How we did it
producing investment executive’s ( IE) annual Dealers’ Report Card is a substantial task that requires a team of research journalists to speak with hundreds of advisors during a six-week period in February and March to gather the ratings and comments that form the foundation for this annual report.
This year, Sophie Allen-Barron, Anthony Burton, Ramona Leitao and Curtis Panke surveyed 505 financial advisors at 11 mutual fund dealer firms. These advisors were asked to provide two scores for each category included in the main table (see page 11): one for the firm’s performance; another for the importance of that category is to the advisor’s business. The ratings were given on a scale of zero to 10, with zero meaning “poor” or “unimportant” and 10 meaning “excellent” or “very important.”
Ratings listed in the main table that are in green type indicate that a score in that category increased by half a point or more yearover-year, while ratings in red type indicate that a category’s rating declined by that same margin year-over-year.
In an effort to increase the transparency of the Report Card process, this year’s main table includes a breakdown of the total number of advisors surveyed for each firm. As in years past, IE targeted 50 advisors per firm for the larger, national mutual fund and full-service dealers; 40 advisors for Calgary-based Portfolio Strategies Corp. and Windsor, Ont.-based Sterling Mutuals Inc.; and 30 advisors for Richmond Hill, Ont.-based Global Maxfin Investments Inc.
In addition to the ratings on the main table, survey participants were asked to share their thoughts on wider industry trends via two supplementary questions to this year’s survey:
1. Advisors were asked if they believe regulatory action is required to address concerns that regulators have raised regarding the industry’s use of embedded commissions.
2. Advisors also were asked if they believe their firm’s cybersecurity efforts were adequate to ensure the protection of their data and those of their clients.
As well, IE produced web content for this Report Card in the form of a video and two slideshows. The video breaks down the results of this year’s Report Card, while the slideshows, which will be published throughout June, will provide greater insight into the data collected in this year’s survey.