement. However, prior to and following the termination of the stockholders agreement, TD is required to vote any such excess stock on any matter in the same proportions as all the outstanding shares of stock held by holders other than TD and its affiliates are voted. In no event may TD Ameritrade repurchase shares of its common stock that would result in TD's ownership percentage exceeding 47%. There is no restriction on the number of shares TD may own following the termination of the stockholders agreement.
The ownership position and governance rights of TD could also discourage a third party from proposing a change of control or other strategic transaction concerning TD Ameritrade. As a result, our common stock could trade at prices that do not reflect a "takeover premium" to the same extent as do the stocks of similarly situated companies that do not have a stockholder with an ownership interest as large as TD's ownership interest.
We have extensive relationships and business transactions with TD and some of its affiliates, which if terminated or adversely modified could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have extensive relationships and business transactions with TD and certain of its affiliates. The insured deposit account agreement between us and affiliates of TD accounts for a significant portion of our revenue. This agreement enables our clients to invest in an FDIC-insured (up to specified limits) deposit product without the need for us to establish the significant levels of capital that would be required to maintain our own bank charter. During fiscal 2018, net revenues related to this agreement accounted for approximately 26% of our net revenues. The termination or adverse modification of this agreement without replacing it on comparable terms with a different counterparty, which may not be available, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If this agreement was terminated or adversely modified and we were permitted to establish our own bank charter for purposes of offering an FDIC-insured deposit product, we would be required to establish and maintain significant levels of capital within a bank subsidiary. We would also be subject to various other risks associated with banking, including credit risk on loans and investments, liquidity risk associated with bank balance sheet management, operational risks associated with banking systems and infrastructure and additional regulatory requirements and supervision.
Conflicts of interest may arise between TD Ameritrade and TD, which may be resolved in a manner that adversely affects our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Conflicts of interest may arise between us and TD in areas relating to past, ongoing and future relationships and contracts, including corporate opportunities, potential acquisitions or financing transactions, sales or other dispositions by TD of its interests in TD Ameritrade and the exercise by TD of its influence over our management and affairs. Some of the directors on our board are also officers or directors of TD or its subsidiaries. Service as a director or officer of both TD Ameritrade and TD or its other subsidiaries could create conflicts of interest if such directors or officers are faced with decisions that could have materially different implications for us and for TD. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains provisions relating to the avoidance of direct competition between us and TD. In addition, a committee of our board consisting of outside independent directors reviews and approves or ratifies transactions with TD and its affiliates. There can be no assurance that any of the foregoing potential conflicts would be resolved in a manner that does not adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, the provisions of the stockholders agreement related to non-competition are subject to numerous exceptions and qualifications and may not prevent us and TD from competing with each other to some degree.

22


The terms of the stockholders agreement, our charter documents and Delaware law could inhibit a takeover that stockholders may consider favorable.
Provisions in the stockholders agreement between TD and the Company, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law will make it difficult for any party to acquire control of us in a transaction not approved by the requisite number of directors. These provisions include:
the presence of a classified board of directors;
the ability of the board of directors to issue and determine the terms of preferred stock;
advance notice requirements for inclusion of stockholder proposals at stockholder meetings; and
the anti-takeover provisions of Delaware law.
These provisions could delay, deter or prevent a change of control or change in management that might provide stockholders with a premium to the market price of their common stock.
Our future ability to pay regular dividends to holders of our common stock is subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will be limited by our ability to generate sufficient earnings and cash flows.
Payment of future cash dividends on our common stock will depend on our ability to generate earnings and cash flows. However, sufficient cash may not be available to pay such dividends. Payment of future dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon a number of factors that the board of directors deems relevant, including future earnings, the success of our business activities, capital and liquidity requirements, the general financial condition and future prospects of our business and general business conditions. If we are unable to generate sufficient earnings and cash flows from our business, we may not be able to pay dividends on our common stock.
Our ability to pay cash dividends on our common stock is also dependent on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends to the parent company. Some of our subsidiaries are subject to requirements of the SEC, FINRA, the CFTC, the NFA and other regulators relating to liquidity, capital standards and the use of client funds and securities, which may limit funds available for the payment of dividends to the parent company.
Item 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2.    Properties
Our Company-owned corporate headquarters facility is located in Omaha, Nebraska and provides more than 500,000 square feet of building space. Our headquarters facility has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification, the highest level of distinction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. We also lease approximately 80,000 square feet of building space on property adjacent to the headquarters for administrative and operational facilities. These leases expire in 2020. We own additional administrative and operational facilities that provide approximately 500,000, 300,000 and 200,000 square feet of building space located in St. Louis, Missouri, Southlake, Texas and Denver, Colorado, respectively.
We lease approximately 195,000 square feet of building space for an additional operation center in Jersey City, New Jersey. The Jersey City lease expires in 2020. We lease smaller administrative and operational facilities in California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas and Utah. We own two data center facilities, located in Richardson, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri, and we lease four data center facilities located in Texas, Arizona and New Jersey. We also lease more than 360 retail branch offices, located in 48 states and the District of Columbia. We believe that our facilities are suitable and adequate to meet our needs.
Item 3.    Legal Proceedings
For information regarding legal proceedings, see Note 15Commitments and Contingencies – "Legal and Regulatory Matters" under Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

23


Item 4.    Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
PART II
Item 5.
Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Price Range of Common Stock
Our common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "AMTD." The following table shows the high and low sales prices for our common stock for the periods indicated, as reported by the Nasdaq Global Select Market. The prices reflect inter-dealer prices and do not include retail markups, markdowns or commissions.
 
 
Common Stock Price
For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30,
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
First Quarter
 
$
54.24

 
$
46.66

 
$
44.79

 
$
33.26

Second Quarter
 
$
63.01

 
$
50.66

 
$
47.41

 
$
36.36

Third Quarter
 
$
62.99

 
$
54.75

 
$
44.11

 
$
36.12

Fourth Quarter
 
$
60.99

 
$
52.73

 
$
49.24

 
$
41.88

The closing sale price of our common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on November 1, 2018 was $52.11 per share. As of that date there were 604 holders of record of our common stock based on information provided by our transfer agent. The number of stockholders of record does not reflect the number of individual or institutional stockholders that beneficially own our stock because most stock is held in the name of nominees. Based on information available to us, we believe there are approximately 92,000 beneficial holders of our common stock.
Dividends
We declared and paid a $0.21 per share and a $0.18 per share quarterly cash dividend on our common stock during each quarter of fiscal years 2018 and 2017, respectively. We recently declared a $0.30 per share quarterly cash dividend for the first quarter of fiscal 2019. We are scheduled to pay the quarterly cash dividend on November 20, 2018 to all holders of record of our common stock as of November 6, 2018. The payment of any future dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon a number of factors that the board of directors deems relevant, including future earnings, the success of our business activities, capital requirements, the general financial condition and future prospects of our business and general business conditions.
Our ability to pay cash dividends on our common stock is also dependent on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends to the parent company. Some of our subsidiaries are subject to requirements of the SEC, FINRA, the CFTC, the NFA and other regulators relating to liquidity, capital standards and the use of client funds and securities, which may limit funds available for the payment of dividends to the parent company. See Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition — "Liquidity and Capital Resources" for further information.
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
Information about securities authorized for issuance under the Company's equity compensation plans is contained in Item 12 — Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.

24


Performance Graph
The following Company common stock performance information is not deemed to be "soliciting material" or to be "filed" with the SEC or subject to the SEC's proxy rules or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any prior or subsequent filing by the Company under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act.
The following graph and table set forth information comparing the cumulative total return through the end of the Company's most recent fiscal year from a $100 investment on September 30, 2013 in the Company's common stock, a broad-based stock index and the stocks comprising an industry peer group.
performancegraphfy2018a01.jpg
 
Period Ended
Index
9/30/13
9/30/14
9/30/15
9/30/16
9/30/17
9/30/18
TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
100.00

131.74

127.87

144.69

203.98

224.23

S&P 500
100.00

119.73

119.00

137.36

162.92

192.10

Peer Group
100.00

139.85

140.76

156.83

221.57

253.58

The Peer Group is comprised of the following companies that have significant retail brokerage operations:
E*TRADE Financial Corporation
The Charles Schwab Corporation



25


Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Period
 
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased
 
Average Price Paid per
Share
 
Total Number
of Shares
Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced
Program
 
Maximum Number
of Shares that May
Yet Be Purchased
Under the Program
July 1, 2018 — July 31, 2018
 
6,710

 
$
54.81

 

 
25,979,986

August 1, 2018 — August 31, 2018
 
1,393,833

 
$
57.55

 
1,392,199

 
24,587,787

September 1, 2018 — September 30, 2018
 
3,199,234

 
$
54.64

 
3,197,128

 
21,390,659

Total — Three months ended September 30, 2018
 
4,599,777

 
$
55.52

 
4,589,327

 
21,390,659

On November 20, 2015, our board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to 30 million shares of our common stock. We disclosed this authorization on November 20, 2015 in our annual report on Form 10-K. This program was the only stock repurchase program in effect and no programs expired during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
During the quarter ended September 30, 2018, 10,450 shares were repurchased from employees for income tax withholding in connection with distributions of stock-based compensation.
Item 6.    Selected Financial Data
 
