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Investors seem to fall a little bit less in love with Web brokerage firms with each passing year.

Overall investor satisfaction with self-directed investment company dropped 16 points from 2012 in the current J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Self-Directed Investor Fulfillment StudySM.

The research determines how pleased investors are with not just their portfolio performance, but likewise their communication with the brokerage, trading charges, account providings, information resources and issue resolution.

Scottrade and Charles Schwab topped this year’s list, with 810 and 797 points out of 1,000, respectively. Lead and T. Rowe Price were hot on their heels in the 790 range.

Three significant firms that scored well below the national contentment score were Wells Trade, Merrill Edge, and Sharebuilder from Capital One.

Why were investors so underwhelmed this time around?

All the bells and whistles of e-brokerages can’t replace the value of communication, which is where most companies fall short.

‘Although investment company are offering even more online tools and details for self-directed investors in 2013, the additional content and capabilities could really make it harder to access the capabilities investors are seeking if an internet site isn’t easy to navigate and communication is unclear,’ the study states.

Just one-third of offices actually call their clients two or even more times to keep them up to speed on product and services, down from 39 % in 2012.

But it’s more than just interaction. Investors are more baffled about charge structure than ever before, with just 35 % saying they comprehend fees, versus last year’s 39 %.

‘Investment company miss out on a vital opportunity to keep self-directed investors notified about costs, investor devices and other product offerings by not connecting in the manner and frequency that investors like,’ stated Craig Martin, director of the wealth management practice at J.D. Power. ‘Firms should know how their investors would like to be notified – whether it takes place by means of e-mail, phone or other methods. It’s necessary to call investors proactively and at the proper frequency based on investor preference.’

Here are the top 10:

brokerage firms

Here’s the crucial concern you should ask before signing up for an online brokerage: How frequently do I intend on trading?

If you are an energetic trader (not that we advise this technique for people), you’ll have to truly view your trading charges. Some accounts charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per trade, relying on the level of services you are searching for.

In truth, the vast bulk of online brokerage investors average only two trades a month, according to Lyons. If you belong to that ‘purchase and hold’ club (kudos to you), you might be better off taking your investments somewhere else.

There are various other unseen costs to consider too. When Kiplinger rated 10 famous online brokerage companies in 2012, it discovered Just2Trade was seemingly economical in the beginning look, at $2.50 per transaction. But it charged a whopping $50 simply to move your Individual Retirement Account to an additional company, plus $35 to just hold your IRA for you.

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