Gift from grandparent inspires a nationwide, customer-focused online investing firm
Rodger Riney founded Scottrade on his belief of doing the right thing – for clients, associates and his community – and this principle is firmly intertwined within Scottrade’s history and culture.
Values of fairness and respect were instilled in Rodger by his grandparents, who also introduced him to the stock market by giving him a few shares of stock when he was around 10 years old. After closely following the investments in the daily paper, he became fascinated with investing and the ability to make money from owning part of a company. From that moment on, Rodger’s interest for stock trading grew.
While attending college in the 1960s, Rodger got his start working in the financial services industry. He interned at Edward D. Jones & Co. during semester breaks writing the new market highs and lows on the brokers’ quote board and giving stock quotes to clients over the phone. After earning his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia, he went to work full time as the company’s first management trainee.
Rodger learned the stock brokerage business by working in nearly every division of the company including, branch support, sales, compliance, human resources and training. After the brokerage industry was deregulated in 1975 Rodger realized there was an opportunity to provide good service and low commission rates for investors who wanted to make their own decisions. So in 1980, Rodger opened his own brokerage business, Scottsdale Securities.
“I could never understand why clients should have to pay all the fees full-commission brokerages charged them,” Rodger has said. “Many could do their own research and didn’t need analysts to tell them what to buy and sell. They just wanted a way to invest on their own at a low cost.”
The word spread quickly about Scottsdale Securities’ low commissions and customer service. After his first year in business, Rodger opened a second office in his St. Louis-area hometown and more than 50 offices across the country in the 15 years that followed. In 1996, he took his company online and launched Scottrade.com, which ultimately led to the company changing its name to Scottrade, Inc.
Throughout Scottrade’s 30+ year history, Rodger has remained focused on providing in-person service and educational resources to do-it-yourself investors and traders. He has opened more than 500 branch offices across the country giving Scottrade the largest branch network among online investing firms.
Rodger has continued to expand the business by adding Scottrade® Advisor Services, Scottrade® Asia Pacific, and Scottrade Bank, yet he continues to be a humble example of how Scottrade helps people overcome barriers to achieve financial success. The motto “do the right thing” is still at the heart of Scottrade’s culture where today 3,300 associates carry out this philosophy.
Outside of his professional life, Rodger and his family are active in a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Salvation Army.