 
Fiscal Year Ended September 30,
 
 
2018*
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
 
(In millions, except per share amounts)
Consolidated Statements of Income Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net revenues
 
$
5,452

 
$
3,676

 
$
3,327

 
$
3,247

 
$
3,123

Operating income
 
1,998

 
1,466

 
1,318

 
1,325

 
1,285

Net income
 
1,473

 
872

 
842

 
813

 
787

Earnings per share — basic
 
$
2.60

 
$
1.65

 
$
1.59

 
$
1.50

 
$
1.43

Earnings per share — diluted
 
$
2.59

 
$
1.64

 
$
1.58

 
$
1.49

 
$
1.42

Weighted average shares outstanding — basic
 
567

 
529

 
531

 
543

 
550

Weighted average shares outstanding — diluted
 
569

 
531

 
534

 
547

 
554

Dividends declared per share
 
$
0.84

 
$
0.72

 
$
0.68

 
$
0.60

 
$
0.98

 
 
As of September 30,
 
 
2018
 
2017*
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
 
(In millions)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 
$
2,690

 
$
1,472

 
$
1,855

 
$
1,978

 
$
1,460

Investments available-for-sale, at fair value
 
484

 
746

 
757

 

 

Total assets
 
37,520

 
38,627

 
28,818

 
26,375

 
23,829

Long-term debt and other borrowings
 
2,535

 
2,652

 
1,817

 
1,800

 
1,249

Stockholders' equity
 
8,003

 
7,247

 
5,051

 
4,903

 
4,748

 
* The growth in our Consolidated Balance Sheet as of September 30, 2017 and Statement of Income for the fiscal year ended 2018 was primarily due to our acquisition of Scottrade on September 18, 2017.

26


Item 7.    Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
This discussion contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements preceded by, followed by or that include the words "may," "could," "would," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "estimate," "target," "project," "intend" and similar words or expressions. In particular, forward-looking statements contained in this discussion include our expectations regarding: the effect of client trading activity on our results of operations; the effect of changes in interest rates on our net interest spread; the amount of net revenues; average commissions per trade; the amounts of total operating expenses and advertising expense; our effective income tax rate; our capital and liquidity needs and our plans to finance such needs; and our plans to return capital to stockholders through cash dividends and share repurchases.
The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Important factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: economic, social and political conditions and other securities industry risks; interest rate risks; liquidity risks; credit risk with clients and counterparties; risk of liability for errors in clearing functions; systemic risk; systems failures, delays and capacity constraints; network security risks; competition; reliance on external service providers; new laws and regulations affecting our business; net capital requirements; extensive regulation, regulatory uncertainties and legal matters; difficulties and delays in integrating the Scottrade Financial Services, Inc. ("Scottrade") business or fully realizing cost savings and other benefits from the acquisition; disruptions from the Scottrade acquisition or other factors making it more difficult to maintain relationships with employees, customers, other business partners or governmental entities; the inability to achieve synergies or to implement integration plans and other consequences associated with other acquisitions; and the other risks and uncertainties set forth under Item 1A  Risk Factors of this Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements contained in this report speak only as of the date on which the statements were made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by the federal securities laws.
Glossary of Terms
In discussing and analyzing our business, we utilize several metrics and other terms that are defined in the following Glossary of Terms. Italics indicate other defined terms that appear elsewhere in the Glossary. The term "GAAP" refers to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
Asset-based revenues — Revenues consisting of (1) bank deposit account fees, (2) net interest revenue and (3) investment product fees. The primary factors driving our asset-based revenues are average balances and average rates. Average balances consist primarily of average client bank deposit account balances, average client margin balances, average segregated cash balances, average client credit balances, average fee-based investment balances and average securities borrowing and securities lending balances. Average rates consist of the average interest rates and fees earned and paid on such balances.
Average client trades per day — Total trades divided by the number of trading days in the period. This metric is also known as daily average revenue trades ("DARTs").
Average commissions per trade  Total commissions and transaction fee revenues as reported on our consolidated financial statements, less order routing revenue, divided by total trades for the period. Commissions and transaction fee revenues primarily consist of trading commissions, order routing revenue and markups on riskless principal transactions in fixed-income securities.
Basis point — When referring to interest rates, one basis point represents one one-hundredth of one percent.
Bank deposit account fees — Revenues generated from a sweep program that is offered to eligible clients of the Company whereby clients' uninvested cash is swept to FDIC-insured (up to specified limits) money market deposit accounts at third-party financial institutions participating in the program.
Beneficiary accounts — Brokerage accounts managed by a custodian, guardian, conservator or trustee on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. Examples include accounts maintained under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) or Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA), guardianship, conservatorship and trust arrangements and pension or profit plan for small business accounts.

27


Brokerage accounts  Accounts maintained by us on behalf of clients for securities brokerage activities. The primary types of brokerage accounts are cash accounts, margin accounts, IRA accounts and beneficiary accounts. Futures accounts are sub-accounts associated with a brokerage account for clients who want to trade futures and/or options on futures. Forex accounts are sub-accounts associated with a brokerage account for clients who want to engage in foreign exchange trading.
Cash accounts — Brokerage accounts that do not have margin account approval.
Client assets  The total value of cash and securities in brokerage accounts.
Client cash and money market assets — The sum of all client cash balances, including client credit balances and client cash balances swept into bank deposit accounts or money market mutual funds.
Client credit balances — Client cash held in brokerage accounts, excluding balances generated by client short sales on which no interest is paid. Interest paid on client credit balances is a reduction of net interest revenue. Client credit balances are included in "payable to clients" on our consolidated financial statements.
Client margin balances — The total amount of cash loaned to clients in margin accounts. Such loans are secured by client assets. Interest earned on client margin balances is a component of net interest revenue. Client margin balances are included in "receivable from clients, net" on our consolidated financial statements.
Commissions and transaction fees — Revenues earned on trading commissions, order routing revenue and markups on riskless principal transactions in fixed-income securities. Revenues earned on trading commissions includes client trades in common and preferred stock, ETFs, exchange-traded notes, closed-end funds, options, futures, foreign exchange, mutual funds and fixed income securities.
Consolidated duration — The weighted average remaining years until maturity of our spread-based assets. For purposes of this calculation, floating rate balances are treated as having a one-month duration. Consolidated duration is used in analyzing our aggregate interest rate sensitivity.
Daily average revenue trades ("DARTs") — Total trades divided by the number of trading days in the period. This metric is also known as average client trades per day.
EBITDA  EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is a non-GAAP financial measure. We consider EBITDA to be an important measure of our financial performance and of our ability to generate cash flows to service debt, fund capital expenditures and fund other corporate investing and financing activities. EBITDA is used as the denominator in the consolidated leverage ratio calculation for covenant purposes under our senior revolving credit facility. EBITDA eliminates the non-cash effect of tangible asset depreciation and amortization and intangible asset amortization. EBITDA should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, GAAP pre-tax income, net income and cash flows from operating activities.
Fee-based investment balances — Client assets invested in money market mutual funds, other mutual funds and our programs such as AdvisorDirect,® Essential Portfolios, Selective Portfolios and Personalized Portfolios on which we earn fee revenues. Fee revenues earned on these balances are included in investment product fees on our consolidated financial statements.
Forex accounts - Sub-accounts maintained by us on behalf of clients for foreign exchange trading. Each forex account must be associated with a brokerage account. Forex accounts are not counted separately for purposes of our client account metrics.
Funded accounts — All open client accounts with a total liquidation value greater than zero.
Futures accounts — Sub-accounts maintained by us on behalf of clients for trading in futures and/or options on futures. Each futures account must be associated with a brokerage account. Futures accounts are not counted separately for purposes of our client account metrics.
Insured Deposit Account — We are party to an Insured Deposit Account ("IDA") agreement with TD Bank USA, N.A. ("TD Bank USA"), TD Bank, N.A. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank ("TD"). Under the IDA agreement, TD Bank USA and TD Bank, N.A. (together, the "TD Depository Institutions") make available to our clients FDIC-insured (up to specified limits) money market deposit accounts as either designated sweep vehicles or as non-sweep deposit accounts. We provide marketing, recordkeeping and support services for the TD Depository Institutions with respect to the money market deposit accounts. In exchange for providing these services, the TD Depository

