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Back around the turn of the century, I used BrokerageAmerica, which not only had $0 trades but gave rebates on your trades. They made their money as a market maker. Eventually, they dropped the rebates, then they dropped the $0 trades, then they dropped themselves (selling off their accounts to Ameritrade).

Which is to say, they aren't the first $0 brokerage and they won't be the last $0 brokerage. But I don't expect them to be around long term and I double don't expect them to provide $0 trades long term.

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