Over the last several years, brokers have become a commoditized service as prices have fallen. In order to differentiate themselves from the competition, brokers are adding to the services they provide. In many cases, this has gone well beyond proprietary analyst reports. Many brokers are now offering real-time quotes, portfolio tracking modules and much more.
AAII Weekly Survey Question
But with all these new features, are customers happy with the services they receive? Last week’s survey question set out to answer this question by asking:
How satisfied are you with the services provided by you broker?
In all, 1,394 readers participated.
In all, more than three-quarters of our readers—78%—were satisfied with the services their broker(s) provide. Slightly more than half—51%—say they are very satisfied with the services provided by their broker while more than a quarter—27%—say they are somewhat satisfied.
Another 14% of respondents say they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the services provided by their broker.
Less than 10% of readers—9%—have some level of dissatisfaction with the services their brokers provide. Six percent say they are somewhat dissatisfied while only 3% say they are very dissatisfied with the services their brokers provide.
Weekly Special Question
To delve deeper into the topic of brokers, we are interested to know what drives an investor to choose a specific brokers. So last week’s special question asked:
What was the primary reason for choosing your brokerage firm(s)?
In all, we received 330 responses.
Even with the spread in commissions narrowing considerably over the years, commissions/cost was still the primary factor that leads investors to select a specific broker. Overall, nearly 41% of the participants list cost as their primary selection consideration. Cost was chosen nearly four to one over the next most popular factor.
The range of services and offerings provided was the second most popular consideration for choosing a broker, with nearly 11% of responses.
Coming in a close third, 10% of readers say they chose their broker because they felt they could trust them.
A bit more than 6% of respondents say they chose their broker because of the trading platform they offer.
Rounding out the top five responses, another 6% of our readers say they picked their broker based on the quality of service they offer.
Here is a sampling of the responses from our readers at to the primary reason they chose their brokerage firm:
- “I chose my broker because of its trading platform online.”
- “Low cost, great service including technical and investment research.”
- “Physical offices, as well as 24-hour online and of course great research and low cost.”
- “Ease of use and trust.”
- “It started with low cost and accessibility but as I matured I came to respect their library of company information and trading tools. They continue to add new customer support with research, research from other firms, financial organizers and, recently, summary reports of the research of others.”
Everybody has an opinion! Why not give us yours? Participate in our weekly member poll, updated every Monday, and see the results online at www.aaii.com/memberquestion.