28


Institutions pay us an aggregate marketing fee based on the weighted average yield earned on the client IDA assets, less the actual interest paid to clients, a servicing fee to the TD Depository Institutions and the cost of FDIC insurance premiums. Fee revenues earned under this agreement are included in bank deposit account fees on our consolidated financial statements.
Interest-earning assets — Consist of client margin balances, segregated cash, deposits paid on securities borrowing and other cash and interest-earning investment balances.
Interest rate-sensitive assets — Consist of spread-based assets and client cash invested in money market mutual funds.
Investment product fees  Revenues earned on fee-based investment balances. Investment product fees consists of fees earned on client assets invested in money market mutual funds, other mutual funds and through investment programs such as AdvisorDirect,® Essential Portfolios, Selective Portfolios and Personalized Portfolios. Investment product fees also includes fees earned on client assets managed by independent registered investment advisors utilizing our trading and investing platforms.
IRA accounts (Individual Retirement Arrangements) — A personal trust account for the exclusive benefit of a U.S. individual (or his or her beneficiaries) that provides tax advantages in accumulating funds to save for retirement or other qualified purposes. These accounts are subject to numerous restrictions on additions to and withdrawals from the account, as well as prohibitions against certain investments or transactions conducted within the account. We offer traditional, Roth, Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) and Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA accounts.
Liquid assets  Liquid assets is a non-GAAP financial measure. We consider liquid assets to be an important measure of our liquidity, including our ability to meet corporate cash flow needs, fund potential operational contingencies and support our business strategies. We define liquid assets as the sum of (a) corporate cash and cash equivalents, (b) corporate investments, less securities sold under agreements to repurchase, and (c) our regulated subsidiaries' net capital in excess of minimum operational targets established by management. Corporate cash and cash equivalents includes cash and cash equivalents from our investment advisory subsidiaries. Liquid assets represents available capital, including any capital from our regulated subsidiaries in excess of established management operational targets. We include the excess capital of our regulated subsidiaries in the calculation of liquid assets, rather than simply including regulated subsidiaries' cash and cash equivalents, because capital requirements may limit the amount of cash available for dividend from the regulated subsidiaries to the parent company. Excess capital, as defined under clause (c) above, is generally available for dividend from the regulated subsidiaries to the parent company. Liquid assets is based on more conservative measures of net capital than regulatory requirements because we generally manage to higher levels of net capital at our regulated subsidiaries than the regulatory thresholds require. Liquid assets should be considered as a supplemental measure of liquidity, rather than as a substitute for GAAP cash and cash equivalents.
Liquidation value — The net value of a client's account holdings as of the close of a regular trading session. Liquidation value includes client cash and the value of long security positions, less margin balances and the cost to buy back short security positions. It also includes the value of open futures, foreign exchange and options positions.
Margin accounts  Brokerage accounts in which clients may borrow from us to buy securities or for any other purpose, subject to regulatory and Company-imposed limitations.
Market fee-based investment balances — Client assets invested in mutual funds (except money market funds) and investment programs such as AdvisorDirect,® Essential Portfolios, Selective Portfolios and Personalized Portfolios on which we earn fee revenues that are largely based on a percentage of the market value of the investment. Market fee-based investment balances are a component of fee-based investment balances. Fee revenues earned on these balances are included in investment product fees on our consolidated financial statements.
Net interest margin ("NIM") — A measure of the net yield on our average spread-based assets. Net interest margin is calculated for a given period by dividing the annualized sum of bank deposit account fees and net interest revenue by average spread-based assets.
Net interest revenue — Net interest revenue is interest revenues less brokerage interest expense. Interest revenues are generated by charges to clients on margin balances maintained in margin accounts, the investment of cash from operations and segregated cash and interest earned on securities borrowing/securities lending. Brokerage interest

29


expense consists of amounts paid or payable to clients based on credit balances maintained in brokerage accounts and interest incurred on securities borrowing/securities lending. Brokerage interest expense does not include interest on our non-brokerage borrowings.
Net new assets — Consists of total client asset inflows, less total client asset outflows, excluding activity from business combinations. Client asset inflows include interest and dividend payments and exclude changes in client assets due to market fluctuations. Net new assets are measured based on the market value of the assets as of the date of the inflows and outflows.
Net new asset growth rate (annualized) — Annualized net new assets as a percentage of client assets as of the beginning of the period.
Non-GAAP Net Income and Non-GAAP Diluted EPS — Non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share ("EPS") are non-GAAP financial measures. We define non-GAAP net income as net income adjusted to remove the after-tax effect of amortization of acquired intangible assets and acquisition-related expenses. We consider non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted EPS as important measures of our financial performance because they exclude certain items that may not be indicative of our core operating results and business outlook and may be useful in evaluating the operating performance of the business and facilitating a meaningful comparison of our results in the current period to those in prior and future periods. Amortization of acquired intangible assets is excluded because management does not believe it is indicative of our underlying business performance. Acquisition-related expenses are excluded as these costs are not representative of the costs of running our on-going business. Non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted EPS should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, GAAP net income and diluted EPS.
Order routing revenue — Revenues generated from payments or rebates received from market centers. Order routing revenue is a component of transaction-based revenues.
Securities borrowing — We borrow securities temporarily from other broker-dealers in connection with our broker-dealer business. We deposit cash as collateral for the securities borrowed, and generally earn interest revenue on the cash deposited with the counterparty. We also incur interest expense for borrowing certain securities.
Securities lending — We loan securities temporarily to other broker-dealers in connection with our broker-dealer business. We receive cash as collateral for the securities loaned, and generally incur interest expense on the cash deposited with us. We also earn revenue for lending certain securities.
Securities sold under agreements to repurchase (repurchase agreements) We sell securities to counterparties with an agreement to repurchase the same or substantially the same securities at a stated price plus interest on a specified date. We utilize repurchase agreements to finance our short-term liquidity and capital needs. Under these financing transactions, we receive cash from counterparties and provide U.S. Treasury securities as collateral.
Segregated cash — Client cash and investments segregated in compliance with Rule 15c3-3 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Customer Protection Rule) and other regulations. Interest earned on segregated cash is a component of net interest revenue.
Spread-based assets — Client and brokerage-related asset balances, consisting of bank deposit account balances and interest-earning assets. Spread-based assets is used in the calculation of our net interest margin and our consolidated duration.
Total trades — Revenue-generating client securities trades, which are executed by our broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries. Total trades are a significant source of our revenues. Such trades include, but are not limited to, trades in equities, options, futures, foreign exchange, mutual funds and debt instruments. Trades generate revenue from commissions, markups on riskless principal transactions in fixed income securities, transaction fees and/or order routing revenue.
Trading days — Days in which the U.S. equity markets are open for a full trading session. Reduced exchange trading sessions are treated as half trading days.
Transaction-based revenues — Revenues generated from client trade execution, consisting primarily of commissions, markups on riskless principal transactions in fixed income securities, transaction clearing fees and order routing revenue.

30


Financial Statement Overview
We provide securities brokerage and clearing services to our clients through our introducing and clearing broker-dealer subsidiaries. We also provide futures and foreign exchange trade execution services to our clients through our futures commission merchant ("FCM") and forex dealer member ("FDM") subsidiary. Substantially all of our net revenues are derived from our brokerage activities and clearing and execution services. Our primary focus is serving retail investors and traders, and independent registered investment advisors by providing services with straightforward, affordable pricing.
Our largest sources of revenues are asset-based revenues and transaction-based revenues. The primary factors driving our asset-based revenues are average balances and average rates. Average balances consist primarily of average client bank deposit account balances, average client margin balances, average segregated cash balances, average client credit balances, average fee-based investment balances and average securities borrowing and lending balances. Average rates consist of the average interest rates and fees earned and paid on such balances. The primary factors driving our transaction-based revenues are total client trades and average commissions per trade. We also receive order routing revenue, which results from arrangements we have with many execution agents to receive cash payments in exchange for routing trade orders to these firms for execution. Order routing revenue is included in commissions and transaction fees on our consolidated financial statements.
Our largest operating expense generally is employee compensation and benefits. Employee compensation and benefits expense includes salaries, bonuses, stock-based compensation, group insurance, contributions to benefit programs, recruitment, severance and other related employee costs.
Clearing and execution costs include incremental third-party expenses that tend to fluctuate as a result of fluctuations in client accounts or trades. Examples of expenses included in this category are outsourced clearing services, statement and confirmation processing and postage costs and clearing expenses paid to the National Securities Clearing Corporation, option exchanges and other market centers. Communications expense includes telecommunications, other postage, news and quote costs. Occupancy and equipment costs include the costs of leasing and maintaining our office spaces, software licensing and maintenance costs and maintenance expenses on computer hardware and other equipment. Depreciation and amortization includes depreciation on property and equipment and amortization of leasehold improvements. Amortization of acquired intangible assets consists of amortization of amounts allocated to the value of intangible assets acquired in business acquisitions.
Professional services expense includes costs paid to outside firms for assistance with legal, accounting, technology, regulatory, marketing and general management issues. Advertising costs include production and placement of advertisements in various media, including online, television, print and email, as well as client promotion and development costs. Advertising expenses may fluctuate significantly from period to period. Other operating expenses include provision for bad debt losses, fraud and error losses, gains or losses on disposal of property, insurance expenses, travel expenses and other miscellaneous expenses. During fiscal year 2018, other operating expenses also included costs incurred related to the integration of Scottrade.
Interest on borrowings consists of interest expense on our long-term debt and other borrowings. Loss on sale of investments represents losses realized on corporate (non broker-dealer) investments.
Acquisition of Scottrade
On September 18, 2017, we completed our acquisition of the brokerage business of Scottrade. The transaction combined highly complementary franchises and added significant scale to our retail business with the addition of approximately 3.5 million funded client accounts, extended our leadership in trading, and expanded the size of our branch network.
For additional information regarding this acquisition, see Note 2Business Acquisition under Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

