Dian's Column
Dian's Archive


Top Brokerage Firms

By Dian Vujovich

Ask 4500 investors which brokerage firms they like working with the best and their answers may surprise you.

For the past seven years, J.D. Power & Associates have polled investors asking them how happy they were working with a number of full-service brokerage firms. Fourteen firms were included in the 2009 survey and investors asked six questions to gauge their attitudes about working with these companies. Questions related to their relationship with their financial advisor, convenience, investment performance, account offerings, account statements and fees. The highest score a firm could receive was 1000.

Last year’s top scorer was Raymond James with a total score of 831. This year the St. Petersburg, FL-based firm fell in ranking, as did the top total score the winning firm received. The clear message: today’s investors aren’t as happy as they were in 2008 with the firms—and service—they’re getting from these snazzy full-service firms.

The 2009 top scorer is Edward Jones with its score of 784. Behind it came LPL with 773 points; Charles Schwab, 771 points; and then Raymond James with 758 points. The average score for the entire lot was 731.

The lowest scores went to Banc of America, 700 points, and Merrill Lynch with its 707 score. That’s kind of odd isn’t it especially since BoA bought Merrill and the combo was supposed to create the leading capital markets and advisory company– and corporate bank– in the U.S.

Guess being the biggest doesn’t necessarily translate to being the bestest in the brokerage biz. Then again, maybe BoA didn’t get enough bailout money to keep its advisors doing a good job of doing a good job. Funny how gift-horse money doesn’t always do as it is supposed to.

For a complete listing of all firms in the J.D. Power & Associates 2009 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Index Ranking visit: http://tinyurl.com/mjve87 .

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

[ top ]