Raymond James ranked highest in investor satisfaction among full-service investment firms, according to an annual survey released this week by J.D. Power and Associates. The company topped the list with a score of 831 out of a possible 1,000 in a study that measured six factors: investment performance; financial advisor/broker relationships; commissions and fees; account setup/account offerings; convenience; and account statements.
Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Raymond James has 4,750 financial advisors serving 1.6 million accounts.
Edward Jones finished second among the 12 companies ranked with a score of 806, followed by UBS Financial Services with 798.
Raymond James rated "among the best" in all six categories, as well in the "overall experience" category. The firms that rated "better than most" in the overall experience category are Edward Jones, UBS, LPL Financial Services, and Merrill Lynch.
The other firms included in the ranking are Ameriprise Financial Services, Charles Schwab & Co., Chase Investment Services, Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney and Wachovia Securities.
The study found that current unsettled market and economic conditions have caused investors to rethink what factors are most important in determining overall satisfaction-24% of clients chose investment performance as the top reason versus 19% last year, while client relationships with advisors and brokers was second at 22%, compared with 24% last year. These two categories generally place in the top two.
J.D. Power's 2008 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study measured investment satisfaction among three different client groups: affluent investors ($1 million or more in investable assets); mass affluent investors (between $100,000 and $999,999 in investable assets); and mass market investors (less than $100,000 in investable assets). Among these three categories, the study says investment firms can achieve high satisfaction levels by proactively contacting affluent investors an average of 4.2 times per year, mass affluent 2.8 times, and mass market 1.7 times.
The study is based on responses from 4,528 investors who primarily invest with one of the 19 firms included in the study (only 12 had enough responses to qualify for ranking). The study was conducted from April to May 2008 by J.D. Power, a global marketing information services company in Westlake Village, Calif. The ratings can be viewed at http://www.jdpower.com/finance/ratings/full-service-investment-firm-ratings.