31


Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires us to make judgments and estimates that may have a significant impact upon our financial results. Note 1, under Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, of this Form 10-K contains a summary of our significant accounting policies, many of which require the use of estimates and assumptions. We believe that the following areas are particularly subject to management's judgments and estimates and could materially affect our results of operations and financial position.
Valuation of goodwill and acquired intangible assets
We test goodwill and our indefinite-lived acquired intangible asset for impairment on at least an annual basis, or whenever events occur or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying values may not be recoverable. In performing the goodwill impairment tests, we utilize quoted market prices of our common stock to estimate the fair value of the Company as a whole. The estimated fair value is then allocated to our reporting unit and is compared with the carrying value of the reporting unit. No impairment charges have resulted from our annual goodwill impairment tests.
To determine if the indefinite-lived intangible asset is impaired, we first assess certain qualitative factors. Based on this assessment, if it is determined that more likely than not the fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible asset is less than its carrying amount, we perform a quantitative impairment test. No impairment charges have resulted from the annual indefinite-lived intangible asset impairment tests.
We review our finite-lived acquired intangible assets for impairment whenever events occur or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of such asset may not be recoverable. We evaluate recoverability by comparing the undiscounted cash flows associated with the asset to the asset's carrying amount. We also evaluate the remaining useful lives of intangible assets each reporting period to determine if events or trends warrant a revision to the remaining period of amortization. We have had no events or trends that have warranted a material revision to the originally estimated useful lives.
Estimates of effective income tax rates, uncertain tax positions, deferred income taxes and related valuation allowances
We estimate our income tax expense based on the various jurisdictions where we conduct business. This requires us to estimate our current income tax obligations and to assess temporary differences between the financial statement carrying amounts and tax bases of assets and liabilities. Temporary differences result in deferred income tax assets and liabilities. We must evaluate the likelihood that deferred income tax assets will be realized. To the extent we determine that realization is not "more likely than not," we establish a valuation allowance. Establishing or increasing a valuation allowance results in a corresponding increase to income tax expense in our consolidated financial statements. Conversely, to the extent circumstances indicate that a valuation allowance can be reduced or is no longer necessary, that portion of the valuation allowance is reversed, reducing income tax expense.
We must make significant judgments to calculate our provision for income taxes, our deferred income tax assets and liabilities and any valuation allowance against our deferred income tax assets. We must also exercise judgment in determining the need for, and amount of, any accruals for uncertain tax positions. Because the application of tax laws and regulations to many types of transactions is subject to varying interpretations, amounts reported in our consolidated financial statements could be significantly changed at a later date upon final determinations by taxing authorities.
Accruals for contingent liabilities
Accruals for contingent liabilities, such as legal and regulatory claims and proceedings, reflect an estimate of probable losses for each matter. In making such estimates, we consider many factors, including the progress of the matter, prior experience and the experience of others in similar matters, available defenses, insurance coverage, indemnification provisions and the advice of legal counsel and other experts. In many matters, such as those in which substantial or indeterminate damages or fines are sought, or where cases or proceedings are in the early stages, it is not possible to determine whether a loss will be incurred, or to estimate the range of that loss, until the matter is close to resolution, in which case no accrual is made until that time. Because matters may be resolved over long

32


periods of time, accruals are adjusted as more information becomes available or when an event occurs requiring a change. Significant judgment is required in making these estimates, and the actual cost of resolving a matter may ultimately differ materially from the amount accrued.
Valuation of guarantees
We enter into guarantees in the ordinary course of business, primarily to meet the needs of our clients and to manage our asset-based revenues. We record a liability for the estimated fair value of the guarantee at its inception. If actual results differ significantly from these estimates, our results of operations could be materially affected. For further details regarding our guarantees, see the following sections under Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements: "Guarantees" under Note 15Commitments and Contingencies and "Insured Deposit Account Agreement" under Note 21Related Party Transactions.
Results of Operations
Conditions in the U.S. equity markets significantly impact the volume of our clients' trading activity. There is a strong relationship between the volume of our clients' trading activity and our results of operations. We cannot predict future trading volumes in the U.S. equity markets. If client trading activity increases, we generally expect that it would have a positive impact on our results of operations. If client trading activity declines, we expect that it would have a negative impact on our results of operations.
Changes in average client balances, especially bank deposit account, margin, credit and fee-based investment balances, may significantly impact our results of operations. Changes in interest rates also significantly impact our results of operations. We seek to mitigate interest rate risk by aligning the average duration of our interest-earning assets with that of our interest-bearing liabilities. We cannot predict the direction of interest rates or the levels of client balances. If interest rates rise, we generally expect to earn a larger net interest spread. Conversely, a falling interest rate environment generally would result in us earning a smaller net interest spread.
Financial Performance Metrics
Net income, diluted earnings per share and EBITDA are key metrics we use in evaluating our financial performance. Net income and diluted earnings per share are GAAP financial measures and EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure.
We consider EBITDA to be an important measure of our financial performance and of our ability to generate cash flows to service debt, fund capital expenditures and fund other corporate investing and financing activities. EBITDA is used as the denominator in the consolidated leverage ratio calculation for covenant purposes under the TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation senior revolving credit facility. EBITDA eliminates the non-cash effect of tangible asset depreciation and amortization and intangible asset amortization. EBITDA should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, GAAP pre-tax income, net income and cash flows from operating activities.
The following table sets forth net income in dollars and as a percentage of net revenues for the periods indicated, and provides reconciliations to EBITDA (dollars in millions):
 
 
Fiscal Year Ended September 30,
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
 
$
 
% of Net
Revenues
 
$
 
% of Net
Revenues
 
$
 
% of Net
Revenues
Net income (GAAP)
 
$
1,473

 
27.0
%
 
$
872

 
23.7
%
 
$
842

 
25.3
%
Add:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization
 
142

 
2.6
%
 
102

 
2.8
%
 
92

 
2.8
%
Amortization of acquired intangible assets
 
141

 
2.6
%
 
79

 
2.1
%
 
86

 
2.6
%
Interest on borrowings
 
99

 
1.8
%
 
71

 
1.9
%
 
53

 
1.6
%
Provision for income taxes
 
414

 
7.6
%
 
522

 
14.2
%
 
423

 
12.7
%
EBITDA (non-GAAP)
 
$
2,269

 
41.6
%
 
$
1,646

 
44.8
%
 
$
1,496

 
45.0
%

33


Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2018 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2017
Our net income increased 69% for fiscal year 2018 compared to fiscal year 2017, primarily due to an increase in net revenues and a lower effective tax rate, primarily due to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") on December 22, 2017. These increases were partially offset by increases in operating expenses and interest on borrowings, and an $11 million loss on sale of investments during fiscal year 2018. Net revenues and operating expenses increased primarily due to the Scottrade acquisition. Detailed analysis of net revenues and expenses is presented later in this discussion.
Our EBITDA increased 38% for fiscal year 2018 compared to fiscal year 2017, primarily due to an increase in net revenues, partially offset by an increase in operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization, and an $11 million loss on sale of investments during fiscal year 2018.
Our diluted earnings per share increased 58% to $2.59 for fiscal year 2018 compared to $1.64 for fiscal year 2017, primarily due to higher net income, partially offset by a 7% increase in average diluted shares outstanding as a result of the issuance of our common stock in connection with the Scottrade acquisition. Details regarding our fiscal year 2019 expectations for net revenues and expenses are presented later in this discussion.
Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2017 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2016
Our net income increased 4% for fiscal year 2017 compared to fiscal year 2016, primarily due to an increase in net revenues, partially offset by an increase in operating expenses, a higher effective tax rate during fiscal year 2017 and an increase in interest on borrowings due to increases in our average debt outstanding and the average effective interest rate incurred on our debt.
Our EBITDA increased 10% for fiscal year 2017 compared to fiscal year 2016, primarily due to an increase in net revenues, partially offset by an increase in operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization.
Our diluted earnings per share increased 4% to $1.64 for fiscal year 2017 compared to $1.58 for fiscal year 2016, primarily due to higher net income.
Operating Metrics
Our largest sources of revenues are asset-based revenues and transaction-based revenues. For fiscal year 2018, asset-based revenues and transaction-based revenues accounted for 62% and 36% of our net revenues, respectively. Asset-based revenues consist of (1) bank deposit account fees, (2) net interest revenue and (3) investment product fees. The primary factors driving our asset-based revenues are average balances and average rates. Average balances consist primarily of average client bank deposit account balances, average client margin balances, average segregated cash balances, average client credit balances, average fee-based investment balances and average securities borrowing and lending balances. Average rates consist of the average interest rates and fees earned and paid on such balances. The primary factors driving our transaction-based revenues are total trades and average commissions per trade. We also consider client account and client asset metrics, although we believe they are generally of less significance to our results of operations for any particular period than our metrics for asset-based and transaction-based revenues.

