The leading mutual fund brand in the nation is Vanguard and the leading distributor is Charles Schwab, 4,000 affluent and high-net-worth investors told Cogent Research in a recent survey. In both categories, Fidelity, which had previously held first place since Cogent started the research in 2006, was knocked to second.

The change reflects changing investor perceptions, loyalty and household penetration, Cogent said. Market dynamics appear to be contributing to Fidelity’s challenges, particularly a decline in the number of wealthy investors using 401(k) plans, Cogent said. In fact, for the first time ever, affluent investors have more dollars allocated to IRAs than to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

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