The 10 Best-Performing Firms on Wall Street in 2017

Whether you are a new or experienced investor, chances are you face the conundrum of finding a reliable financial source for stock recommendations. And as more firms and analysts enter the playing field, reliability and accuracy become more critical factors in any investor’s decision-making process.

Using TipRanks’ unique financial accountability engine to analyze Buy and Sell recommendations of analysts from over 300 firms, we set out to find the top 10 firms of last year. These are the firms that made the best investment decisions in 2017 and are worth keeping an eye on as we head further into 2018.

How we measured the firms

Our data-driven methodology factored in the success rate, average return and statistical significance of ratings from over 4,700 analysts. Each rating made between January 1 to October 31 was measured either on a 3-month basis or- for ratings made in October- until the end of the year. The list prioritizes firms that have made at least 20 ratings over the course of 2017.

Surprising results

Having crunched the data, the results were surprising. Our initial assumption was that the bigger, and more prominent firms, would be the most successful. However, we discovered that smaller firms including Craig Hallum and FBN Securities easily dominate the list.

And the Top 10 firms of 2017 are:

  1. Topping the list is institutional investment firm Craig-Hallum Capital Group with an 8.1% quarterly average return and 60% success rate based on 197 ratings. The firm says: “While most investment banks consider their research, trading and sales as necessary evils to drive their higher margin investment banking business, we consider them the foundation of our business.
  2. Boutique brokerage firm FBN Securities Inc comes in second place with an 8.7% quarterly average return and 79% success rate based on 29 total ratings.
  3. Founded in 1977, Minneapolis-based Dougherty & Company is a close third with an impressive 10.2% quarterly average return and 80% success rate on 20 ratings.
  4. Next, is employee-owned investment bank and asset management firm William Blair & Company which boasts a 7.9% quarterly average return and 62% success rate on 224 ratings.
  5. Ronnie Moas’ Standpoint Research Inc is in fifth place. Standpoint had a 7.9% quarterly average return and 65% success rate in 2017 with 34 total ratings.
  6. The sixth spot goes to healthcare-focused investment bank Leerink Partners with a 6.7% quarterly average return and 61% success rate on 194 total ratings.
  7. New York-based Needham & Company says it focuses solely on growth companies and their investors. The firm comes in seventh with a 6.2% average return and 60% success rate on 746 ratings.
  8. Next in order is Germany’s leading global bank Deutsche Bank with a 5.3% quarterly average return and 65% success rate on no less than 428 total ratings.
  9. Full-service investment bank Imperial Capital with a 6% average return and 63% success rate on 76 total ratings.
  10. Lastly, Oppenheimer has a 4.7% average return and 65% success rate on 1639 ratings. Dating back to 1881, Oppenheimer traces its roots to Harris C. Fahnestock, financial advisor to President Lincoln.

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