2019 RANKING & REVIEWS
BEST INVESTMENT COMPANIES
Ranking 2019’s Best & Top Investment Companies
The right investments can help you grow a nest egg for the future and put your money to work for you, but without proper guidance, it could also mean losing money if the investment doesn’t pan out.
Finding the best investment company to work with can make a big difference in your financial security. Whether you’re investing a little or a lot, your money is just as important to you and it’s crucial to find a financial investment professional you can trust to guide you towards smart investment buys.
When it comes to choosing an investment firm to work with, you have multiple options. Beyond online DIY platforms, there are banks that have investment divisions and, of course, traditional brokerage firms, which are still the most popular way to invest for many.
Due to their size and popularity, brokerages are typically the least expensive and they provide flexible options, including face-to-face meetings and online trading capabilities.
But no matter which type of entity you choose as your top investment company, there are some common considerations to help you pick the best one for your financial needs. These include:
- Top investment companies offer strategies driven by a sense of security and wealth-building potential
- They should offer multiple options for you to build retirement savings
- The best investment companies will put the best interests of their clients first
The largest investment companies and top-rated investment firms will offer a broad array of investment products at varying risk levels
Award Emblem: Top 10 Best Investment Companies
AdvisoryHQ has reviewed multiple firms, and the following review and ranking of the best investment firms and the largest investment companies covers the popular traditional brokerages.
You’ll find highlights of how the firm earned a spot on our list and key reasons why each top-rated investment firm was chosen. We’ll also detail factors that make the investment company unique and why you may want to consider working with them.
This 2019 review and ranking of the top investment companies and the biggest investment management firms is designed to serve as a guide for anyone looking for a brokerage, whether they want to make a switch from their current investment firm, or are just starting out and investing for the first time.
Top 10 Best Investment Companies | Brief Comparison & Ranking
Best Investment Firms
|BNY Mellon Investment Management||5|
|State Street Global Advisors||5|
|J.P. Morgan Asset Management||3|
Table: Top 10 Best Investment Companies | Above list is sorted by rating
Difference Between Fee-Only, Fee-Based, & Commission-Based
Understanding how an investment firm is compensated and the difference between the three main fee structures is important for any investor looking for the best investment management company to work with.
Top investment firms can work under one of the three main compensation structures, which are:
Many investors are unfamiliar with the differences between these structures, however, there are some key distinctions between each that can impact how you feel about your investment guidance.
If a top investment firm states that they are “fee-only” this means that they do not accept any commissions or incentives from third parties that sell financial products or services. Their only form of compensation is from client fees.
The fee-only pricing structure minimizes the inherent conflicts of interest that accompany the recommending and selling of investment products. A fee-only investment company is in a better position to act solely in the interest of their clients.
Fee-based investment firms are also compensated by client fees, however, they are also free to accept commissions, referral fees, or other incentives from companies who provide their financial products.
Because the fee-based structure creates some potential conflict of interest, many fee-based investment firms will become fiduciaries to help offset the potential for conflict.
As a fiduciary, an investment firm is legally responsible to fully disclose any conflicts of interest and are required to put the interests of their clients ahead of their own.
Investment firm advisors working with a commission-based structure will typically be compensated through commissions from purchasing and selling financial products in their clients’ portfolios.
Generally, high-net-worth investors find that the unique services offered by commission-based firms provide the best investment returns and often are accompanied by “white-glove” treatment and other personalized services.
Best & Biggest Investment Firms 2019
Where Can I Find Fee-Only or Fee-Based Investment Firms?
If you’re perhaps looking for more options than these best and largest investment companies on our top-rated list, there are several other fee-only or fee-based options out there among smaller financial firms and firms that provide additional financial services
If you are interested in fee-only or fee-based financial advisors and accounting firms, you can visit the links below for our comprehensive rankings, which use fee-only and fee-based structures as ranking factors.
2019 AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?
Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.
Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Investment Companies
Below, please find a detailed review of each investment company on our list of 2019 best investment firms. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these top-rated investment firms to score so high in our selection ranking.
Click on any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.
- BNY Mellon Investment Management
- Capital Group
- Fidelity Investments
- Goldman Sachs
- Prudential Financial
- State Street Global Advisors
- J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Click below for previous years’ rankings:
- 2018 Ranking: Top 11 Biggest & Best Investment Companies
- 2017 Ranking: Top 10 Investment Companies
- 2016 Ranking: Top 10 Investment Companies
With over three decades of investment management service, BlackRock is one of the largest investment companies and is trusted to manage more money than any other. With $6.52 trillion in AUM as of 3/31/19, this top-rated investment firm is committed to delivering long-term value to their clients.
This best investment company works with clients around the world including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa. BlackRock has 70 offices in 30 countries and specializes in innovative solutions to retirement planning.
BlackRock doesn’t specifically state whether they are fee-only, fee-based, or commission-based, however, they note that for transition management “We earn revenue only through commissions or fees fully disclosed to clients.” The firm is a fiduciary, pledging to put the client’s best interest first.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank BlackRock as One of the Top Investment Companies
With the interconnectedness of the global economy in mind, BlackRock understands that investing only in stocks and bonds may not be the most advantageous way to create and cultivate a diversified portfolio to protect yourself from risk.
One of their service areas offers alternative investments, which add a unique and distinctively performing component to a portfolio for further diversification beyond stocks and bonds.
Some of the alternative investment options BlackRock offers include:
- Hedge Funds
- Private Equity
- Real Estate & REITs
Adding alternative investments can help the investor lower their risk and optimize their returns, which is something that BlackRock has extensive experience in as one of the best investment companies.
BlackRock Retirement Solutions Group
One of the major reasons that investors look to top-rated investment firms as well as the biggest investment firms is for retirement solutions. Planning properly for retirement is important to just about everyone, whether they’re planning for the future or they’re already retired.
With two-thirds of their managed assets relating to retirement, BlackRock is further focusing its role to assist clients with making better retirement and longevity decisions through their new BlackRock Retirement Solutions Group, just started in 2019.
This top investment firm launched the new initiative to explore innovative solutions to the more pressing retirement challenges.
Additionally, the company shares a series of retirement insight articles on their site, designed to give investors the information they need to make better-informed decisions about their future or current retirement needs.
BlackRock’s size and scale allow them to offer resources that smaller investment firms may not be able to. This includes partnering with Microsoft to “reimagine retirement” with the next generation of solutions designed to help millions of Americans with retirement planning.
The fiduciary commitment of this top-rated investment company provides clients with peace of mind that any investment advice they’re given is offered with their best interests in mind.
With a pioneering and innovative spirit, a global impact, and powerful retirement planning division, BlackRock earns 5-stars as one of the best investment company for new and seasoned investors to consider partnering with in 2019.
See Also: Top Advisors and Wealth Managers in Ohio
BNY Mellon Investment Management Review
With a history dating back to 1784, BNY Mellon is a top investment company with a unique history. The firm was founded by Alexander Hamilton, making one of the oldest financial institutions in the world with a history of over 230 years.
As one of the best and biggest investment companies, BNY Mellon oversees $34.5 trillion in assets under custody or administration and $1.8 trillion in assets under management as of 3/31/19 and serves clients in 35 countries.
The company is a fee-based investment firm that works with institutions and individuals to help them succeed in markets all around the globe.
Key Factors That Enabled BNY Mellon to Rank as One of the Top Investment Companies
BNY Mellon is unique from many of the other largest investment management firms because they have expertise in industry segments, delivering customized management services designed to meet distinctive needs.
Certain industries can have unique financial needs and complexities, so by specializing in a variety of industry sectors, those clients benefit from personalized knowledge and advice.
