Markets & Finance

J.D. Power Rates the Best Brokers


Which full-service securities brokers get the highest marks from their customers? In its fourth annual study, J.D. Power & Associates (like BusinessWeek.com, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies) ranked Edward Jones as the highest in investor satisfaction for the second straight year.

J.D. Power & Associates' Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study, which was released on July 10, surveyed 5,064 clients in the U.S. It measures overall customer satisfaction with full-service investors by examining seven factors. They are, in order of importance: competitiveness of portfolio (20%), financial adviser/broker (18%), account set-up/account offerings (17%), commissions and fees (13%), customer service representative (12%), convenience (11%), and account statements (10%). The study examines consumer attitudes, brand image, and experiences with investors and divides them into three groups: high, medium, and low commitment.

Investors satisfied with their investment firms tend to recommend them to family and friends. Positive word of mouth can pay off for firms, while highly committed investors can help them as well. Investors who are highly committed to their full-service investment firms generate 12 times more new investment dollars per year compared to clients with lower commitment, representing an average of $900,000 in new assets under management per year, according to the study. They're also more loyal, use additional services, and are more likely to recommend their financial institution, J.D. Power & Associates says.

PASS IT ALONG. Edward Jones received top ratings from customers in five of the seven drivers that determine overall satisfaction: competitiveness of portfolio, account set-up/account offerings, customer service representative, convenience, and account statements. Edward Jones receives 40% more recommendations per year than the overall industry, says James Lohmann, senior director of investment services research at J.D. Power & Associates.

In the No. 2 slot, Raymond James Financial (RJF) received particularly high ratings from customers in the area of financial adviser/broker. A.G. Edwards (AGE) ranks third on the list. The firm got high marks for its financial adviser/broker relationships with clients, and also did well in customer service and convenience (hours of operation, ease of Web site use), Lohman says.

Here's the list of brokers and how they scored in the study.

Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study


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