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tv   After Words After Words Joe Ricketts The Harder You Work the Luckier...  CSPAN  December 16, 2019 12:00am-1:01am EST

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that can work effectively. i think what you are saying is to have the people that are a part of the system come everybody that is part of the system to have a dialogue. open dialogue but everybody's perspective. i would like to thank everybody for coming out on this rainy wednesday night in new haven. it's still raining outside. william and i will be signing books and we would like to thank c-span for coming out and harry coming from the bookstore, thank you so much for coming out tonight. ..
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>>host: joe, thank you for being with us today it is one heck of a book i really enjoyed it up or go it's a gripping story and well told my first question is why did you decide now? was there something you wanted to say? what motivated you to do this now? >> first of all thanks for this interview. i will tell you now it was written to appeal to young entrepreneurs to let them know how hard it can be and how rewarding it can be.
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so it offers encouragement for people to say if i can start my own business i should do it i didn't want to forget anything when the sec dictated the stock in chelan - - exchange to get rid of fixed commissions and going through technology was an inflection point in the financial service industry and i wanted to tell the stories of people would see the human aspect. >> the title the harder you work the luckier you get is that tongue-in-cheek or do you really believe that? >> i really do believe it because it happened to me so many times. i think the first one that
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really put that phrase together but i was talking to the people at simon & schuster telling them here's a problem the harder you work the luckier you get it just came out and it sounded like it should be a good title. >> there was an amazing amount of hard work somebody who has written and worked on wall street including myself in the story you tell about building ameritrade and how hard it was and i have written books about goldman sachs but i never got the impression in writing
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those histories that it was ever as tough what you experience to build ameritrade. how did you do it quex. >> what made it tough is we started with almost nothing and in fact back in the seventies we had to send out a financial statement every six months to our customers in a customer called and said i thought i had to tell you you left three zeros off of your net worth. [laughter] i said no those are the real figures that you see. so we could only grow by the capital that we left in the business from our profits and we also had to be careful about running the business so we were within the regulations calculating net capital and staying within those regulations.
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so it was a constant struggle of balancing first of all making sure we had account and then balancing in three hours how much i need an advertising or to make sure the increase will not exceed net capital and how much can i put into hiring new employees and buying equipment that was a difficult balance for many years. >>host. >> but i was going to say that's what allowed us to grow as well as we did. but even after being in business almost 20 years when i saw the opportunity for the internet and for advertising i said we don't have enough cash and enough money and we will not make it with internally generated funds we have to go public so at the time i regrettably said if we are going to stay in this industry
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and be one of the winners we have to have similar capital and then forced us to go public. >>host: obviously that is the momentous decision in any country one - - companies lifespan you spoke about the momentous big bang when fixed commissions went away but in my own writing and research one of the most important moments is when firms started to go public when they went from private partnerships to public companies obviously they needed access to capital and it made it a lot easier but how do you feel? feels like you have some regrets going public for the capital access was something lost when you went public in your mind?
