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Best Firms for Self-Directed Investors: J.D. Power — 2020

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(Related: Best Full-Service Investment Firms Ranked by Investors: J.D. Power — 2020)

One week after sharing its latest investor poll on full-service firms, research group J.D. Power released its 2020 U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study — which shows that clients seeking some professional guidance remain more satisfied than clients who prefer to do their own investing work.

In general, the top firms working with both pure do-it-yourself investors and self-directed investors who receive some professional advice saw their satisfaction levels — measured on a  scale of 1 to 1,000 — rise slightly from a year ago.

Firms with platforms that offer access to financial professionals topped the pure DIY platforms by an average of 11 points this year: 801 vs. 786. That spread in satisfaction is smaller, though, than what it was in 2019: 791 vs. 768.

The survey findings reflect interviews with more than 5,500 investors conducted from November 2019 to January 2020.

Impact of the Coronavirus Crisis

J.D. Power predicts that next year’s survey results could be influenced by what’s going on now with circumstances tied to the coronavirus and related turmoil in the markets and economy.

“In the past several weeks, a number of wealth management firms have experienced high-profile website service outages, which have been driven by extreme market volatility and high volume, and that will have a negative effect on customer loyalty and satisfaction,” according to Michael Foy, senior director of wealth & lending intelligence at J.D. Power. 

“Do-it-yourself investors experiencing at least one website outage over the past 12 months are twice as likely as other investors to say they will leave their current firm,” Foy added in a statement. 

The marketing research firm also says DIY investors who experienced at least one website outage over the past 12 months are “twice as likely to say they either “definitely will” or “probably will” leave their current firm in the next year.

Check out the gallery above to see how J.D. Power ranked the firms, followed by the 2019 rankings for comparison.

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