While four of the major online brokerages slashed their trading fees and options pricing in the first few months of this year, these firms will have to do more to keep these self-directed investors, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Self-Directed Investor Study. The study, based on responses from more than 4,600 investors who don’t utilize an investment advisor, found that a firm’s reputation and low trading fees are the top reasons investors select a platform initially. However, it’s the overall client experience that will keep them and their assets with the firm. When firms deliver a better onboarding experience, for example, clients are significantly more satisfied, J.D. Power found. Vanguard scored the highest among self-directed investors, followed by E*Trade, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab.
Wells Fargo Independents Join Raymond James
A pair of independent advisors in Kansas City affiliated with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network have left to join Raymond James Financial Services, a competing independent broker/dealer. Jeff Holloway and Sean Harman managed $275 million in client assets and had a total production of $1.4 million, according to a statement about the move. The duo and their team will operate as Holloway Harman & Associates and serve retirees, business owners, executives and families. Together, Holloway and Harman have a total of more than 35 years of industry experience.
The Year of the Fancy Colored Diamond
A mismatched set of diamond earrings set a new auction record this week, selling for $57.4 million at Sotheby's Geneva Magnicifent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale. The diamonds — one pink and one blue — are named for the Greek gods Apollo and Artemis, twin brother and sister. They were auctioned in separate lots and sold to the same anonymous buyer. The "Apollo Blue" diamond earring sold for $42.1 million while the "Artemis Pink" went for $15.3 million. Together, they set a record for the most expensive earrings ever sold on record. The sale comes on the heels of record-breaking "Pink Star" diamond sale at Sotheby's in April.