Companies and media firms such as Forbes and Fortune 500, tend to form lists of the top 10 and the best 10 companies based upon some concrete arithmetic analysis and figures. This following list is however, the output of an analysis on the basis of several facts and factors which includes, the opinion of the people, investments offered, mother companies, acquisitions, projected, customer relations, growth rate, etc. On the whole, this is a list of some of the top rated investment firms.
Definition and Meaning of Investment Companies
The concept of investment companies has a load of different common and interpreted meanings. However, most of Financial Securities and Stock Exchange Boards, Commissions and Bodies define them to be 'companies who accept deposits from general public in the form of detailed contracts, for further investments into securities and financial instruments to attain a high yield and return, so as to share the profits with the contracted investors/common public'.
On the whole, investment companies with the help of specialized knowledge and skills of fund and finance managers invest the money of investors into different sources to obtain yield and returns. Investment companies are broadly classified into 4 categories, though a combination of more than one is often found:
- Open-End Management Investment Companies also known as mutual fund companies or mutual fund providers
- Closed-End Management Investment Companies also known as close ended funds
- UIT or Unit Investment Trusts
- Face Amount Investment Company
Often you would notice that normal banks, investment banks, normal banks and some selected financial institutions provide services such as wealth management, investment management and portfolio management, companies providing such investment oriented products are generally connoted to be investment companies.
List of Top 10 Investment Companies
As mentioned above that the companies that provide investment services can be ranked in accordance with some arithmetic calculations. However these arithmetic ratings are never full proof, owing to the fact that the economy is unpredictable and so is the investor psychology. Here are the top investment companies, this list has been made on the basis of several factors and is not sequential nor chronological.
The Vanguard Group
A personal favorite, the Vanguard Group is credited with the creation of index based funds and collective investment schemes. Mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, brokerage, asset management are the most common products of this group and a custody of about $1.4 trillion, safely, securely and hedged investments, make Vanguard one of the best investment companies in the world.
Feels a bit odd writing this name in a list investment companies, as JPMorgan Chase in itself is a bank, turned investment bank and a investment company. This company provides asset management, wealth management and even retirement plans. The J.P. Morgan Securities is a full-time securities firm which engages in purchase and sale of securities. The entire company's operations are backed by powerful research and development of the JPMorgan Chase.
Barclay's Global Investors
A subsidiary of BlackRock, the BGI is a prominent provider of funds which are exchange traded and active fund management. The company is also instrumental in launching the iShare facility, which is principally a fund linked and invested into several different national and international stock exchanges. The international presence of iShare and the ability of the company to invest in multinational investment destination and off-shore facilities, makes it a prominent investment company.
This German bank was described as a very customer oriented bank by a European friend. The Deutsche Bank is a successful provider of wealth management and fund management services.
Northern Trust Corporation
One of the most highly regarded companies in the United States, the Northern Trust is reputed in providing private banking, investment and wealth banking to its clients. The company's meticulous operations and the ever ready war room have taken the company to the many rankings of Fortune on several occasions. The company hosts over $643.6 billion in their asset management portfolios and also several other funds. The Northern Trust Global Investments (NTGI), a division of the company is dedicated to the investment management function and apart from flaw free execution this division has built a remarkable reputation for excellent research and development.
Another company which is often well noted for their asset management services is AllianceBernstein, provides a unique set of services known as solution-based diversified investment management for investment. This differential approach and solution or result oriented functioning of the asset management division has contributed to the company's rise to success. This company, provides a significant amount of services which range from alternatives and asset allocation to fixed income funds and equities, not to mention the usual investment schemes. This firm is also known for some of the best research that is conducted in the industry.
The name Fidelity investments has become almost synonymous to the individual investment industry, due to the mammoth and enormous volumes and variety of funds which are issued every year. The three broad products which are provided by this company include, the common mutual and investment funds, trading and stock and market investing and lastly retirement planning and provision.
Union Bank of Switzerland
The Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) is a prominent provider of wealth and asset management services in over 50 countries. The investment operations of the bank are divided into two categories, namely the UBS Global Asset Management and the UBS Wealth Management. The asset management division provides services such as equities, fixed income funds, alternative funds, asset or purpose tied and secured funds and globally diversified portfolios. The wealth management division on the other hand, provides specialized investment products and analysis and underwriting services to high net worth individuals.
State Street Global Advisors
Another well-known investment company of the United States. The State Street Global Advisors, provides asset management funds, common and specialized investment funds, mutual funds and some great exchange traded funds. The company is very well-known for the excellent features of its products.
A giant in the financial and investment services with its presence in a large number of countries. Though Allianz is known for services such as insurance and banking, a significant amount of €1,443 billion, are held and very, very successfully managed by the company's asset management division, which are all properly secured and hedged. The compact provides some really great and versatile funds which includes bond fund, equity fund, fund of hedge funds, real estate fund, etc.
Now, when you want to invest in any fund provided by any of the aforementioned companies, make sure that you go through the terms and conditions of the fund or financial product very carefully. Also calculate with a paper, pen and calculator in hand to ascertain whether the fund is suitable for your needs or not.