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and how important is it to changing the culture of wall street quex. >> for me it was a very difficult decision because i had always wanted to be the business for my family to operate after i was gone and retired if i went public it would be difficult to maintain the atmosphere of a family business. but at the same time i also knew that we needed the access to that capital to take advantages of the opportunities ahead of us and that turned out to be right. i figured we needed 100 million for technology and 100 million for advertising in both of those figures turned out to be low. so we went public at just the right time to get us into the upper echelon so to stay in
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business at one time we had over 400 competitors but most were weaned out before the late 19 nineties a very similar story to the automobile industry or any industry i was aware if we wanted to stay small we cannot survive than i would have nothing to leave to my children. the time that we went public and i got all the blessings of that capital i knew we wouldn't have that same atmosphere we had in the past. people really felt close about working at ameritrade it was a fun environment although very stressful and people had to work hard everybody seemed to enjoy it. when you go public you become
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a different company more professional and you lose that personal touch you feel in a private company. i have a different attitude toward the investment bankers. i don't think they ever should have gone public. i think they had better control and management of what they were doing as investment bankers when they stayed private so icd with the public and retail buying and selling as an investment banker is two different businesses and need to be thought of separately. and then it should have been kept private but on the public side i think it was okay we
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did well by going public it was us personally as a family that los lost. >> i certainly agree about the balance with the idea investment bankers stay private however getting into so many other businesses obviously morgan stanley had a big brokerage are so they were in so many difference businesses maybe it was inevitable. >> did you feel the underwriters did a good job and did that leave something to be desired quex. >> i was amazed we had been in business 20 years we couldn't get anybody's interest we were going to have a small offering until we got to first boston then they didn't understand our business and they were not
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enthusiastic about taking us public they did it because they made money but there was no special enthusiasm for our stock after we were public for a little while demonstrating what type of growth we could have the stock went way up and they said why didn't you tell us i said you wouldn't listen or buy into it. it was amazing for 20 years we have been growing at a phenomenal rate and nobody in the securities industry that we were anything other than a startup business. that was always a surprise and a shock to me. >>host: because you were in oklahoma and not in new york quex. >> i think even if we were in a money center. >>host: i mean nebraska. i'm sorry. >> that's right. we are neighbors that located
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in the money center i think we would have been looked at the same way because the securities industry didn't want to think we were doing as well as we were so subconsciously they ignored us. >>host: but omaha had warren buffett so it's not like they were not aware of what was going on in omaha. >> that's true but what warren buffett does is so much different than what we do in the securities industry. and i don't know if that phenomenon would wear off on us. >>host: have you met him quex.
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>> yes we live in the same neighborhood i had a couple business meetings over 30 years with him maybe i see him once a year at a fundraiser but he is in a completely different world than i am. >>host: he didn't seek your counsel? [laughter] >> that is certainly correct. >>host: let's go back your childhood is so interesting growing up and you say in the book you had a very different outlook with your family and parents was that hard for you growing up somebody not interested in the business your father was in?
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>> it was not hard. in fact i had an ideal growing up being in nebraska city through this forties and fifties and sixties it was a wonderful place to grow up my friends and i still get together we really had it the most wonderful way and we didn't realize it and did not know it. with respect to my father he was in business with his father and when my grandfather died my dad bought the assets from the estate my father would have liked me to be in business with him and in fact he encouraged me to go to engineering school. but i had no intention of going into that business. i had tried as a young person but you have to have some talent with your hands and i
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don't have that talent. i could not conceive of the mechanics necessary to understand where you should nail things and i just do not have that. i couldn't wait to get out of nebraska city although a great place to grow up i was ready for new adventures i would mom - - my father would have enjoyed becoming into business he knew i would never do that in fact he even counseled me when he fired me and said he won't make it as a good carpenter you're not good working with your hands. that you would normally think that would be a stressful time he was comfortable asking me to leave and i was comfortable saying i'm happy you are asking me to leave. i'm pleased you're not so disappointed. some of the other aspects of the sports i never did feel
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any shortcoming and myself. i tried to play sports but i was all thumbs. if i tried to catch the ball that hit me in the face. i felt like a grown-up i would take my few dollars into the bank and go up to the teller and hand by passbook savings account and the teller would take the information and that made me feel grown-up that was a feeling i got that nothing else will replace the working to make a few dollars putting into your bank account was most important thing in my life as a young man. my parents always encouraged me to work, and save they never encourage me to play sports.