34


Asset-Based Revenue Metrics
We calculate the return on our bank deposit account balances and our interest-earning assets using a measure we refer to as net interest margin. Net interest margin is calculated for a given period by dividing the annualized sum of bank deposit account fees and net interest revenue by average spread-based assets. Spread-based assets consist of average bank deposit account balances and average interest-earning assets, which include client margin balances, segregated cash, deposits paid on securities borrowing and other cash and interest-earning investment balances. The following table sets forth net interest margin and average spread-based assets (dollars in millions):
 
 
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
'17 vs. '16
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Average bank deposit account balances
 
$
116,695

 
$
93,922

 
$
83,706

 
$
22,773

 
$
10,216

Average interest-earning assets
 
30,849

 
25,316

 
22,652

 
5,533

 
2,664

Average spread-based balances
 
$
147,544

 
$
119,238

 
$
106,358

 
$
28,306

 
$
12,880

Bank deposit account fee revenue
 
$
1,541

 
$
1,107

 
$
926

 
$
434

 
$
181

Net interest revenue
 
1,272

 
690

 
595

 
582

 
95

Spread-based revenue
 
$
2,813

 
$
1,797

 
$
1,521

 
$
1,016

 
$
276

Average yield — bank deposit account fees
 
1.30
%
 
1.16
%
 
1.09
%
 
0.14
%
 
0.07
%
Average yield — interest-earning assets
 
4.07
%
 
2.69
%
 
2.59
%
 
1.38
%
 
0.10
%
Net interest margin (NIM)
 
1.88
%
 
1.49
%
 
1.41
%
 
0.39
%
 
0.08
%
The following tables set forth key metrics that we use in analyzing net interest revenue, which is a component of net interest margin (dollars in millions):
 
 
Interest Revenue (Expense)
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
'17 vs. '16
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Segregated cash
 
$
95

 
$
49

 
$
15

 
$
46

 
$
34

Client margin balances
 
920

 
482

 
436

 
438

 
46

Securities lending/borrowing, net
 
222

 
139

 
141

 
83

 
(2
)
Other cash and interest-earning investments
 
42

 
22

 
5

 
20

 
17

Client credit balances
 
(7
)
 
(2
)
 
(2
)
 
(5
)
 

Net interest revenue
 
$
1,272

 
$
690

 
$
595

 
$
582

 
$
95

 
 
Average Balance
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
%
Change
 
'17 vs. '16
%
Change
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Segregated cash
 
$
6,832

 
$
8,282

 
$
7,034

 
(18
)%
 
18
 %
Client margin balances
 
19,812

 
12,542

 
11,751

 
58
 %
 
7
 %
Securities borrowing
 
925

 
1,004

 
932

 
(8
)%
 
8
 %
Other cash and interest-earning investments
 
3,280

 
3,488

 
2,935

 
(6
)%
 
19
 %
Interest-earning assets
 
$
30,849

 
$
25,316

 
$
22,652

 
22
 %
 
12
 %
Client credit balances
 
$
20,438

 
$
16,182

 
$
14,669

 
26
 %
 
10
 %
Securities lending
 
2,888

 
2,004

 
2,084

 
44
 %
 
(4
)%
Interest-bearing liabilities
 
$
23,326

 
$
18,186

 
$
16,753

 
28
 %
 
9
 %

35


 
 
Average Yield (Cost)
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
Net Yield
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
'17 vs. '16
Net Yield
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Segregated cash
 
1.37
 %
 
0.58
 %
 
0.21
 %
 
0.79
 %
 
0.37
%
Client margin balances
 
4.58
 %
 
3.79
 %
 
3.65
 %
 
0.79
 %
 
0.14
%
Other cash and interest-earning investments
 
1.26
 %
 
0.63
 %
 
0.18
 %
 
0.63
 %
 
0.45
%
Client credit balances
 
(0.03
)%
 
(0.01
)%
 
(0.01
)%
 
(0.02
)%
 
0.00
%
Net interest revenue
 
4.07
 %
 
2.69
 %
 
2.59
 %
 
1.38
 %
 
0.10
%
The following tables set forth key metrics that we use in analyzing investment product fee revenues (dollars in millions):
 
 
Fee Revenue
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
'17 vs. '16
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Money market mutual fund
 
$
18

 
$
16

 
$
11

 
$
2

 
$
5

Market fee-based investment balances
 
539

 
407

 
363

 
132

 
44

Total investment product fees
 
$
557

 
$
423

 
$
374

 
$
134

 
$
49

 
 
Average Balance
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
%
Change
 
'17 vs. '16
%
Change
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Money market mutual fund
 
$
4,164

 
$
3,613

 
$
5,671

 
15
%
 
(36
)%
Market fee-based investment balances
 
248,339

 
181,510

 
155,063

 
37
%
 
17
 %
Total fee-based investment balances
 
$
252,503

 
$
185,123

 
$
160,734

 
36
%
 
15
 %
 
 
Average Yield
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
'17 vs. '16
Increase/
(Decrease)
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Money market mutual fund
 
0.42
%
 
0.42
%
 
0.19
%
 
0.00
 %
 
0.23
 %
Market fee-based investment balances
 
0.21
%
 
0.22
%
 
0.23
%
 
(0.01
)%
 
(0.01
)%
Total investment product fees
 
0.22
%
 
0.23
%
 
0.23
%
 
(0.01
)%
 
0.00
 %

36


Transaction-Based Revenue Metrics
The following table sets forth several key metrics regarding client trading activity, which we utilize in measuring and evaluating performance and the results of our operations:
 
 
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
%
Change
 
'17 vs. '16
%
Change
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Total trades (in millions)
 
202.78

 
127.68

 
116.66

 
59
 %
 
9
 %
Average client trades per day
 
811,110

 
510,710

 
462,918

 
59
 %
 
10
 %
Trading days
 
250.0

 
250.0

 
252.0

 
0
 %
 
(1
)%
Average commissions per trade(1)
 
$
7.45

 
$
8.33

 
$
9.20

 
(11
)%
 
(9
)%
Order routing revenue (in millions)
 
$
458

 
$
320

 
$
299

 
43
 %
 
7
 %
 
(1)    Effective in September 2017, the average commissions per trade metric was revised to exclude order routing revenue. Prior periods have been updated to conform to the current presentation.
Client Account and Client Asset Metrics
The following table sets forth certain metrics regarding client accounts and client assets, which we use to analyze growth and trends in our client base:
 
 
Fiscal Year
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Funded accounts (beginning of year)
 
11,004,000

 
6,950,000

 
6,621,000

Funded accounts (end of year)
 
11,514,000

 
11,004,000

 
6,950,000

Percentage change during year
 
5
%
 
58
%
 
5
%
Client assets (beginning of year, in billions)
 
$
1,118.5

 
$
773.8

 
$
667.4

Client assets (end of year, in billions)
 
$
1,297.5

 
$
1,118.5

 
$
773.8

Percentage change during year
 
16
%
 
45
%
 
16
%
Net new assets (in billions)
 
$
92.3

 
$
80.1

 
$
60.3

Net new assets growth rate
 
8
%
 
10
%
 
9
%


37


Consolidated Statements of Income Data
The following table summarizes certain data from our Consolidated Statements of Income for analysis purposes (dollars in millions):
 
 
Fiscal Year
 
'18 vs. '17
%
Change
 
'17 vs. '16
%
Change
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Transaction-based revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   Commissions and transaction fees
 
$
1,969

 
$
1,384

 
$
1,372

 
42
 %
 
1
 %
Asset-based revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Bank deposit account fees
 
1,541

 
1,107

 
926

 
39
 %
 
20
 %
  Net interest revenue
 
1,272

 
690

 
595

 
84
 %
 
16
 %
  Investment product fees
 
557

 
423

 
374

 
32
 %
 
13
 %
    Total asset-based revenues
 
3,370

 
2,220

 
1,895

 
52
 %
 
17
 %
Other revenues
 
113

 
72

 
60

 
57
 %
 
20
 %
Net revenues
 
5,452

 
3,676

 
3,327

 
48
 %
 
10
 %
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Employee compensation and benefits
 
