May 2013: Statement Analysis

This Broker Monitor Report reviews brokerage account statements, a topic we cover every year. In reviewing the statements, we used our proprietary Audit software to assess the design and content of the statements. Each category was divided into a number of sub-categories, and then further into individual attributes. A full Competitive Matrix details how firms rank for every attribute in each category. We also include a review of every firm’s statement.

Key differences between the top five-ranked firms from all other firms are customization options and the scale of account information. All top-ranked firms offer a variety of customization options, allowing clients to change content display as well as provide comprehensive account summaries, holdings and activity details. All top-ranked firms also provide more than general position details by incorporating lot-level data, and comprehensive unrealized and realized gain/loss information.
 
All but one brokerage firm in this report display some type of asset allocation information on their monthly brokerage statements. All firms that provide the asset allocation date display the total value and percentage allocated for each asset class. Nearly 90% of the firms also provide a chart to display asset allocation – pie charts are the most common (offered on 11 statements), two firms provide bar graphs of asset allocation. Two other firms provide asset allocation figures, but not charts.
 
Additional Key Findings:

  • Five firms offer a customization feature to sort fixed income holdings by alphabetically or by maturity date
  • Six firms include the date that trades were placed
  • Two firms include a table of contents