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of course my parents were raised in the depression so a lot of times you have a different attitude what you do with your work and dollars. >>host: but you talk about you have great freedom but also responsibility. that feels like such an american concept and an admirer of concept. >> i feel responsible to my mother especially i didn't want to disappoint her that she would consider to make her feel embarrassed. we needed to work to maintain that place. although we had no idea what's happening at the time i could see that i always knew i should be responsible and i
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had the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. >>host: tell your viewers the story of the family bull. that seems to be a seminal moment. >> for that generation it wasn't a great lesson for me to learn when my mother told me that story as a young boy. my grandfather was a successful farmer in manly nebraska, a small farming town. to be successful meant the rows were straighter the hogs were fatter and then of course the catholic church in that small town offered the first pew to the family that gave
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the most and the second pew and my grandfather's family always had the front pew. they always bought a new car every couple of years. my grandfather's mother married a banker and this was before regulations so that was like owning a hardware store. you lend your money and you took your risk and put the interest rate you thought would be something to give you the etiquette reward. but then he had access to capital so my grandmother wanted to leave each of her children a farm. after the first world war farming was a very successful business there was a dip with the extra supply but then the market grew as economies around the world grew and a
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demand for the agricultural products the united states produced. during the twenties times were good. my grandfather had a farm they had a mortgage and as soon as they had equity in the farm they borrowed against that equity and bought the next farm for the next kid once they had equity again they borrowed against that for the next kid. if everything would have continued the same it would've been wonderful but it didn't and then going into the depression. one of the things my grandfather did do was cattle his dream was to leave a cattle operation to him and his son. his dream was a sign that before they got very old he bought a bull. and had a disease i don't
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remember tuberculosis or the mouth. but it was a prized bowl and when he brought it home he had a party and his farmyard to invite the neighbors the tables were full of food and people would play games. one of them the men would bet how many eggs they could lay on the back of the bull before they would fall off. my grandfather was in his heyda heyday. this was the peak of his career because he was able to show off the bull. think of the benefits he could have to make his herd get bigger and better with the
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meat they would produce. when he got the decision from the state's animal had this disease he lost all control and it was before science new how to handle it. so the whole herd had to be destroyed. when the herd was destroyed he didn't have the money to make the payment on the loan that was pulling the full chrome out of the pyramid and everybody lost their farm. also before the days of any kind of social arrow - - welfare. when he lost the farm he moved to nebraska city to work in a packing house. buddy had a nervous breakdown so he never worked after he lost the farm. my memories of him or sitting in a rocking chair looking out the window. his sons were old enough to work in the packing house and the daughters worked the whole family went to work to support
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the family. but here is a man who had a very strong social position as a good farmer and then had to move into a house with dirt floors. the red to the least expensive thing they could find. it was very much of a come down and it was hard times for the family. and he never did recover. it had a big influence on my mother and she told me the story many times. >>host: did you take a lesson from that story for ameritrade? >> i did. i think i say be ready to fail. be ready to lose all of your dreams and start over.
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i have a website and one of the entrepreneurs on the website that i interview say entrepreneurs are different we fail and then we get back on the horse. eight out of ten new businesses fail and your risk is high but if that happens and then you get back up and try again. >> at another important moment with the buzz saw and that teaches you about the importance of innovation and technology. >> it is an important part of the story and i started out and pointed out how important it was because as we were successful with technology
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everybody thought i understood technology and with that understanding is what allowed me to be successful the reality is i didn't understand but just what it could do like the buzz saw and that images where my mind went that these people don't know i don't know about technology so how do i take advantage of it? but he was so pleased about what they could do and how much more construction they could get don done. >> so you just have to know what a car can do for you you don't have to know how it works. >> correct. same thing. >>host: it seems again from reading the book that
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technology was a hurdle you are trying to get over. and you thought you had a solution and it's obsolete by the time you implemented it and a lot of people cycled through to figure out the technology and it's as simple as the innovation to dial a phone number to make the trade and it seems like every time you thought you had the edge on technology you were behind the eight ball all over again. >> that is correct but it is amazing to me to think where we started with a touch tone telephone the latest technology in 1975 and a
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pencil and a piece of paper. the trade was maybe put in the book and then the ledger sheet that went into an alphabet system so as i said in the book right out of charles dickens days everything done by hand didn't take long to learn we could not continue to do everything by hand and expect the business to grow so we had to have some sort of automation come in to help us out. and as i described in the book the first company we used was the name of computer research that gave us a teletype machine that was a big typewriter the clerk would type in all the activity for the day, trade made in checks going in and out in that
