Best Online Broker for ETF-Focused Investors – 2016
Awarded to the online brokerage offering the best package for ETF-focused investors. This award will consider commission-free trading options, education materials, supporting services and other factors.
- Charles Schwab: Schwab received multiple nominations for being the “leader,” with more no-commission ETFs than any other firm. Add in robo advice and low-cost house-brand ETFs, and you have a formidable nominee.
- Fidelity: Fidelity won kudos for having an extensive platform of 90+ commission-free ETFs, and an industry-leading fee of just $7.95 for all other funds. The firm is also noted for its strong ETF research and online tools.
- Interactive Brokers: As one nominee put it, “IB is the cheapest, period.” The no-gimmicks broker offers rock-bottom rates and some sophisticated service and tools, including securities-lending capabilities.
- TD Ameritrade: TD was praised for its wide variety of commission-free ETFs and its willingness to add more, along with its nonconflicted and independent approach to choosing which ETFs go on that list.
Best ETF Offering: Wire House
Awarded to the wire house that offer its reps and advisors the best total offering in the ETF space, including research, data, tools, trading capabilities and education.
- Merrill Lynch: Merrill Lynch once again received widespread praise for its overall ETF efforts, including sophisticated ETF due diligence. More than anything, though, people called out ETF strategist Jon Maier’s highly followed model portfolios.
- Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley was applauded in the nominations for having the “best rep-as-PM” ETF program in the industry, plus a stellar research team.
- UBS: The nominations said that UBS’ ETF research had “grown tremendously” and that it does a spectacular job aligning its ETF-specific recommendations with the overall macro view of UBS.
Best ETF Offering: Independent Regional Broker-Dealer
Awarded to the independent broker-dealer offering its reps and advisors the best total offering in the ETF space, including research, data, tools, trading capabilities and education.
- LPL: With a strong ETF research team and a solid approach to ETF strategists, LPL deserved its nomination. Interestingly, folks noted the firm’s “willingness to embrace volatility ETFs” and “trusts its reps” as key points.
- Raymond James: Raymond James got another callout this year for offering solid ETF-only portfolios and exploring what ETFs can mean to other clients.