2005 Broker Ratings by www.smartmoney.com/brokers/:
The bottom line is that you can have more for less. The difference between commissions at premium and basic discount brokers has narrowed to $6 - two years ago it was $18.

One thing to keep in mind: We based our rankings on the needs of a hypothetical buy-and-hold customer with an account of more than $50,000 who invests in stocks, bonds and mutual funds and wants the ability to write covered calls. That means our top-ranked site would not be the first choice for a day trader or someone who buys only mutual funds.

Full Service Brokers:
28% of U.S. households now use a full-service broker, up from 27% five years ago.
Broker Stock
Trust Statements
Edward Jones 5 5 5 5
Morgan Stanley DW 4 3 3.5 3.5
A. G. Edwards 3 4.5 4.5
UBS Warburg 3.5 3.5   3
Merrill Lynch 4.5 2.5 2.5 4.5
Wachovia 3 2.5 4 2.5
Smith Barney 2.5 4 2 2
Wells Fargo 2   3 4

Other Full Service:
The Bear, Stearns Companies Inc. 
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. 
J.P. Morgan Securities
Linsco/Private Ledger (LPL Financial)
Raymond James Financial, Inc.

Premium Discount Brokers
Barrons rating of online brokers Long-term investing
4.5 Fidelity - $10.95/trade
4.5 Charles Schwab - $12.95/trade + $3 handling
4.5 optionsXpress
4.0 TradeKing
3.5 E*Trade
TD Waterhouse

Barrons Best for frequent traders 
4.5 thinkorswim
4.5 MB Trading
4.5 TradeStation Securities
4.5 Intractive Brokers
Basic Discount Brokers
Muriel Siebert

Others: General Electric Jefferies Group Inc New Quick & Reilly, Inc. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Legg Mason, Inc. Mergers: PainWebber merged with UBS 2000 DeanWhitter merged with Morgan Stanley
www.institutionalinvestor.com Says:
Lehman Brothers remains the top research firm, according to Institutional Investor magazine's All-America Research Team survey, which has ranked the bank in the top position for the last three years. The global investment bank won 52 team positions, one more than in 2004. Merrill Lynch places second for the second year, with 38 positions; Morgan Stanley bumped up to third, and Bear, Stearns & Co. climbed two spots to fourth place. Citigroup and UBS tied for fifth, while JPMorgan Securities made an impressive gain to seventh, up from ninth place last year.

Posted on October 11, 2005

Broker Survey at EdwardJonesOpportunity.com
Stock Broker reps opinions of their own firms, 2004. They rate firms in 24 categories a few are listed below:
Firm Edward
Freedom from pressure to sell certain products to meet quotas 9.7 9.7 8.8 7.9 9.2
Quality of Research 8.2 7.6 7.8 8.1 6.4
Overall Ethics 9.7 9.6 8.4 8 8.3
Overall 9 8.3 7.5 7.4 7.7

Weiss Ratings:
Reviewing the number of arbitration, regulatory and other legal actions initiated against the firms in 2001-2002 and filed by the first quarter of 2003, Weiss found that Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley were targets of 120 and 107 actions, respectively.

Record of Investor Abuse by Top Retail Brokerage Firms:
Company Weiss
# per
Retail Customer
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc. B 43 63.3
Prudential Securities, Inc. C+ 59 27.5
Morgan Stanley DW Inc. B- 107 20.2
Wachovia Securities, Inc. B 44 14.9
Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith C- 120 12.1
Ameritrade C 19 11.9
A G Edwards, Inc. A- 39 11.5
Raymond James & Associates, Inc. B+ 11 10.6
UBS Painewebber Inc. C+ 28 9.8
Quick & Reilly, Inc. A- 12 8.9
Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. C 59 8.4
E*Trade Securities LLC B 24 7.3
TD Waterhouse Investor Svcs, Inc. B- 33 7.2
American Express Financial Advisors C+ 13 6.5
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. B- 47 6.1
Edward D. Jones & Co. LP A- 24 4.8
Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. C- 11 2.6
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC B+ 17 1.5
Weiss Safety Rating: A=Excellent; B=Good; C=Fair; D=Weak; E=Very Weak

A 2003 survey at sfgate.com had the following:
These firms earned the highest number of StarMine awards (top analyst in an industry) in 2002, including awards for stock picking and earnings estimates overall and by industry.
   Morgan Stanley
   Lehman Bros.
   UBS Warburg
   Credit Suisse First Boston
   Prudential Securities

Yahoo Business and Economy > Shopping and Services > Financial Services > Investment Services > Brokerages
Investment Firms at Gary Beene's Retirement Information Center
Hook the Right Broker ata SmartMoney.com

last updated 22 Apr 2006