USAA, a financial institution and insurance provider serving military service people and their families, topped the latest J.D. Power & Associates' survey of self-directed investors' satisfaction while Merrill Edge, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's consumer brokerage unit, checked in last.

The survey showed a significant decline -- down to 703 points from 733 points in 2010 -- in overall satisfaction among the 4,274 responding investors who make all their investment decisions without the help of a financial advisor. 

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