- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - TD Ameritrade executives said Thursday that global economic and political uncertainty could affect the U.S. economy’s strong recovery.

Investors should bet on a stronger U.S. economy and weakness in other countries, said TD Ameritrade Chairman Joe Moglia at the online brokerage’s annual meeting at its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.

“You have to think a bit about the geopolitical risk,” Moglia said. “The things going on around the world will affect our business.”

TD Ameritrade’s CEO Fred Tomczyk also said he expects the U.S. stock market to be more volatile this year because of the economic weakness in Europe and conflicts in Syria and elsewhere.

Initially, volatility will help TD Ameritrade because trading activity generally increases along with the stock market’s ups and downs. But if the stock market or the U.S. economy slows, the number of trades Ameritrade handles each day - and its revenue - would likely shrink from the average of 427,000 trades a day it reported last year.

Tomczyk said the company tries to focus on what it can control: Personalizing its trading platform for users and improving accessibility on mobile devices. There’s little TD Ameritrade can do about the overall economy.

“You have to be ready for the unexpected and have a balance sheet that can handle that,” Tomczyk said.

Besides trading commissions, TD Ameritrade makes money from asset-based fees and fees for investment advice.

TD Ameritrade officials are optimistic even though continued low interest rates limit how much the company can make on asset-based fees. TD Ameritrade predicts earning between $1.45 and $1.70 per share in 2015, up from $1.42 per share in 2014.

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Follow Josh Funk online at www.twitter.com/funkwrite

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Online:

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.: www.amtd.com

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