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machine gave a tickertape we would set the telephone in a holder and the tickertape was set up and give that information to the computer in philadelphia. so all of this transmission goes to philadelphia if you had static on the line the information was incorrect. the company in philadelphia would see the information we sent process it and print it out in chicago so all ledger sheets and confirmations are printed in chicago the person that ran those machines with the put them in a box and send them to omaha that would happen overnight but something
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always happened there is a snowstorm so we usually got it a day after we are supposed to get it and then had to pick up all the mistakes. was a much more efficient way to operate and in some ways it was very inefficient because we are ready to do the business of that day to answer the telephone and write the ticket but not tracking like we did two days ago. so it wasn't too long after we had that business i'm very happy we had it it was a good steppingstone but we realized we needed our own system but i had never heard the word software. people said you have to have a computer and software the first question is what is software? back in 1975 i said it's not
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that long ago that coming into being the world was completely different at that time. . . . . how do they challenge to himself
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that he wanted to do the impossible in ways that demonstrated he could do things other people couldn't. you are going to ask a question. >> host: could you ever have imagined that we would be with the technology we are now where essentially the internet through a website interface to do your own trading right there online and people feel good about it and there's confidence in the system. could you ever have imagined that? >> guest: we started tthat?gueso have that as an objection nobody had the concept that you could do that. we took the trade by telephone, wrote them on a ticket and gave them to a clerk to call in and get a callback. within six seconds it was truly
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remarkable, almost like america remarkable interview. everybody had to build their systems so that it would flow through from from customers ked to tha customer'skeyboard to thd back end must have all the information or be aware of the information. it was truly remarkable, absolutely but we didn't dream it or have any concept but that would have been. >> host: you said something about seeing a magazine cover with a broker on the cover that looked dashing into impressive and prosperous. is that what did it for you? >> guest: the other part is i wasn't happy about my job or where my career was going. since i had been a reporter, i
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knew i wanted my own business but i didn't have any capital or way to get any capitals of being a commissioned salesman was the next best thing to have in your own business. at the time that i'v i went thrh the story, they were making a lot of money and so thinking that i could have the opportunity to put in my pocket the own compensation relative to the job and do it in a way that is repeated through the securities market, the investment market was the most attractive that i could get. so, when i understood what happened, i had to go there so i went to omaha to apply for jobs and they didn't have a college degree. all the manager said we don't even look at somebody without a masters degree so that's when my wife and i sat down to map out
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how much money we would need to take care of the family or i could go to work to make the money or i could go back to school. then i went back to college to get my bachelors degree. the idea that i would be one of these people that flourish making money as a stockbroker was incredibly attractive but it just so happens i got registered as a top of the market in the late 1960s and had five years in the market. >> host: how do you go from being a broker to thinking you could start your own discount or low cost. the low-cost brokerage and make it work? >> guest: as i talk about with bob perlman, my associate, my partner, my mentor, he is the one that really sent somebody is going to break ranks and try to
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offer prices at a lower price because he was experience has en the grocery business and competition, so the brokerage community didn't want a change. they didn't think it would change, so they thought even though the government had instructed negotiating commissions that people wouldn't they reduce their prices, and bob perlman is the one that said to be somebody wil me somebody t will start a trend. i reall believe it and understa. if we think we have to compete for our business now on the commission of the charge, why don't we be one of the people customers want to do business with you and not to defend themselves for the high commissions we always would have said that i that is how it all t started. actually, we wer were dumb as cd be. we had no idea how to do it and
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we thought that really sounds great. but as the story unfolded as i tell in the bucket was piecemeal, a little bit here and a little bit there but we were so naïve or stupid enough that e just kept plowing along and it turned out to be that when you think there is a market for somebody that just wants to make the trade, they just want to let you know here's what i want to buy and sell and i don't need any research or service to find out that the market is bigger than you think, that was wonderful. the other thing that was kind of important here is right after the second world war, the government have the g.i. bill. a lot of people came back from the conflict of the war to go to college on the g.i. bill to become engineers, architects, accountants, doctors and they
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wish that education felt comfortable making their own decisions about what companies they want to buy stock from, so there were two things going on at the same time dot really need to market a deeper and broader than we ever thought it would be so it's one of those things we didn't know the market was there until i got started. it's an incredible story of perseverance, too. they have to recover from it in some ways having your back against the wall really does help because you don't have any choice but to keep going. there's also a certain
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bittersweet quality of some of your relationships you form by the commission bob perlman early on and you have to make tough decisions and people came into the business and left the business. you had to make a lot of tough decisions come if you try to make it a family business and at times your wife, marlene, who seems by the way like a saint, you wanted to hopefully have some of your -- you've got your brother working there and hope to have your children working there, but it sounded like often you have to make tough decisions you had to part ways with some of these people being partners and in some cases never spoke to them again. what was that like for you and how did you feel about that? >> it's terrible but it's one of the things you have to go through sometimes.
