Online Stock Broker Clients' Top 12 Wish-List Items
Special Report: 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 choices.