Financial Services

Celebrating 20 Years of the J.D. Power U.S. Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study

FSI is the longest-running and most in-depth, independent survey of clients whose investments are directed by an advisor. J.D. Power has provided clear, objective intelligence about this group of investors for two decades and the study has undergone a number of redesigns to innovate and evolve alongside the dynamic marketplace it studies. We're sharing some of the headlines and key findings from over the years in anticipation of the 20th edition hitting the headlines on March 23, 2022. 

2022 marks the 20th consecutive year of the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study (FSI). 

What’s changed in the industry over the years?

  • Competitive landscape: Less than half (10 of 21) of firms ranked in the full-service investor study back in 2002 are still in operation under the same brand name twenty years later. Many others were acquired, with a spike in M&A activity in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008.
  • Digital engagement: Back in 2002 using an investment website probably meant you worked with a “discount broker”, and the App Store didn’t even exist, but by 2021 83% of full-service investors regularly login to their firm’s website, and more than half (51%) use their app.
  • Consumer choices: Two decades ago your basic choices as an investor were either to work with a traditional advisor or do it yourself with a discount brokerage firm.  Today there are digital or robo-advisors, virtual advisors, call center advisors, and a range of different ways to pay for the services that you truly need and value.

What’s stayed the same?

  • Value of Trust: Two decades ago, the U.S. was emerging from 9-11 and the economic volatility it created; today we’re emerging from a very different kind of crisis, but the importance of investor trust in their advisor and firm remains constant across time.
  • The Primacy of Personal Relationships: The most impactful KPIs in the study over the years have always focused on the clients’ personal relationship with their advisor, and specifically how well advisors understand and help plan to meet personal goals, provide clear explanations of complex subjects and are reliable and responsive.
  • Fee Confusion:  Despite all the industry and regulatory efforts to provide greater pricing transparency and communication over the years, more than half (47%) of clients still don’t completely understand their fees, which remains a risk to the industry especially as alternatives and competitors continue to proliferate.
J.D. Power Wealth Intelligence in the news: 
Only 14% of advisors are delivering the kind of comprehensive advice that clients most desire. J.D. Power's senior director and head of wealth solutions, Tom Reiman shares some steps you can take to start moving toward a more robust advisory practice. 


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For more information about the U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study, visit

1Merrill, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo Advisors
2Data is from J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Full-Service Investor Satisfaction StudySM
3Net Promoter,® Net Promoter System,® Net Promoter Score,® NPS,® and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.