BOSTON -- Topping their wish list of things they would like to see from their online brokers was better Web site design and navigation, instant messaging for customer service, and trade cost, according to a new survey from Aite Group.
The Leaders of the Pack in Online Brokerage Capabilities: Consumer Comparison by Function survey's findings are based on a survey of 332 retail online brokerage participants located in the United States. Each participant was asked to assess the importance, frequency of use, and usability of 34 specific features in five categories: account, cash management, exports, portfolio tools, and trading tools. Additionally, each participant was asked to rate the overall perception of their broker in the market and to share their most and least favorite features, as well as what they would add to their broker's online capabilities if given the opportunity.
Charles Schwab was ranked by consumers as being the "overall best online broker," according to the survey. Rounding out the top five were Fidelity, Scottrade, Ameritrade and E*Trade. While there were 21 online brokerages represented including Sharebuilder.com, which serves a number of credit unions, the survey ranked the top five firms for best overall service. --email@example.com