February 21, 2012 13:16 ET

Dalbar Releases Reports on Investor Statements

Brokerage Firms Tops in Statement Quality, However, Client Reporting Still Falls Short Across All Industries in Helping Investors Make Informed Decisions

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Feb 21, 2012) - DALBAR, Inc. announced today the release of its 14th annual Trends and Best Practices in Investor Statements reports for Brokerage, Mutual Funds, Annuities and Retirement Plans. These reports evaluate the statement's ability to address the needs of both the investor and the financial professional.

The investor statements produced by the Brokerage industry emerged as the most understandable and effective, with the best incorporating the following:

  • Presenting basic data elements in a clearer and more intuitive manner.
  • Providing secondary information that supports the client's relations with both the firm and the advisor.
  • Leveraging page real estate by using a creative yet concise layout.
  • Providing statement flexibility, allowing content and degree of detail to meet the clients' specific needs and preferences.

Across brokerage, mutual funds, annuities and retirement plans, Investor Statements do a good job of reporting transactions and holdings on the account but fall short of providing information, such as a predefined goal or the progress made to reach that goal. In addition, the statement provides summaries on the percentage of the account being allocated to different funds but fails to identify whether this is the appropriate allocation for the investor. In order for the allocations to have meaning, they must be put in context and correlate to the specific investor's goals.

"Investor statements have come a long way in terms of communicating in a way that clients' can understand the status of their investments," said Kathleen Whalen, Managing Director at Dalbar. "However, more can be done to put things into context so investors know what actions they must take to ensure they are on target to reach their goals."

Dalbar takes a systematic approach to evaluating statements using a method that has been developed and refined over the past two decades. Statements earned credit for including features that strongly impact an investor's ability to act prudently and make financial decisions. Features include the ability to understand the significance of the information, answer pertinent questions and utilize design elements that enhanced their overall effectiveness.

The table below includes the firms that rated "excellent" in each industry sector:

Firms Awarded DALBAR's 'Excellent' statement designation in 2011

Brokerage Mutual Fund Defined Contribution Defined Benefit
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney BlackRock Merrill Lynch Prudential Financial
Pershing Lord Abbett Principal Financial Group
Merrill Lynch Federated Funds T. Rowe Price
Raymond James MassMutual
Baird Diversified
UBS Financial Services BNY Mellon
Edward Jones Prudential Financial
Wells Fargo The Hartford
National Financial

For more information on the 14th Annual Trends & Best Practices in Investor Statements reports or on Dalbar's Statement Evaluation services, please visit the web site at or contact Brooke Halloran at 617-624-7273 or

Dalbar, Inc. is the financial community's leading independent expert for evaluating, auditing and rating business practices, customer performance, product quality and service. Launched in 1976, Dalbar has earned the recognition for consistent and unbiased evaluations of investment companies, registered investment advisers, insurance companies, broker/dealers, retirement plan providers and financial professionals. Dalbar awards are recognized as marks of excellence in the financial community.

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