PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
Clients rate their stockbrokers, and are mostly satisfied
28E CAPITAL IS THE WINNER OF the 2017 People’s Choice award.
This award is coveted as it is based purely on client opinions. This year 6,117 people participated in an online survey of clients, ensuring a high degree of credibility to the People’s Choice scores. They also contributed to numerous other categories, where their opinions are incorporated in the scores.
It was an extremely tight race, with every one of the top 10 brokers rated “excellent” by their clients.
28E Capital, which ranked second last year, displaces the winner of the past two years, DWT Securities. GT247/EasyEquities maintained third place. 28E pipped DWT by hundredths of a point. The top three all scored at least 9/10 from clients. 28E and DWT are both primarily derivatives-driven brokers that cater for active day traders.
Client comments were overwhelmingly positive for both firms. Many 28E clients remarked on the firm’s continual quest to improve both the quality of service and technological capabilities. One 28E client said: “I cannot emphasise how nice it is to have a real service-orientated broker. You can call in [and speak to] a human and discuss your trade ideas with knowledgeable people.”
Another pointed out that the firm had become more active in terms of providing trading ideas and more interactive through WhatsApp and email groups.
We base these scores on two questions that we believe are integral to assessing client satisfaction levels.
We asked the clients to rank overall quality of service and how likely they were to recommend their broker to friends and family.
Clearly SA’s retail stockbrokers are excellent at keeping their clients happy. Less than one point separates first place from 10th, reflecting the fiercely competitive nature of the industry.
What’s notable in this year’s rankings is that the boutique-type firms dominate: Sanlam Private Wealth/iTrade is the only big player in the top 10. This attests to the smaller firms being quicker to adapt to market conditions and having more direct contact with clients.
However, we do wonder whether clients of the broking divisions of the big banks are perhaps giving lower ratings because of poor experiences they might have suffered from transactional or other banking functions which are outside the domain of the stockbroking arms.
Overall, however, industry service levels are highly regarded by clients. One third have been with their broker for more than five years while 22% have been clients for less than a year, reflecting both a healthy longevity of relationship and a good rate of new client sign-up.
Clients also believe they’re getting good value for money, with 35% saying costs are “very affordable” and 32% describing them as “affordable”. Only 6.6% believe they are expensive.
Quality of research offered by brokers is important to clients — 26% use it extensively while 60% look at it occasionally. Outside of their brokers, the majority (70%) of trading ideas and investor information come from the financial media.