As the story goes, one day the legendary J. P. Morgan was walking along the beach with a client. Morgan pointed to all of the beautiful yachts at anchor in the harbor naming their prestigious owners. Reputedly, the client said: "Where are all the customers' yachts?" Ironically, today one might switch the tale and ask where are all the brokers' yachts?
Most observers know that this has been one of the longest, if not the longest, "Bull market" in history. Since the end of 2009 to the present, the S&P 500 has climbed 12.1 percent per year and nominal GDP is up by an estimated 3.9 percent annually. Yet, working with S&P Global and reviewing the documents that the top six banker/brokers file with the Federal Reserve, it appears that the revenues derived from investment banking, trading, brokerage commissions, and fiduciary fees have only grown by 1.2 percent per year since 2009.
Have the customers actually made more money than the brokers in this past almost decade? It appears so.