2013 Best Online Brokers
Investors expect a lot of their online brokers, but reliable
trade execution and low fees top all else.
In IBD's 2013 Best Online Brokers survey of investors, 12 of
19 factors studied stood out in importance. They were led by
trade reliability, followed by low commissions and fees, equity
trading tools and customer service.
Researchers created an overall Customer Experience Index with
a total value of 100%, which was divided among the 12 factors
based on the importance ratings that
stock market investors
gave them in the survey.
Trade reliability, with a Customer Experience Index value of
14.6%, was rated more than four times more important than tax
preparation tools, which were the 12th factor, at 3.5%.
The 1,400 participants in Phase I of the survey, conducted
online by IBD and its polling partner TechnoMetrica, were
presented with various combinations of the original 19 broker
characteristics and asked to rate their relative importance.
When Phase I was completed, seven characteristics were
excluded from further study. Some of those, such as international
investing opportunities and IPO access, might surprise brokerage
industry observers, given their sometimes strong returns. Another
subject in the news -- a social network community of investors --
also earned low importance ratings.
While some investors undoubtedly value these broker
characteristics, most people rated them less critical.
The other factors that came in near the bottom were positive
brand, banking services, mutual fund choices and bond