Industry segments served by BNY Mellon include the following:
- European Pensions
- Family Office & High-Net Worth Individuals
- Independent Financial Advisors
- Insurance Companies
- Investment Managers
- Sovereign Institutions
- Wealth Managers
The Best and Largest Investment Firms
One of the primary ways BNY Mellon stands out from other top-rated investment firms is their boutique approach to investment management.
BNY Mellon may be one of the largest investment companies in the world, but they deliver services as if they were a smaller boutique investment firm, which makes clients feel well attended to.
Their family of companies features globally diversified investment boutiques, wealth management, and global distribution companies.
This brings clients the benefits of a full-service investment firm coupled with highly tailored expert advice, and each “boutique” maintains its own style and strategy.
For over 230 years BNY Mellon has created a reputation for being an innovator of global financial solutions all while holding onto a personal touch that clients of this large, top-rated investment firm appreciate.
From alternate investment services to foreign exchange to investment management, this is one of the best investment firms to work with if you’re looking for options for a strong and diverse portfolio.
Capital Group Review
With 7,500 associates around the world, Capital Group is one of the largest and best investment firms. They were founded in 1931 and operate from a set of values nurtured over three generations of associates.
Capital Group handles over $1.85 trillion in AUM, as of 3/31/19, and operates as an “exclusive boutique” firm, maintaining a relatively small number of client relationships so they can provide completely personalized service.
Dealers may earn commissions at the time of a sale, which would point to a fee-based structure. We always recommend you confirm fee structure prior to engaging the services of an investment firm.
Key Factors That Enabled Capital Group to Rank as One of the Top Investment Companies
As one of the best investment companies, Capital Group works under an investor-specific philosophy, driven by success.
To align investment firm goals with that of its clients, Capital Group uses a long-term perspective to achieve success. Their primary objective is superior, long-term investing results, rather than simply focusing on collecting the largest number of assets.
The philosophy at Capital Group is to always do what is right for their clients, focusing on investment results in time periods spanning from one, three, five, and eight years.
Uniquely, associates at this top-rated investment company are significant investors in the firm’s offerings, meaning that associates are equally as interested in producing investment results as clients are and they invest alongside them.
Long-Term Investing Experience
An important part of any top investment firm is having some of the best investment account managers on staff, and Capital Group does not disappoint in this area.
Portfolio managers at Capital Group average 27 years of total experience, as well as an average of 22 years with the company itself. In 2015, the average industry tenure for a portfolio manager was only 6.3 years, illustrating the exceptionally experienced team at Capital Group.
The longevity of its team also exemplifies this top investment firm’s long-term approach and commitment to clients to always be there for them through life’s challenges and triumphs.
With decades of investing experience, clients can rest assured that portfolio managers come with a depth of knowledge that few other firms can match in successful investing through both good and bad markets.
Capital Group is a private, independent firm that purposely limits its client list to better provide personalized care. While they may take a boutique approach, they have all the resources that you would expect from any large top investment company.
Their in-house Wealth Advisory Group is an additional resource available to clients and offers highly experienced investment counselors in a number of areas.
With an experienced and attentive team and a focus on concierge service for their clients, Capital Group scores a 5-star rating as one of the best investment management firms to consider partnering with this year.
Fidelity Investments Review
With a belief in simplifying the complex, Fidelity Investments is one of the top investment companies that is also one of the largest. It’s been helping investors with tailored financial planning and portfolio management for over 70 years.
Fidelity believes in straight-forward pricing and complete transparency. This top-rated investment management firm has $2.459 trillion assets under management as of March 31, 2019.
The firm is a fee-based investment advisor and includes all compensation details on their website, offering transparency to potential clients who are evaluating the best investment companies to work with.
Key Factors That Allowed Fidelity to Rank as One of the Best Investment Firms
When selecting from the top investment companies, one of the key considerations for investors is often the pricing and fees they’ll have to pay. Fidelity knows that fees matter and that transparency in pricing is important.