1,555

 
962

 
839

 
62
 %
 
15
 %
Clearing and execution costs
 
189

 
149

 
136

 
27
 %
 
10
 %
Communications
 
179

 
131

 
137

 
37
 %
 
(4
)%
Occupancy and equipment costs
 
302

 
181

 
171

 
67
 %
 
6
 %
Depreciation and amortization
 
142

 
102

 
92

 
39
 %
 
11
 %
Amortization of acquired intangible assets
 
141

 
79

 
86

 
78
 %
 
(8
)%
Professional services
 
303

 
260

 
178

 
17
 %
 
46
 %
Advertising
 
293

 
254

 
260

 
15
 %
 
(2
)%
Other
 
350

 
92

 
110

 
280
 %
 
(16
)%
Total operating expenses
 
3,454

 
2,210

 
2,009

 
56
 %
 
10
 %
Operating income
 
1,998

 
1,466

 
1,318

 
36
 %
 
11
 %
Other expense:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest on borrowings
 
99

 
71

 
53

 
39
 %
 
34
 %
Loss on sale of investments
 
11

 

 

 
N/A

 
N/A

Other
 
1

 
1

 

 
0
 %
 
N/A

Total other expense
 
111

 
72

 
53

 
54
 %
 
36
 %
Pre-tax income
 
1,887

 
1,394

 
1,265

 
35
 %
 
10
 %
Provision for income taxes
 
414

 
522

 
423

 
(21
)%
 
23
 %
Net income
 
$
1,473

 
$
872

 
$
842

 
69
 %
 
4
 %
Other information:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Effective income tax rate
 
21.9
%
 
37.4
%
 
33.4
%
 
 
 
 
Average debt outstanding
 
$
2,743

 
$
2,093

 
$
1,748

 
31
 %
 
20
 %
Effective interest rate incurred on borrowings
 
3.59
%
 
3.40
%
 
3.03
%
 
 
 
 

38


Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2018 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2017
Net Revenues
Net revenues increased 48% to $5.45 billion during fiscal year 2018. We expect net revenues to increase to at least $5.75 billion, or approximately 6%, during fiscal year 2019 compared to fiscal year 2018. Depending on the level of investor engagement and the nature of the interest rate environment, fiscal year 2019 net revenues could be considerably higher.
Commissions and transaction fees increased 42% to $1.97 billion, primarily due to the addition of approximately 3.5 million funded accounts as a result of the Scottrade acquisition on September 18, 2017, partially offset by lower average commissions per trade for fiscal year 2018 compared to fiscal year 2017. Average client trades per day increased 59% to 811,110 for fiscal year 2018 compared to 510,710 for fiscal year 2017. Order routing revenue increased 43% to $458 million due to higher trading volumes. Average commissions per trade decreased to $7.45 from $8.33, primarily due to our reduction in client pricing for online equity and option trades during the second quarter of fiscal 2017 and a higher percentage of equity trades, which earn somewhat lower average commissions per trade than option and futures trades. Effective March 6, 2017, we reduced our online equity and ETF trade commissions from $9.99 to $6.95 per trade and also lowered options pricing to $6.95 per trade (plus $0.75 per contract). We expect average commissions per trade to decrease by 2% to 3% in fiscal year 2019 as compared to fiscal year 2018, depending on the mix of client trading activity and other factors.
Asset-based revenues increased 52% to $3.37 billion for fiscal year 2018, primarily due to increases in average spread-based assets, net interest margin earned on spread-based assets and average market fee-based investment balances. The growth in average spread-based and market fee-based investment balances is primarily due to the Scottrade acquisition and our success in attracting net new client assets. Net interest margin increased 39 basis points to 1.88% during fiscal year 2018, primarily due to the Federal Open Market Committee increasing the target range for the federal funds rate by 75 basis points (to between 1.00% and 1.25%) during fiscal year 2017 and by 100 basis points (to between 2.00% to 2.25%) during fiscal year 2018. The increase in net interest margin was also due to the impact of higher average client margin balances, which earn a larger net interest spread.
Bank deposit account fees increased 39% to $1.54 billion, primarily due to a 24% increase in average bank deposit account balances and an increase of 14 basis points in the average yield earned on the bank deposit account assets. The growth in the average bank deposit account balances is primarily due to the Scottrade acquisition and our success in attracting net new client assets. The average yield earned on bank deposit account assets increased primarily due to floating-rate investment balances within the Insured Deposit Account ("IDA") portfolio benefiting from the federal funds rate increases during fiscal years 2017 and 2018, as described above, partially offset by higher interest rates paid to clients.
Net interest revenue increased 84% to $1.27 billion due to a 58% increase in average client margin balances, primarily due to the Scottrade acquisition, increases in the average yields earned on client margin balances, segregated cash and other cash and interest-earning investments as a result of the federal funds rate increases during fiscal years 2017 and 2018, as described above, and an $83 million increase in net interest revenue from our securities borrowing/lending program.
Investment product fees increased 32% to $557 million, primarily due to a 37% increase in average market fee-based investment balances. The increase in market fee-based investment balances is primarily due to the Scottrade acquisition and growth in our advised solutions products.
Other revenues increased 57% to $113 million, primarily due to favorable fair market value adjustments on investments held by our broker-dealer subsidiaries and increases in fees related to processing corporate securities reorganizations, proxy services and other fee revenue associated with additional accounts and transaction processing volumes resulting from the Scottrade acquisition.
Operating Expenses
Total operating expenses, which includes $445 million of acquisition-related expenses, increased 56% to $3.45 billion during fiscal year 2018. We expect total operating expenses to decrease to between $2.9 billion and $3.0 billion for fiscal year 2019.

39


Employee compensation and benefits expense increased 62% to $1.56 billion, primarily due to $235 million of severance and other employment benefits related to the Scottrade integration, an increase in average headcount related to the Scottrade acquisition and our strategic growth initiatives, and annual merit increases. The average number of full-time equivalent employees increased to 9,728 for fiscal year 2018 compared to 6,661 for fiscal year 2017.
Clearing and execution costs increased 27% to $189 million, primarily due to increased costs associated with additional accounts and transaction processing volumes resulting from the Scottrade acquisition.
Communications expense increased 37% to $179 million, primarily due to the Scottrade acquisition, resulting in increased costs for quotes and market information associated with additional accounts and transaction processing volumes and costs for telecommunications.
Occupancy and equipment costs increased 67% to $302 million, primarily due to additional costs associated with the Scottrade business, including increased expenses related to leased facilities, software licensing and software maintenance.
Depreciation and amortization increased 39% to $142 million, primarily due to depreciation on assets recorded in the Scottrade acquisition, placing our new Southlake, Texas operations center in service during December 2017, and recent technology infrastructure upgrades.
Amortization of acquired intangible assets increased 78% to $141 million, primarily due to amortization of the client relationships intangible asset recorded in the Scottrade acquisition.
Professional services expense increased 17% to $303 million, primarily due to higher usage of consulting and contract services related to operational and technology-related initiatives and in connection with the Scottrade integration, partially offset by lower costs associated with legal matters.
Advertising expense increased 15% to $293 million, primarily due to the Scottrade acquisition and due to increased advertising during professional and collegiate sporting events. We expect advertising to increase to between $300 million and $320 million for fiscal year 2019. We generally adjust our level of advertising spending in relation to stock market activity and other market conditions in an effort to maximize new client relationships and net new assets.
Other operating expenses increased 280% to $350 million, primarily due to $172 million of costs related to the Scottrade integration, mainly comprised of contract terminations, a net increase in the provision for bad debt of $56 million related to market volatility during fiscal year 2018 and additional expenses associated with the Scottrade business.
Other Expense and Income Taxes
Interest on borrowings increased 39% to $99 million, primarily due to a 31% increase in average debt outstanding and an increase of 19 basis points in the average effective interest rate incurred on our borrowings. On April 27, 2017, we issued $800 million of 3.300% Senior Notes due April 1, 2027 to finance a portion of the cash consideration paid in connection with the Scottrade acquisition.
Our effective income tax rate was 21.9% for fiscal year 2018, compared to 37.4% for fiscal year 2017. The effective income tax rate for fiscal year 2018 included an estimated net favorable adjustment of $71 million related to the remeasurement of the Company's deferred income tax balances as it pertains to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a $5 million income tax benefit resulting from the change in accounting for income taxes related to equity-based compensation under ASU 2016-09, $12 million of favorable resolutions of state income tax matters and a $30 million favorable benefit resulting from accelerating certain deductions, including acquisition-related exit costs, to leverage higher 2017 pre-enactment tax rates. The effective income tax rate was also impacted by a $9 million unfavorable remeasurement of uncertain tax positions related to certain federal incentives. These items had a net favorable impact on our earnings for fiscal year 2018 of approximately $0.19 per share. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted on December 22, 2017, reducing the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, requiring companies to pay a one-time transition tax on earnings of certain foreign subsidiaries that were previously tax deferred and creating new taxes on certain foreign sourced earnings. For more information, see Note 11 – Income Taxes under Item 8, Financial Statements – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. As a result of the Act, we estimate our effective income tax rate to be approximately 25% for fiscal year 2019, excluding the effect of any

