April 2013: Market Commentary Resources

This month’s Advisor Monitor examines resources for market commentary. All mutual fund firms in our coverage group provide discussions of current economic and investing conditions. These materials include HTML and PDF articles, videos and audio recordings. We focus primarily on the firms’ efforts to use commentaries to brand themselves and position their sites as a go-to resource for market insights. Our analysis centers on the following qualities:

  • Timeliness
  • Quality
  • Delivery

All firms provide some level of commentary resources, but differences exist in the quality of these materials. This month, four firms received As for excellent materials. Ten firms received Bs, and these firms offer solid thought leadership but lack in key areas. Four Cs were given to firms that don’t offer much.


A common marketing strategy employed by fund firms is to position individuals as thought leaders. These individuals serve as figureheads for a company and provide opinions to try to shape the dialogue occurring around market events. Several firms excel at elevating firm experts into leadership roles.


Most firms in our coverage group provide comprehensive commentary resources. Discussions range from analysis of international investing opportunities to issues impacting the regulation of municipal bonds. Top firms in our analysis honed their messages, and build a brand identity by becoming experts on a given topic. These firms give advisors a reason to return to their sites by offering focused commentary on key areas of business.

Commentaries appear in a wealth of formats. Firms deliver resources as PDFs, HTML articles, streaming video and audio recordings. These materials are frequently organized into recurring series produced on a regular schedule, offering advisors yet another reason to return to sites.


We uncovered the following key findings in our analysis:

  • 94% of include streaming-video commentaries
  • All offer text articles, with 94% including PDF editions and an overlapping 78% providing HTML articles.
  • 44% include streaming audio commentaries
  • All position individuals as thought leaders
  • 94% include regularly produced commentary series