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i'd like to talk about tim mcreynolds for a second. he was right out of law school when we had our first difficulties with the securities and exchange commissions. because he had a lot of confidence in himself and because he had a unique way of trying to solve this problem, he's seeing us from going out of business. now this is an attorney only in business as an attorney for a couple of months, who had the ability to really save our business and keep us running. a few years later, he changed the whole industry by thinking differently, by thinking irreverently about all the rules and regulations, such event to the fec to ask them if we could form an association with a commercial bank and just share commission.
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the fcc gave us no action. if you did exactly this way, we will take no action. that changed the whole industry. again, he'd only been attorney a couple of years and change the whole securities industry. a little bit later, he saves me. i had a fight with my partners to allow me to stay a partner in the brokerage firm that i helped to start because i was doing some obnoxious things relative to my partner spots and judgments and they kind of wanted to have me leave. so, tim was very, very important. he was very near and dear to my soul, and abou about as close as you could possibly have. now, when he really helped us with our legal work in 1975 and 76 in the securities and exchange commission, we had a bill for $75,000. it was more money than i could really ever actually comprehend.
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but i said to him we can't afford to pay because we don't have the money. i would like to give half of it in stock and the other half over a. of time as we can because there was no choice but to agree to get paid. so he had this stock now and now he knows the stock is increasing in value because we are keeping all of the earnings and putting them back in the business and growing the business. but every once in a while, he would have something grabbed his attention and he needed cash so he would call and want to sell this stock. whenever i bought this stock because we were the only market, i have t had to reduce the adve, which was to me like cutting a hole in your heart and letting the blood flow. after he did that a couple times, i said i can't do this anymore. i'm going to buy all of your stuff right now, get it done and over with and assign you a check. so, we parted ways. we were not really mad at each
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other, but we lost that friendship. so, he and i were always friends later on in life and at arms length, so those are really hard times. those were hard things, but i had perlman, my mentor, that was hard. i had to say to myself don't let your emotions get in the way of good judgment. try to think clearly, try to think logically, and follow the ideas that come out of that type of effort and don't let your emotions become involved. they've gobut i've got to tell s not easy. it's very difficult. i hated to go away from them within arms length relationship. >> host: yet you found that sort of standard occurrence in history and successful business
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is that there are people who come and go and they can be tough decisions having to be made along the way. have you shared this with other entrepreneurs like yourself and discover that they have had similar experiences? >> to answer the question, yes. most of the time they generally have associations or difficult e difficult for them to keep as the business grew because two people would want to go different directions and so the friendship and camaraderie was not there. starting with more than one person, but it is something that you have to handle successfully or you will not survive. >> and so, you were clearly driven to succeed.
