Investors say that Edward Jones, USAA and Vanguard do the best job when it comes to shepherding them through the market upheaval of the past year, according to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports. Rounding out the list of firms that respondents gave high scores for service are Charles Schwab, Scottrade, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and T. Rowe Price.
Topping the list in overall satisfaction is San Antonio-based USAA, available to current and former military personnel and their families. USAA earns high marks for account service, website ease of use, transactions and phone service. Vanguard followed closely behind it in the ratings, and Edward Jones had high marks for phone services.
For the survey, Consumer Reports' national research center contacted almost 9,000 online subscribers about their experiences with brokerage firms regarding transactions, general customer service, website use, online transactions, phone service, and personal service between January 2008 and January 2009.
Rounding out the list of brokerage firms that respondents found to provide high scores for services were Schwab, Scottrade, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and T. Rowe Price.
Though half of survey respondents said their investment portfolios declined, most are relatively pleased with their level of service and with the advice they receive. However, some larger brokerages placed lower in the ratings, earning below-average scores for their websites.
Unexpected fees continue to bother investors, with 4 percent saying they had been hit with unexpected fees.