SOURCE: Luxury Institute

August 07, 2008 11:00 ET

New Luxury Institute Brand Trust Survey: Wealthy U.S. Consumers Rate the Most Trusted Retail Brokers: Fidelity Brokerage Services, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and Wachovia Securities

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - August 7, 2008) - High net-worth consumers rated Fidelity Brokerage Services the most trusted retail broker in the new 2008 Luxury Brand Trust Index (LBTI) survey from the independent New York City-based Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com). Respondents who said they trust this firm say it has provided "excellent service and ideas for making money," "holds the investor's concerns as a priority," and has "your best interests at heart." Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and Wachovia Securities rank second and third, respectively.

"Customer satisfaction has become passé and but the cost of entry, according to wealthy consumers. Even customer experience metrics are no longer an adequate measure of a company's value delivery to high net-worth consumers," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "Wealthy consumers agree with author Dov Seidman that it is not enough to outperform your competition; you have to out-behave them too.

This new Luxury Brand Trust Index measures not only quality, service, and personnel, but, also the innovation leadership and corporate social responsibility of each brand, with insightful detailed comments for each. There are no comparable surveys run by impartial entities that measure high net-worth consumer ratings of brand trust on the most critical business model dimensions on quantitative and qualitative levels. It is the essential marketing, selling and learning tool for retail brokerage brands in these turbulent times.

Following are the 12 retail brokers rated by wealthy consumers:

1.  Ameriprise Financial
2.  Bank of America
3.  Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
4.  E*Trade
5.  Edward Jones
6.  Fidelity Brokerage Services
7.  Merrill Lynch
8.  Smith Barney
9.  TD Ameritrade
10. UBS Financial Services
11. Wachovia Securities
12. Wells Fargo Securities

The proprietary Luxury Brand Trust Index (LBTI) survey is the only measure of the trustworthiness of leading brands among wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,666 wealthy American consumers was surveyed online. The average income was $348K and the average net-worth was $3.7 million. The LBTI asks respondents to rate the brands along six "pillars" of brand trust:

--  Trust in brand to deliver superior quality products and offerings
--  Trust in brand to deliver superior customer service
--  Trust in the brand as an innovator and leader in its industry
--  Trust in employees who deliver an exceptional experience
--  Trust in company using the highest legal, ethical and moral standards
--  Trust in the company as a "good corporate citizen"
    

The survey also measures the key "outcome" metric of bottom line trust in the brand.

Finally, qualitative responses are collected by brand to understand why consumers trust or do not trust each of the brands they are familiar with as well as what one thing wealthy consumers would change about the brand.

Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net-worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from The Federal Reserve.

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings, reviews and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world's first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To reach the Luxury Institute, please call 646-792-2669 or go to www.LuxuryInstitute.com.

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