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i assume you have succeeded beyond you our wildest dreams undoubtedly that changed your life. could you have imagined it happening this way? happened this way? i know you didn't want to merge with the bank but eventually, that did happen. i know you wanted to leave the business for your children and grandchildren, but that didn't happen. so you've accomplished many of your goals but not all of your goals and are obviously a very wealthy man beyond your wildest dreams. is this like a story of america in the 20th and early 21st century? how are you feeling about your experience, your narrative from your triplex >> guest: it's true that i've accumulated more money than i ever dreamed i thought that i would have. but at the same time, i was old
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enough when tha it happened thai am not going to change, so my wife and i still have the same values that we had when we didn't have any money. it allows us to do things that we wouldn't have been able to do. for example, my children wanted to buy the baseball teams, the chicago cubs. we would not have been able to do that if it wasn't for that kind of success. and it has made a wonderful business for my children to really run some of the baseball team. so, we have -- >> host: if you have that in your booyour book about theyoury that is quite a momentous thing. >> guest: it was a big thing, but my kids did it. thedid. they pushed the idea on me. i said why would i want to buy a baseball team if i have no interest? and basically they said well, we don't want you to have interest. we want it for ourselves. we are all interested in
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baseball. my wife had talked t to talk tos about peaceful. and we got the television station wgn with the chicago cubs and the omaha area so my kids at home in the afternoon would watch and i did not know that. my kids went off to chicago, loving the chicago cubs, but i have no knowledge of it. so, it was one of those things that is serendipitous. it's another one of those things where you can say the harder i work, the luckier i get. i have no interest in it, but my kids sure did and they went after it in a very earnest way and they did win a world championship as you know, first time for the cubs in 100 years. so very successful with the baseball team and with the remodeling of the ballpark in the neighborhood and the businesses around it, so it's been a wonderful thing if we wouldn't have been able to do that if we hadn't had the fortune that came with being successful at the brokerage
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business. >> host: is the ricketts family heroes in chicago -- to get yourself a championship like you did in 02, or three, and go for? >> guest: my son, first of all my wife and i have four children. they were the ones. it was suggested by my son, tom, and my son tom had the most interest and he has an entrepreneurial. the four kids among themselves put on in charge, so really he was the one that was to make of the important decisions. so, in chicago when we've won the world series, i think my son could have been inflicted to anything. anyone could give you two would have said he shouldn't be president or mayor or anything.
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everybody has respect for what has happened an in my family, my three kids that still live in chicago or well regarded. >> host: i want to touch on parts of our little more personal. you had a brother that was gay and died of aids and a daughter that is gay. catholic background, grew up in the midwest. you are very forthright about it in the book, very honorable way that you discuss and handle it all. what has that experience been like for you and your children and growing up the way that you get? >> guest: i think you can imagine growing up in a town of about 6,000 in the agricultural community you don't have much exposure to this idea with the
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reality of a homosexual. it just doesn't come into your well-being. i never had any idea that my brother was gay until he called me and told me that he had aids as i describe another. so, but he was only a year younger than i was and is a common type of ten and it didn't make any difference to me whether he had been a homosexual. so we took care of him until he passed away. my daughter was in her early 20s, she was a young woman when she came to my wife and i to tell us that she was gay. she said i did not choose this. nobody would wish upon themselves that they would be gay. i was born this way. so through my tears i was able to tell her never take second place. alalways hold your head high and be as good as you can be at whatever you want to be.
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both of those things, with my brother and my daughter come out of love. the above is probably the strongest emotion in a persons lifperson'slife and certainly tt connector to other people. people. family is the basic unit of society, and if this is what is going to work, families have got to work. my wife and i both came from very strong families, different types of families with very strong. so, the family came first. those decisions were really automatic on my part. i know that in a lot of other families they are not considered to play and i think it is a shamshame and that is part of wi talked about it in this book. i too would have loved both of those things out and the book still would have been good, but i think it's important to let people know there's a good percentage of the population that are gay and the fact that
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it's more, it shouldn't have any influence on any other aspect of their business. so, i really kind of wanted to tell the stories in the book. >> host: thank you for discussing a. a. i wanted to ask about advertising because it is such a big part of your business and you put a lot of money into it. you clearly took pride in the benefit of driving customer volumes through your advertisi advertising. what do you think about the advertising of ameritrade today thanks to the complex >> guest: i'm still a large shareholder and i really enjoyed the fact i think they still have good management. i would like to told us to the management today, the ad that you have been running has been going too long.