Not only do they offer some of the most competitive pricing, even compared to many other top investment firms, they also offer the flexibility that makes it easy for those new to investing to get started.
There are no annual account fees and no minimums to invest. U.S. online equity trades are significantly lower than Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and E*Trade, and there are no transaction fees on thousands of Fidelity and non-Fidelity funds.
Fidelity provides charts of their portfolio advisory fees as well, so investors always know what they’re going to be paying up front.
Largest & Best Investment Management Firms
Active Trader Pro
When reviewing and ranking the top investment companies and the biggest investment firms, technology, and proprietary offerings are an important differentiator.
Fidelity is one of the top-rated investment firms for many reasons, and one of them is their signature Active Trader Pro platform, which empowers users to maximize the value they derive from online trading and portfolio monitoring.
This customizable desktop and web-based platform allows clients to create their own personal online trading experience with streaming, customizable quotes, and watch lists, as well as real-time integrated balances, history, and positions.
The platform also includes advanced trading tools, portfolio management tools, and shortcut options, and allows users to create and save up to 50 equity or option orders simultaneously.
For those new to investing, Fidelity is one of the best investment companies to consider due to them working to eliminate barriers to the investing world for everyone.
As one of the largest investment firms around, Fidelity takes full advantage of technology and simplifies the investment management process by streamlining the experience with advanced tools.
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Goldman Sachs Review
Serving clients for 150 years, Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment management firm. They maintain offices in all of the world’s major financial centers and have a diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments, and individuals.
The firm prides itself on bringing an innovative approach to traditional consumer banking activities and helping investors achieve financial well-being. They have 1.599 trillion in assets under management, as of 3/31/19.
The company is a fee-based investment management firm and upholds a fiduciary commitment to their clients to always work in their best interest and provide fee transparency.
Key Factors That Enabled Us to Rank Goldman Sachs as One of the Top Investment Companies
Expert Investment Management
Individuals and organizations looking for broad industry expertise in meeting financial goals through Asset Management can benefit from:
- A full array of asset classes, including fixed income, money markets, public and private equity, commodities, hedge funds, and real estate
- A global network of over 2,000 investment professionals
- Customized, holistic solutions for portfolio design, asset allocation, and financial advisory services
For high-net-worth individuals, families, and select endowments and foundations, Private Wealth Management services are designed to identify and employ new investment opportunities. Clients can take advantage of:
- A holistic, personalized approach
- Broad wealth management experience from investment professionals
- Compelling research and industry insights across a wide range of topics
- Online and mobile account access
- A broad variety of services, including private banking, advisory, and solutions for portfolio trading, hedging, and structuring
Global Investment Research
Goldman Sachs’ intense focus on research-driven investment insights is a significant factor leading to its ranking as a top investment company.
Their Global Investment Research division is dedicated to conducting in-depth research across a wide range of markets, economies, and global issues, including equity, macro, and credit research.
Additionally, this expert division also focuses on providing high-level advisory services to policymakers, regulators, and investors, providing global perspectives and exceptional industry expertise that can’t always be found at other top investment firms.
Investors looking for in-depth research and expertise in a number of global financial arenas will find Goldman Sachs an excellent option. Their additional offerings, such as consuming banking, also allow clients to take advantage of multiple services at a single company.
The firm also offers special opportunities for women and small business investors. Their first priority is helping their clients achieve their financial goals.
With a world-recognized name, a culture of excellence, and a client-first attitude, Goldman Sachs solidifies their 5-star rating as one of the top investment firms to consider partnering with this year.
As one of the world’s premier fixed income investment managers, PIMCO has more than 2,600 professionals around the world working in 17 global offices. They serve clients from over 50 countries.
This top-rated investment company was founded in 1971 and has $1.76 trillion in assets under management, as of March 31, 2019, making them one of the largest investment companies on our list.
