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10 Best Online Brokerage Firms Ranked by Retail Investors: J.D. Power

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Web-based investors are more satisfied with their investment firm in 2012 than in 2011, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates survey. But those who do their investing and trading online are less satisfied with trading charges and fees this year, the study of 3,730-plus investors found.

Overall satisfaction stands at 768 (out of 1,000) in 2012 vs. 764 in the 2011 survey, due to increases in experience with interaction, information resources and account offerings, while satisfaction with trading charges and fees is 697, down from 703 in 2011.

“Overall trading volume has dropped during the past couple of years, and similar to banks, investment firms are looking to compensate for lost revenue with fees,” said David Lo, director of investment services at J.D. Power and Associates, in a press release.

“Contrary to what some believe, this is not necessarily a bad thing, providing that firms are showing value to their investors in terms of resources and tools and ensuring investors clearly understand how and why they’re charged these fees,” he explained.

For the Power Circle Ratings of each firm, J.D. Power breaks it down as such: 5 Stars is Among the Best in the industry, 4 Stars is Better Than Most, 3 Stars is About Average, and 2 Stars is The Rest or below the industry average.

(This year’s study did not rank USAA, which was No. 1 in 2011, due to a number of factors, including its investor membership arrangements.)

Wells Fargo bank sign. (AP Photo)

10. Merrill Edge (BAC)

Score: 718

2011 Score: 691

Power Circle Rating : 2 stars

9. Wells Fargo (WFC)

Score: 720

2011 Score: 704

Power Circle Rating: 2 stars

8. E*Trade (ETFC)

Score: 769

2011 Score: 763

Power Circle Rating: 3 stars

ING headquarters in Amsterdam. (AP Photo)

7. ING Direct/Sharebuilder

Score: 772

2011 Score: 754

Power Circle Rating: 3 stars

6. T. Rowe Price (TROW)

Score: 778

2011 Score: 768

Power Circle Rating: 4 stars

5. Fidelity Investments

Score: 778

2011 Score: 764

Power Circle Rating: 4 stars

TD Ameritrade execs at NYSE. (AP Photo)

4. T.D. Ameritrade (AMTD)

Score: 794

2011 Score: 769

Power Circle Rating: 5 stars

3. Scottrade

Score: 798

2011 Score: 804

Power Circle Rating: 5 stars

2. Vanguard

Score: 799

2011 Score: 785

Power Circle Rating: 5 stars

Charles Schwab at SchwabImpact conference.

1. Charles Schwab (SCHW)

Score: 801

2011 Score: 803 (No. 3 in 2011)

Power Circle Rating: 5 stars


Check out other J.D. Power surveys on AdvisorOne:


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