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it's old and boring but they must have a reason for continuing it. do i like it, no, two years ago yesterday don't like it now. >> host: it seems a little one in the tooth but it is the clitoris and memorable though i don't remember quite by i remember it or what it gets me to do. do you have a view of the market cap is about 70 billion e*trade got flooded still aroungod floos about seven or 8 billion, what is the dynamic in the industry now, why is schwab such a higher valuation than ameritrade, though obviously it is well beyond anything you've ever could have imagined i assume. >> guest: well, charles schwab, who is a friend, but at the time we were competing all through 75 up through the
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turn-of-the-century. he was a competitor that i had to worry about and i mentioned the company several times in my book. but, he was fortunate enough to have started in california. california i think at that time had the ninth largest economy in the world if it had in its own country. now in nebraska we have 1.5 million people, most of them did and buy stocks or bonds. so he had a market that was right out at his front door and i had to have a market i had to go searching through the haystack to find people that would want to be interested in buying and selling stocks or bonds. so although i think he started about 1975, i never really heard of the discount brokerage schwab & co. in san francisco until about 1977. and he also wrote a book they published within the same month, and if you read his book you see
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that although he had the opportunity of being closer to a market that was larger than the market that i was in that he wanted to grow it as fast as he could with branches and those printers are expensive, so i think that charles schwab has done a wonderful job all through the years of managing his business and it's allowed him to get to a larger market cap than ameritrade just because of where we started and where we had to deal with it when we were a a new company getting to grow. he had a bigger base to grow from just because of the population and the kind of population that he had. >> host: and he also bought a bank, private wealth management business. >> guest: he di heated somewhere along the line, yes. i've got to tell you every entrepreneur is going to have to
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make mistakes because you are doing things that have never been done before. so, anybody can look at charles schwab and joe ricketts and say that was a bad thing and they are probably right. so, you have to take your hat off and gave a lot of credit for doing some of the things that didn't work at the same token i have to say to myself i deserve credit for being brave even though i failed and that's noble when you have a growing business. >> host: your view on the market these days is at an all-time high. sort of month after month i'm sure people would like to know your views of where the market is going. >> guest: i am 74 still working 60 hours a week. i did retire from the ameritrade is the ceo of about 20 years ago, and i figured i deserved to
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take use of the money that i accumulated to do the things i wanted and that kept me happy for about six months. after six months, i was no longer happy. i have to be in business. i have to be part of the creative process that makes economies work. so i went back to work and i'm very happy and i've got to tell you i've never worked in such a strong economy as it exists today. i think it is really quite wonderful for the country. it's a little bit awkward for me because i am not in the brokerage business. in other businesses and as i try to buy other businesses, there is a lot of money floating around and a lot of competition each kind of makes the price is ridiculous sometimes so you kind of have to pass. but the government has really given the country the attitude that finds her bed, the president led the charge on reducing taxes and regulations and i think those are important
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things. if i could i would like to get off my soapbox and say again there are still too many government regulations on the part of the federal, state and local levels that just really stop people from starting their own business. and that's what makes our economy grow. that's what makes our wealth so good. >> host: on the other hand you sasay into the queue in the boot regulations or at least in the securities industry. it's the same as having a seatbelt in a car. >> guest: seat belt and a car would be going too far for regulations. i don't think -- is that you don't thin think we should havee seatbelts in the car? >> guest: i think i shouldn't be told what to do. the other argument is if i get in a car accident without a seatbelt and i end up on the charity list for helping me get
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well, i was negligent about wearing a seatbelt, so i can see both parties but my feelings or leave me alone and i will make up my own mistakes and grow my own wago my ownway and do my ow. that's my emotions. realistically though, you know there has to be some regulation. i like the word free enterprise more than i like the word capitalism. capitalism is a great thing that capitalism is the kind of gets the image but it's unbounded, that it's wrong and it's dog eat dog and cutthroat which it is a projecinwhich it should be, bute enterprise may give the same image that brings in the temperance that comes with regulation. so, we do need regulation and we do need an overseer of the securities industry, probably every industry, take sure that the balance between the consumer and the people that ar are offeg the products and services are offering them in an honest and in a good way.
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so, we do need some regulations. the question is how far do you go. my personal feelings is become a part of the cities and municipalities and states that feel like we've gone too far. we tried to protect the public too much to the point where we are stopping people from starting their own businesses, and when people start their own businesses, that is where we created the new jobs that are necessary to make our economy get along well. so, i think that we have probably gone on a little too far. >> host: on that note i want to thank joe ricketts for being part of the program today and to tell everybody that this is an amazing story of entrepreneurship, persistence, truly the american dream within a very readable way. congratulations to you and your co- writer. it's a great read and i recommend it. >> guest: i appreciate that. thanks very kindly.
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