PIMCO is a trademark of Allianz Asset Management of America. Our review could not identify whether the firm operates on a fee-only or fee-based basis. We always recommend confirming the compensation structure with any small or large investment firm prior to engaging their services.
Key Factors That Enabled PIMCO to Rank as One of the Top Investment Companies
The Investment Process
Each of the names on this list of the largest investment companies and the top-rated investment firms has a unique approach and process they rely on.
At PIMCO, this process has been honed and refined over many decades, and it includes insights from the PIMCO Cyclical Forums and the annual Secular Forum.
Cyclical Forums look at the market and economic trends in the short term, while the Secular Forum takes a longer-term view with projections for the coming three to five years.
These top-down perspectives are then paired with bottom-up input from specialists. All decisions are driven by the Investment Committee, which includes only the most senior investment professionals.
Short-Term Investment Strategies
In many instances, investors are searching for the best investment firms that offer value-creating, diverse, short-term strategies as well as long-term investment strategies.
PIMCO is not only one of the largest investment firms and one of the best investment companies, but they also feature intelligent and comprehensive and well-rated short-term investment strategies.
Potential advantages of short-term strategies from PIMCO include return potential above cash, capital preservation, liquidity for non-immediate needs, low volatility as compared to more risky assets, and they are complementary to traditional bond allocations.
As one of the biggest investment companies, PIMCO has more than 40 years of experience working with companies on crafting defined benefit plans.
This top investment company understands the unique challenges faced by defined benefit plan sponsors, ranging from uncertain markets to regulatory hurdles.
As one of the world’s top investment firms, all pension solutions from PIMCO are based first and foremost on client needs, delivering personalized solutions through analysis, monitoring, and ongoing collaboration and adjustment over time.
2019’s Top-Rated Investment Companies
PIMCO has a talent for helping their clients deal with disruptions in the markets and create investment strategies designed to be resilient. They also offer multiple resources on their website to assist investors from fund literature to a video and educational library.
Backed by Allianz Asset Management, PIMCO’s expert investment strategies are based on decades of experience, research, and expertise in the global financial markets,
With a broad skillset, a focus on exhaustive research and analysis, and the ability to innovate investor solutions, PIMCO scores a 5-star rating as a top investment company to consider working with in 2019.
Prudential Financial Review
Prudential Financial is a well-recognized top investment firm that’s been acknowledged as one of the world’s most admired companies. The firm has been helping individuals and businesses around the globe with insurance and financial needs for over 140 years.
Through subsidiaries, Prudential serves clients in more than 40 countries and has approximately 50,000 employees and sales associates worldwide. This top investment firm has $1.456 trillion in assets under management, as of 3/31/19.
Prudential advisors can earn commissions, which would point to the firm being fee-based, however, we always recommend you confirm fees and fee structure with your investment advisory firm prior to contracting their services.
Key Factors That Enabled Prudential Financial to Rank as One of the Top Investment Companies
Strategic Investment Research Group
Founded over 30 years ago, the Prudential Financial Strategic Investment Research Group (SIRG) provides expert services for their wealth management division.
This investment research group contains more than 25 professionals with an average of 15 years of experience dedicated to providing up-to-date and leading-edge investment research.
Highlighted research includes topics such as the relationship between President Trump’s pro-growth agenda and equity markets, the performance of large-cap equity managers after the 2008 crash, and the best approaches to trade execution.
Part of what makes Prudential Financial one of the best investment companies to work with is its dedication to transparency, particularly where mutual funds are concerned.
Fund Commentaries provide a detailed analysis of equity, specialty, global/international equity, taxable fixed income, and tax-exempt fixed-income funds.
From this same page, investors can also access detailed information on Fund Performance, which shows total returns and expenses on a timescale from the past month to the past ten years.
This is an excellent and convenient way for investors to look at investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of each fund prior to investing, making Prudential Financial a great investment firm for those who value transparency.
