Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, JapanPACIFIC STARS AND STRIFES TUESDAY, HAY 20,1997
The Associated Press
Keith ChmieSeski holds a pair of the [email protected]
he sells at the Chicago Hoard of Trade. Ths shoes
add up to three [email protected]
in height so\i raders can see while doing business in the pits. The basic
mod®! costs $89, and Chmieleslci charges another $&§ for the last inch and a half of .height.
* Everfinch counts when
you're fighting in the pits,
so platform shoes are a
The Associated Press
CHICAGO — At 6-foot-2, Guy
Radossevich, looks like the kind
of guy who couldn't have a bad
seat at the movies.
But in the hurly-burly of Chi-
cago's Board of Trade, he
doesn't stand out — even with
his garish jacket and frenetic
He relies on platform shoes.
Brokers, traders and clerks
are wearing special black shoes
with rubber soles that boost
their height by up to 3 inches.
The lift helps them see above
the flailing arms, flashing
hands and bobbing heads on the
trading floor, which is big
enough to hold a Boeing 747.
"I can't see over the brokers
in front of me," complained Ra-
dossevich, who works in the• ' • >, • ' •
frenzied 30-year U.S. Treasury
bond pit. "Even wi$i the shoes,
I can barely see — especially
when it's busy."
Board of Trade workers gen-
erally arrive in ^dressy shoes
and change to more comfort-
able ones so they can stand for
seven hours a day. They leave
their street shoes in the shoeroom, where Keith Chmieleski
has been taking care of them
That's where he also has
been seUing the special Mason
Shoes, made in Chippewa Falls,
Wis., since 1991. He estimates
he's sold 1,500 pairs; 250 last
year and 270 already this year.
He charges $89 for the shoes
and up to $65 to add a 1^-inch
sole. He says he makes a slight
profit but would not be more
"They're just trying to catch
up to the guy next to them," he
said% "Somebody gets' half an
inchi and the guy standing nextto him gets an inch or an inch-
and-a-half. It doesn't stop."
Well, it does, at three.
Chmieleski said adding more
than IVi inches to the shoes,
which already have a IVMnch
sole, would make them un-
The rules forbid high plat-
form shoes or high-heeled
shoes, but it is up to fjoor offi-
cials to determine how high is
too high, a Board of Trade
The shoes are^ against the
rules at the Chicago ^ercantile
Exchange, but -'thift hasn't
stopped tworkeis"from ordering
them, Chmieleski said. *
The Associated Press
CHICAGO — Hold'onto your
stomachs, folks. Last year's
most popular new products in-cluded a self-nsuig pizza crust
and baked potato chips, which
may have helped ^ost three
new indigestion drugs into the
"Pizza and chips and antacids
— is there0 some connection
mere? You telKme," quippedCarol Elitov, a vice president at
Chicago-based Information Re-
sources Inc., a product-tracking
firm. - -. ; ;"'•./"/ •••..." .'•-.LuvsStretch diapers led.the
top 10 product introductions,
with,$435 million in sales, fol-
lowed by Scott lOOtt paper
products at $309 million andPepcid AC with $248 million in
sales, " . ''v-',;»'.'.'/ ,;;: -'v/v";v •'
Many, Americans also -ap-
peared to be trying to kick the
smoking habit by purchasing
Nicorette gum, which took
foifrth place by ringing up $189
million in sales.
That was followed by Baked
Lays potato chips, $167 million;
Pampers Premium, $162 mil-
lion; and Tagamet HB/2t)0,$155 million.
Rounding out the top 10 were
Bounty Medleys, $126 million
and DiGiorno self-rising pizza,
And if all this gives you indi-
gestion, there's yet more antac-
id, Zantac 75, at $116 million.
* Three-quarters of on-
line brokerages now allow
customers to make trans-
actions via the *Net
The New York Times
Bruce Bennett would rather
spend his money on fishing
equipment than on commis-
sions for Ms stock trades.
Tfy^t is why Bennett, a
fourth-year medical student at
the University of Mississippi,
has used three different broker-
age firms in the last year. Inter-
estingly, those three firms
share another trait besides
cheap deals: they all offer trad-
ing over the Internet.
That is no surprise. The In-
ternet is the speediest part of
the fast-growing area of on-line
ing commission has fallen from
$35.33 in 1996 to $34.48 this
year, and some trades — partic-
ularly the Internet onesu — go
for as little as $9 or less.
"As more and more broker-
ages go on line and offer Inter-
net trading, the competition for
who can offer the lowest fees is
heating up immensely," said
Kenneth J. Michal, an analyst
with the American Association
of Individual Investors.
Another reason for the low
prices is low overhead, said Ju-
lio Gomez, an analyst at Forres-
ter Research in Cambridge,
"It costs brokerages very lit-
tle, if anything, to offer trades
via the Internet," he said.
But investors must realize
that these bargain deals some-!
times come with conditions andtrading. Investors can trade on hefty side charges. That is to be
line through a company's pro- expected; discount brokers, the
prietary software, through com- - biggest presence in on-linemercial on-line services or di-
rectly on the Internet.
But although only five of the
12 on-line traders, or 42 per-
cent, offered Internet access in
1995, 25 of the 33 on-line trad- said, "is that these firms are
ers this year, or 76 percent, are simply giving customers what
offering Internet service, ac- they want — cheap trades —
cording to the American Asso- and extracting their pound of
trading so far, often use this ap-
proach in their off-line busi-
"What's happening right now
with the price wars," Gomez
ciation of In-
growth in on-
is over the In-
ing editor at Mercer Inc., which
also tracks this data.
Online, for ex-
charges a fiat
fee of $9 a
trade. To get
$10,000count minimum; otherwise,
they must pony up $19 a trans-
firms decide to start offering Investexpress On-Line
on-line trading, the Internet is charges $13.95 a trade, but the
more and more often their
choice. Consider full-service
Memll Lynch recently an-
nounced that it would begin of-
trade must be for at least 500
shares, with a minimum share
price of $3.
Some firms charge execution
fees'oh each trade. At Computel
fering Internet trading to quali- that fe'e is $2.50; Net Investor
fying customers in* January charges $2.75.
1998, and in December, Dean "Investors should always call
Witter purchased Lombard In- and ask about extra charges —
stitutional Brokerage, which processing fees, handling fees,
does about half of its trading on sometimes they're called differ-
the Internet. • ent things," Scheluchin* said.
Mutual funds;;>vhich often of- ''All firms put it in their litera-
fer prospectuses and applica- ture, but sometimes it's hard to
tlons on the Internet, also are find."
edging into trading. The Scud- Optional services can be
der,JMdeUtyrStrongand Am0ri- steeply priced, too; Datek On-
can Century fund fainih'es now line, for instance, charges $50
allow exchanges, redemptions to mail stock certificates.
or both over the Internet. And
the last two also allow the pur-
chase of additional shares on
the Interne^ fund is
linked to the customer's bank
It is not surprising mat bar-
Largefees for inactive ac-
counts -—Net Investor charges
$50 — are often levied on inves-
tors who fail to generate a mini-
mum dollar amount of commis-
sions within a certain period.
And limit orders, through
gain-seekers such as Bennett which investors set a price limit
have flocked to this system. The on a stock sale or purchase, can
average minimum on-line trad- cost extra., \ „