40


adjustments related to remeasurement or resolution of uncertain tax positions and federal incentives. However, we expect to experience some volatility in our quarterly and annual effective income tax rate because current accounting rules for uncertain tax positions require that any change in measurement of a tax position taken in a prior tax year be recognized as a discrete event in the period in which the change occurs. We also anticipate the potential for increased volatility in our future quarterly effective income tax rate from the accounting for income taxes related to equity-based compensation, which requires the income tax effects of exercised or vested stock-based awards to be treated as discrete items in the period in which they occur.
Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2017 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2016
Net Revenues
Commissions and transaction fees increased 1% to $1.38 billion, primarily due to increased client trading activity, partially offset by lower average commissions per trade and the effect of two less trading days during fiscal year 2017 compared to fiscal year 2016. Total trades increased 9% as average client trades per day increased 10% to 510,710 for fiscal year 2017 compared to 462,918 for fiscal year 2016. Average commissions per trade decreased to $8.33 from $9.20, primarily due to our reduction in client pricing for online equity and option trades during the second quarter of fiscal year 2017.
Asset-based revenues, which consist of bank deposit account fees, net interest revenue and investment product fees, increased 17% to $2.22 billion, primarily due to a 12% increase in average spread-based assets, an increase of 8 basis points in net interest margin to 1.49% and a 17% increase in average market fee-based investment balances. The increase in net interest margin was primarily due to the Federal Open Market Committee increasing the target range for the federal funds rate by 75 basis points (to between 1.00% and 1.25%) during fiscal year 2017, partially offset by the impact of higher average segregated cash and other cash and interest-earning investment balances, which earn a lower net interest spread and a higher IDA management fee on floating rate balances due to the federal funds rate increases.
Bank deposit account fees increased 20% to $1.11 billion, primarily due to a 12% increase in average client bank deposit account balances and an increase of 7 basis points in the average yield earned on those balances. The growth in the average bank deposit account balances is primarily due to our success in attracting net new client assets. The average yield earned on bank deposit account assets increased primarily due to floating-rate investment balances within the IDA portfolio benefiting from the fiscal year 2017 federal funds rate increases and investments within the IDA portfolio, including maturities of investments and new balance growth, being invested at higher rates. The increase in the average yield was partially offset by a higher IDA management fee on floating rate balances due to the federal funds rate increases and higher interest rates paid to clients.
Net interest revenue increased 16% to $690 million, primarily due to increases in the average yields earned on segregated cash, client margin balances and other cash and interest-earning investment balances as a result of the federal funds rate increases during fiscal year 2017 and a 7% increase in average client margin balances. The average yield earned on interest-earning assets increased 10 basis points to 2.69% primarily due to the benefits realized from the federal funds rate increases during fiscal year 2017.
Investment product fees increased 13% to $423 million, primarily due to a 17% increase in average market fee-based investment balances and an increase of 23 basis points in the average yield earned on money market mutual fund balances. These increases were partially offset by a decrease of 1 basis point in the average yield earned on market fee-based investment balances and a 36% decrease in the average money market mutual fund balances.
Other revenues increased 20% to $72 million, primarily due to increased fees related to proxy and platform services.
Operating Expenses
Total operating expenses, which includes $88 million of acquisition-related expenses, increased 10% to $2.21 billion during fiscal year 2017.
Employee compensation and benefits expense increased 15% to $962 million, primarily due to an increase in average headcount related to our strategic growth initiatives and the Scottrade acquisition in September 2017, approximately $35 million of severance costs related to the Scottrade integration and higher incentive-based compensation related to Company and individual performance. The average number of full-time equivalent employees increased to 6,661 for fiscal year 2017 compared to 5,858 for fiscal year 2016.

41


Clearing and execution costs increased 10% to $149 million, primarily due to higher client trading volumes and the impact of a $5 million benefit from a retroactive fee decrease from a clearinghouse during fiscal year 2016.
Communications expense decreased 4% to $131 million, primarily due to decreased costs for quotes and market information.
Occupancy and equipment costs increased 6% to $181 million, primarily due to increased software licensing and facilities expenses.
Depreciation and amortization increased 11% to $102 million, primarily due to recent technology infrastructure upgrades and depreciation of assets recorded in the Scottrade acquisition.
Amortization of acquired intangible assets decreased 8% to $79 million, primarily due to certain acquired intangible assets becoming fully amortized during fiscal year 2016, partially offset by amortization of intangible assets recorded in the Scottrade acquisition.
Professional services expense increased 46% to $260 million, primarily due to approximately $50 million of costs for legal, accounting, consulting and contract services in connection with the Scottrade acquisition and higher usage of consulting and contract services related to other operational and technology-related initiatives.
Advertising expense decreased 2% to $254 million, primarily due to additional spending during fiscal year 2016 in connection with our sponsorship of the Summer Olympics.
Other operating expenses decreased 16% to $92 million, primarily due to $11 million of service contract termination costs incurred during fiscal year 2016 and lower losses on the disposal of property during fiscal year 2017.
Other Expense and Income Taxes
Interest on borrowings increased 34% to $71 million, primarily due to a 20% increase in average debt outstanding and an increase of 37 basis points in the average effective interest rate incurred on our debt. On April 27, 2017, we issued $800 million of 3.300% Senior Notes due April 1, 2027 to finance a portion of the cash consideration paid in connection with the Scottrade acquisition.
Our effective income tax rate was 37.4% for fiscal year 2017, compared to 33.4% for fiscal year 2016. The effective tax rate for fiscal year 2017 included $8 million of net favorable resolutions of state income tax matters and $4 million of favorable tax benefits for federal incentives. These items had a net favorable impact on our earnings for fiscal year 2017 of approximately two cents per share. The effective tax rate for fiscal year 2016 was impacted by $39 million of net favorable adjustments to uncertain tax positions and related deferred income tax assets, which included a favorable $33 million tax liability remeasurement related to a state court decision. The effective income tax rate was also impacted by an $18 million favorable tax benefit claimed during fiscal year 2016 for federal deductions and tax credits related to calendar tax year 2012 through September 30, 2016 and $5 million of net favorable deferred income tax adjustments due to the remeasurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities and the cumulative impact of the decline in the state tax rate. These items had a net favorable impact on our earnings for fiscal year 2016 of approximately $0.12 per share.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
We have established liquidity and capital policies to support the successful execution of business strategies to meet operational needs and to satisfy applicable regulatory requirements under both normal and modeled stressed conditions. Our liquidity management policies are designed to mitigate the potential risk that we may be unable to meet current and future cash flow needs. Management of our liquidity is accomplished by (1) daily monitoring of our cash flow needs at TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (the "Parent") and its operating subsidiaries, and (2) performing periodic liquidity stress testing related to market and company-specific liquidity stress events in order to identify and plan for liquidity risk exposures.
We have historically financed our liquidity and capital needs primarily through the use of funds generated from subsidiary operations and from short-term borrowings. We have also issued common stock and long-term debt to finance mergers and acquisitions and for other corporate purposes. Our liquidity needs during fiscal year 2018 were financed primarily from our subsidiaries' earnings, cash on hand and short-term borrowings. During fiscal year 2018, we experienced increased liquidity needs at our clearing broker-dealer subsidiary due to an increase in market volatility and in order to support regulatory and working capital requirements associated with the integration and

42


migration of client accounts from Scottrade to the Company. We plan to finance our ordinary capital and liquidity needs in fiscal year 2019 primarily from our subsidiaries' earnings, cash on hand and borrowings.
Parent Company
The Parent conducts substantially all of its business through its operating subsidiaries, principally its broker-dealer and futures commission merchant ("FCM")/forex dealer member ("FDM") subsidiaries. Dividends from our subsidiaries are an important source of liquidity for the Parent. Some of our subsidiaries are subject to requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC"), the National Futures Association ("NFA") and other regulators relating to liquidity, capital standards and the use of client funds and securities, which may limit funds available for the payment of dividends to the Parent.
During fiscal 2019, we plan to return between 30% to 40% of our non-GAAP net income to our stockholders through cash dividends and up to an additional 40% through share repurchases. For more information about our dividends and stock repurchases, see "Cash Dividends" and "Stock Repurchase Programs" later in this section.
On October 30, 2018, the Company sold, through a public offering, $600 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured variable-rate senior notes due November 1, 2021 (the "2021 Notes") and $400 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured 3.750% senior notes due April 1, 2024 (the "2024 Notes"). We intend to use the net proceeds from the issuance of the 2021 Notes and the 2024 Notes for general corporate purposes, including to augment liquidity. For additional details, see Note 24 — Subsequent Event under Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Information — Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Parent may make loans of cash or securities under committed and/or uncommitted lines of credit with each of its primary broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries in order to provide liquidity. Liquidity could be used to fund increases in our subsidiaries' deposit requirements with clearinghouses, and to provide operating liquidity for client trading and investing activity in the normal course of business and during times of market volatility. Committed facilities of $445 million and uncommitted facilities of $600 million under the Parent's intercompany credit agreements were available to its primary broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries as of September 30, 2018. For more information about these credit agreements, see "Long-term Debt and Other BorrowingsIntercompany Credit Agreements" later in this section.
Broker-dealer and Futures Commission Merchant/Forex Dealer Member Subsidiaries
Our broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries are subject to regulatory requirements that are intended to ensure their liquidity and general financial soundness. Under the SEC's Uniform Net Capital Rule (Rule 15c3-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the "Exchange Act"), our broker-dealer subsidiaries are required to maintain, at all times, at least the minimum level of net capital required under Rule 15c3-1. For our clearing broker-dealer subsidiary, the minimum net capital level is determined by a calculation described in Rule 15c3-1 that is primarily based on the broker-dealer's "aggregate debits," which primarily consist of client margin balances at the clearing broker-dealer. Since our aggregate debits may fluctuate significantly, our minimum net capital requirements may also fluctuate significantly from period to period. The Parent may make cash capital contributions to our broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries, if necessary, to meet minimum net capital requirements.
Each of our broker-dealer subsidiaries may not repay any subordinated borrowings, pay cash dividends or make any unsecured advances or loans to its parent company or employees if such payment would result in a net capital amount of less than (a) 5% of aggregate debit balances or (b) 120% of its minimum dollar requirement. TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC ("TDAFF"), our FCM and FDM subsidiary, must provide notice to the CFTC if its adjusted net capital amounts to less than (a) 110% of its risk-based capital requirement under CFTC Regulation 1.17, (b) 150% of its $1.0 million minimum dollar requirement, or (c) 110% of $20.0 million plus 5% of all liabilities owed to forex clients in excess of $10.0 million. These broker-dealer, FCM and FDM net capital thresholds, which are specified in Rule 17a-11 under the Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations 1.12 and 5.6, are typically referred to as "early warning" net capital thresholds.