Powered by a top-10 investment manager globally, Prudential Financial excels at offering multiple investment strategies across global markets while also fostering trust and transparency.
When it comes to pension funds, they are also a top-rated investment firm, offering 18 of the 25 largest public U.S. pension plans and 159 of the largest 300 global pension funds.
With an excellent reputation, a focus on investment information and transparency, and offering deep asset class experience, Prudential Financial scores a 5-star rating as one of the best investment firms to consider partnering with this year.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management Review
With a goal to be the most respected financial services firm in the world, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, a part of the larger company of J.P. Morgan, is one of the best and largest investment management companies.
This top-rated investment firm is a world leader in terms of financial services for corporations, governments, and institutions, and also offers services for individual investors. They serve clients in over 100 countries and manage $2.09 trillion in client assets, as of 3/31/19.
The firm is a fee-based top investment company that adheres to a rigorous review process and takes a personalized approach to each client portfolio.
Key Factors That Enabled Us to Rank J.P. Morgan as One of the Top Investment Companies
SmartRetirement Target Date Funds
One of the signature product offerings available to clients of J.P. Morgan, one of the biggest investment firms and also one of the best investment companies to work with, is the SmartRetirement® Target Date Fund option.
With a focus on retirement outcomes, the goal is to help participants achieve the income-replacement levels they require to live comfortably throughout their retirement.
Funds are managed by the Multi-Asset Solutions Group, a worldwide team of more than 100 investment professionals in London, New York, and Hong Kong.
This team has access to more than 500 investment strategies paired with proprietary insight into asset allocation, risk management, and selection of investments, offering a robust strategy for building up a retirement nest egg.
One of the keys to being a top-rated investment firm that offers financial advantages to its clients is the ability to have access to tax-advantageous investment strategies.
As one of the best investment companies, this is an area that J.P. Morgan specializes in. When an investor works with a firm offering advantageous tax planning strategies, they can reduce their IRS liabilities and keep more of their earnings.
With tax-advantaged investing from J.P. Morgan, accounts have the potential to compound and grow faster. Depending upon the account and strategy a client selects, taxes may be deferred until withdrawals begin, or they might be altogether eliminated.
Some of the strategies J.P. Morgan provides to help clients reduce taxes include tax-free municipal bond funds, investing for dividends, contributing as much as possible for tax-advantaged accounts, and long-term investing strategies.
For those investors looking for strong, research and analysis-driven portfolio options, J.P. Morgan offers expertise in this area. They review multiple market factors, running 250 thousand simulations to create plans that can withstand a range of market cycles.
However, while it’s nearly impossible for every worldwide investment company to avoid legal issues, J.P. Morgan has had a significant share of legal troubles.
Since the 2008 financial crash, J.P. Morgan has been hit with numerous class-action lawsuits and SEC fines for mismanagement, failure to disclose conflicts of interest, and misleading investors. For this reason, we’ve scored them with 3-stars.
Luckily, these issues seem to be in the past and confined to a timeframe between 2007-2015, which helps the firm maintain a spot on this list of best investment companies.
Still, potential investors should be aware that, although J.P. Morgan is a top-rated investment firm, these past legal issues should be taken into consideration while evaluating their investment strategies and services.
Conclusion—2019 Top Investment Companies
When it comes to investing your money, for most people it’s not just about dollars and cents, it’s about their family well-being now and in the future. Finding the best investment firm to work with takes careful time and consideration.
For many, there is some comfort taken in working with one of the largest investment companies due to the vast resources and economies of scale they offer for investment management and other financial services.
The 10 top-rated names on this ranking represent the best investment firms and largest investment companies around with access to global markets and a wide variety of resources, such as highly regarded research departments and alternative investments.
Whichever top investment firm you feel is the best fit for you, each of these companies brings something valuable to the table and has years of experience building a solid reputation for investment and financial management.
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AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.