For the ninth year, J.D. Power and Associates has published its investor satisfaction survey. Annually, it asks more than 4,000 investors to rate their adviser on these factors. You might use these criteria to rate your own retirement investment adviser:
- Clearly communicates reasons for investment performance.
- Explains clearly how fees are levied.
- Makes unsolicited calls about your account at least four times per year.
- Returns your calls and inquiries within the same business day.
- Develops a strategic plan.
- Provides a written report of the plan.
- Discusses risk tolerance and incorporates your concerns into the plan.
Here’s how the 13 most-used advisory firms ranked on a 1,000-point scale:
- RBC Wealth Management, 814.
- Charles Schwab & Co., 805.
- Fidelity Investments, 796.
- LPL Financial, 794.
- Edward Jones, 788.
- Raymond James, 785.
- Ameriprise Financial, 779.
- UBS Financial Services, 778.
Industry Average, 772.
- Merrill Lynch, 758.
- Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, 754.
- Wells Fargo Advisors, 746.
- Chase Investment Services, 704.
- Citigroup (CitiCorp), 670.
The one thing that the most investors expect from their advisers and judge them on most harshly is failure to provide a response to a question on the same day it was asked. David Lo, director of investment services at J.D. Power, says that investor expectations are increasing overall. More than 50 percent of investors use email and text messages compared to 19 percent three years ago, and they are justifiably critical when their adviser doesn’t respond quickly. Lo says, “If you’re not getting a same-day response, that may be an indication that you’re not getting the attention you deserve.”