DIY investors less satisfied with their firms: J.D. Power

By Mark Burgess | May 28, 2020 | Last updated on November 29, 2023
2 min read
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Despite strong market conditions last year, do-it-yourself investors’ satisfaction with their firms declined, a report from J.D. Power says, as platforms missed opportunities to connect during client onboarding and improve their mobile experiences.

Investors’ satisfaction with self-directed firms declined to 717 from 726 the previous year, according to the J.D. Power 2020 Canada Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, which ranks investor satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale. Questrade topped the rankings with a score of 736, followed by BMO InvestorLine (731) and Desjardins Online Brokerage (730).

Almost half (46%) of DIY investors experienced a problem with their firm’s website. Younger investors were most put off by these disruptions, with 26% suggesting they would switch firms after not being able to access a website.

The survey found that when problems occur, satisfaction is much higher among investors who work with a human to solve it than among those who use firms’ self-service digital channels.

“The recent flurry of new account openings and increased trade volumes are obviously good for self-directed firms but have also exacerbated some client experience issues that existed before the pandemic, especially around the availability and navigation of digital platforms,” said Michael Foy, senior director of wealth and lending intelligence at J.D. Power, in a statement.

Self-directed firms facing more competition from low-cost robo-advisors will need to resolve website problems quickly if they want to keep new clients, Foy said.

The study said firms are missing an opportunity to improve satisfaction and brand loyalty with mobile apps and through the onboarding process. Platform tutorials contribute significantly to customer satisfaction, the report said, yet most new investors didn’t get an online tutorial or information about downloading the app.

Find the full survey results and study here.

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Mark Burgess

Mark was the managing editor of from 2017 to 2024.