43


The following tables summarize our broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries' net capital and adjusted net capital, respectively, as of September 30, 2018 (dollars in millions):
 
 
Net Capital
 
Early Warning
Threshold
 
Net Capital in
Excess of
Early Warning
Threshold
TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc.
 
$
2,831

 
$
1,312

 
$
1,519

TD Ameritrade, Inc.
 
$
181

 
$
0.3

 
$
181

 
 
Adjusted Net Capital
 
Early Warning
Threshold
 
Adjusted Net Capital in
Excess of
Early Warning
Threshold
TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC
 
$
129

 
$
25

 
$
104

Our clearing broker-dealer subsidiary, TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc. ("TDAC"), engages in activities such as settling client securities transactions with clearinghouses, extending credit to clients through margin lending, securities lending and borrowing transactions and processing client cash sweep transactions to and from bank deposit accounts and money market mutual funds. These types of broker-dealer activities require active daily liquidity management.
Most of TDAC's assets are readily convertible to cash, consisting primarily of cash and investments segregated for the exclusive benefit of clients, receivables from clients and receivables from brokers, dealers and clearing organizations. Cash and investments segregated for the exclusive benefit of clients may be held in cash, reverse repurchase agreements (collateralized by U.S. government debt securities), U.S. Treasury securities, U.S. government agency mortgage-backed securities and other qualified securities. Receivables from clients consist of margin loans, which are demand loan obligations secured by readily marketable securities. Receivables from brokers, dealers and clearing organizations primarily arise from current open transactions, which usually settle or can be settled within a few business days.
TDAC is subject to cash deposit and collateral requirements with clearinghouses such as the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation ("DTCC") and the Options Clearing Corporation ("OCC"), which may fluctuate significantly from time to time based on the nature and size of our clients' trading activity.
The following table sets forth TDAC's cash and investments deposited with clearing organizations for the clearing of client equity and option trades (dollars in millions):
 
 
September 30,
 
 
2018
 
2017
TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc.
 
$
585

 
$
476

Liquidity needs for TDAC relating to client trading and margin borrowing are met primarily through cash balances in client brokerage accounts and through lending and pledging of client margin securities. Cash balances in client brokerage accounts not used for client trading and margin borrowing activity are not generally available for other liquidity purposes and must be segregated for the exclusive benefit of clients under Rule 15c3-3 of the Exchange Act.
Cash balances in client brokerage accounts are summarized in the following table (dollars in billions):
 
 
September 30,
 
 
2018
 
2017
TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc.
 
$
22.5

 
$
18.5


44


Cash and investments segregated in special reserve bank accounts for the exclusive benefit of clients under Rule 15c3-3 are summarized in the following table (dollars in billions):
 
 
September 30,
 
 
2018
 
2017
TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc.
 
$
2.9

 
$
6.4

For general liquidity needs, TDAC currently maintains two senior unsecured committed revolving credit facilities with an aggregate principal amount of $1.45 billion. TDAC also utilizes secured uncommitted lines of credit for short-term liquidity needs. These facilities are described under "Long-term Debt and Other Borrowings" later in this section.
In addition, we have established intercompany credit agreements under which the broker-dealer and FCM/FDM subsidiaries may borrow from the Parent. The Parent's intercompany credit agreements with TDAC provides for a committed revolving loan facility of $400 million and an uncommitted revolving loan facility of $300 million. The intercompany credit agreements are described under "Long-Term Debt and Other BorrowingsIntercompany Credit Agreements" later in this section.
Liquid Assets
Liquid assets is a non-GAAP financial measure. We include the excess capital of our regulated subsidiaries in the calculation of liquid assets, rather than simply including the regulated subsidiaries' cash and cash equivalents, because capital requirements may limit the amount of cash available for dividend from the regulated subsidiaries to the parent company. Excess capital, as defined below, is generally available for dividend from the regulated subsidiaries to the parent company. Liquid assets should be considered as a supplemental measure of liquidity, rather than as a substitute for GAAP cash and cash equivalents.
We define liquid assets as the sum of (a) corporate cash and cash equivalents, (b) corporate investments, less securities sold under agreements to repurchase, and (c) our regulated subsidiaries' net capital in excess of minimum operational targets established by management. Corporate cash and cash equivalents includes cash and cash equivalents from our investment advisory subsidiaries. Liquid assets is based on more conservative measures of net capital than regulatory requirements because we generally manage to higher levels of net capital at our regulated subsidiaries than the regulatory thresholds require. During fiscal year 2018, the presentation of the liquid assets metric was revised in order to provide a consolidated view of our liquidity. Liquid assets may be utilized, as necessary, to meet corporate cash flow needs, fund operational needs, satisfy applicable regulatory requirements and support our business strategies.  The prior period, which provided a view of our liquidity net of operational contingencies and other obligations, has been updated to conform to the current presentation.
The following table sets forth a reconciliation of cash and cash equivalents, which is the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to liquid assets (dollars in millions):
 
 
 
September 30,
 
Change
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
Cash and cash equivalents (GAAP)
 
$
2,690

 
$
1,472

 
$
1,218

Less: Non-corporate cash and cash equivalents
 
(2,307
)
 
(1,174
)
 
(1,133
)
Corporate cash and cash equivalents
 
383

 
298

 
85

Corporate investments
 
386

 
714

 
(328
)
Excess regulatory net capital over management targets
 
296

 
46

 
250

Liquid assets (non-GAAP)
 
$
1,065

 
$
1,058

 
$
7


45


The changes in liquid assets are summarized as follows (dollars in millions):
Liquid assets as of September 30, 2017
 
$
1,058

Plus:
 
EBITDA(1)
 
2,269

 
 
Change in net capital related to daily futures client cash sweep
 
14

 
 
Proceeds from sale of property and equipment
 
12

Less:
 
Other changes in working capital and regulatory net capital
 
(694
)
 
 
Payment of cash dividends
 
(477
)
 
 
Income taxes paid
 
(352
)
 
 
Purchase of treasury stock
 
(255
)
 
 
Purchase of property and equipment
 
(229
)
 
 
Interest paid
 
(118
)
 
 
Net increase in cash collateral pledged to interest rate swap counterparties
 
(111
)
 
 
Payment for future treasury stock purchases under accelerated stock repurchase agreement
 
(31
)
 
 
Purchase of treasury stock for income tax withholding on stock-based compensation
 
(17
)
 
 
Cash paid in business acquisition
 
(4
)
Liquid assets as of September 30, 2018
 
$
1,065


(1)
See "Financial Performance Metrics" earlier in this section for a description of EBITDA.
Long-term Debt and Other Borrowings
The following is a summary of our long-term debt and other borrowings. For additional details, see Note 10Long-term Debt and Other Borrowings under Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Information — Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Senior Notes — As of September 30, 2018 and 2017, the Company had $2.55 billion aggregate principal amount of unsecured, fixed-rate Senior Notes due during calendar years 2019, 2022, 2025 and 2027 (together, the "Senior Notes"). Our Senior Notes were each sold through a public offering and pay interest semi-annually in arrears. Key information about the Senior Notes outstanding as of September 30, 2018 is summarized in the following table (dollars in millions):
Description
 
Date Issued
 
Maturity Date
 
Aggregate Principal
 
Interest Rate
2019 Notes
 
November 25, 2009
 
December 1, 2019