With 2015 in full gear, it is time to reflect back on 2014 and review our full assessment of the brokerage industry.
For our fifth annual review, we had a record-breaking 272 variables spread across 10 categories. A new category, Banking, was added this year, and while it does not weigh into the overall rankings, ample insight can be drawn from its data. As far as participation goes, 15 brokers volunteered to subject themselves to our relentless assessment. Compared to last year, OptionsHouse and tradeMONSTER have joined forces as one brokerage, and Just2Trade bowed out as a participant.
The StockBrokers.com annual review takes six months and hundreds of hours to complete. With over 23,000 words of research available on the site, along with the most extensive independent database in the industry (thousands of data points), we take pride in our work and so does the industry. Our annual review is respected not only as the toughest and most comprehensive around, but also as the review that sets the official industry benchmarks.
To go deeper in our research, we not only added more variables, but also created definitions for each one, which is an industry first. In addition, another industry first, every data point we had on file was open for review by each broker. This means that all of our data, from the total number of technical indicators to the total number of columns available in a watch list, is hand-reviewed by each broker. Ultimately, the end product is 99.9% accuracy across thousands of data points.
This depth of assessment also extended beyond variables. We reached out to the professional private shopping group Confero to take our customer-service testing to the next level. With clients like Coca Cola and Shell, Confero was up to the task. Through Confero, we enlisted half a dozen professional private shoppers to conduct all our phone support tests. Using our StockBrokers.com industry-specific templates, Confero’s professional assessors went to work, making over 100 calls to branch offices and support numbers across the United States. With email and live chat tests included, the total number of support inquiries this year was over 200.
Overall, our annual review is designed to serve two goals: push the industry forward, and help all of us as investors find the right broker for our needs. Whether you are a professional trader or a college student looking to get started in the markets, StockBrokers.com has you covered.
Our motto is simple, “For traders, by traders.” Our team here at StockBrokers.com is delighted to tell you that since our inception in 2011, we have helped over one million investors research and compare online brokers. Our annual review is the backbone of the StockBrokers.com brand, and in 2015 we look forward to continuing our passionate pursuit of knowledge.
Here’s to us as investors and our success in 2015,
Co-Founder & Head of Research