2011 Broker Survey Results

May 16, 2011

We recently surveyed NoLoad FundX subscribers to see which brokers they used and what they liked and disliked about their broker.

Of the 550 readers who completed our survey, most (65%) said they used either Fidelity or Schwab. These giants don’t necessarily have the lowest fees, but many subscribers said they appreciated the broker’s customer service, while others pointed to their broker’s fund selection and the quality of their statements.

After Fidelity and Schwab, the next most common brokers were Scottrade, TD Ameritrade, and ETrade, respectively. Beyond these five options, Vanguard came up frequently, while other subscribers cited Muriel Siebert, Firstrade, TradeKing, and Wells Fargo.

On the whole, subscribers seem to be fairly satisfied with their brokers. When asked to choose what they like about their brokers, 20% said customer service, 18% said low fees and 13% pointed to their broker’s varied fund selections, but the most common response by far (48%) was all of the above.

It’s perhaps no surprise that subscribers don’t like their broker’s fees (17%).  But the biggest compliant (67%) was about redemption fee periods. Many Fidelity users were unhappy about the additional fees Fidelity levies on those who sell too many funds before 180 days.

Although subscribers had mostly praise for their brokers, no broker was perfect: there was at least one negative report for every broker. Whichever broker you use, we suggest that you make an effort to learn their policies up-front, and if you have questions ask your broker directly.

We’ll be publishing more information in the coming weeks about broker fees and policies. Stay tuned!

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