Fund Companies Use Low Prices, Straight Talk To Gain Trust

Any way you look at it, whether by assets under management, revenue or number of funds, Vanguard is certainly one of the top three mutual fund and ETF providers. Now it has another crown to add: most-trusted fund company.


Vanguard captured first place among ETF and mutual fund companies in IBD’s Most Trusted Financial Companies study, with a trust rating of 88.5. Vanguard was also first among online brokers, with a trust rating of 89.8. Those ratings placed those two Vanguard businesses third and fourth overall among the Most Trusted Financial Companies.

It was the first time that fund companies were included among the categories in the IBD Most Trusted Financial Companies survey.

Vanguard Builds Trust With ‘Straightforward Approach’

“We are both grateful for and humbled by the trust our clients place in us every day, and we never rest in our efforts to improve our service to them,” said Matt Benchener, managing director of Vanguard Retail Investor Group. “At Vanguard, client trust is more than a goal. It is fundamental to all that we do.”

Vanguard is well-known for its index funds, low-fee funds and, increasingly, its exchange-traded and actively managed funds as well.

“Our 401(k) had Vanguard mutual funds and we liked them, so we kept them and added other Vanguard funds to our other brokerage and retirement accounts,” said Chuck Hoch of Charlotte, N.C. “We like their low fees and straightforward approach.”

3 Most Trusted ETF/Fund Managers

Company Overall Trust Rating Privacy Quality Ethics Price Customer Service
Vanguard 88.5 90.3 92.8 85.7 86.3 86.0
Fidelity Investments 88.0 89.4 90.4 88.6 82.3 88.1
T. Rowe Price & Co. 87.9 87.7 90.8 89.0 83.3 87.9

Fidelity, T. Rowe Price Are Also Most Trusted Fund Companies

Also near the top in customer trust were Fidelity, with an overall trust rating of 88.0, and T. Rowe Price (TROW), at 87.9.

The overall trust ratings are based on five component ratings: data privacy and security, product and service quality, ethical business practices, prices and fees, and customer service and treatment of customers.

Ten fund companies were included in the analysis. They included USAA, Charles Schwab (SCHW), American Funds/Capital Group, ARK Invest, BlackRock (BLK), JP Morgan Funds (JPM) and Wells Fargo Advantage Funds (WFC).

Vanguard’s Benchener says the fact that Vanguard is “client-owned” and privately held helps the firm stand out. “We seek to earn clients’ trust by giving them a distinct connection to a broader purpose, helping them achieve their investment goals, and providing them with unmatched long-term outcomes,” he said.

“I trust Vanguard because of their reputation,” said Joe Petersimes, 66, a retired engineer from St. Peters, Mo., who also uses Vanguard as his broker.

Investor’s Business Daily conducted the survey with polling partner TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence to find out which are the Most Trusted Financial Companies. We asked 6,578 consumers in July and August 2021 to rate financial companies they do business with on five trust attributes. See our story on the methodology behind this survey.

Analysis of the IBD survey revealed which are the most trusted fund companies based on trust ratings by their own customers. We recognize the top three as the most trusted in their business category.

Follow Michael Molinski on Twitter @IMmolinski


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