February 2017: Investment Comparison Tools

Advisors consider many factors when researching investment recommendations for clients, including objectives, risks and expenses. Comparison tools simplify the selection process for funds by generating a comprehensive overview that allows advisors to see contrasting attributes more distinctly. Fund comparison tools can save advisors critical time in reviewing investment opportunities and help them make more informed recommendations. This Mutual Fund Monitor – Advisor Report provides a step-by-step walkthrough and review of all the comparison tools offered by our coverage group firms.

Nine coverage group firms provide a total of 10 comparison tools. Franklin Templeton and BlackRock offer two tools each, while BlackRock and J.P. Morgan both license the Morningstar Multi Fund Comparison tool and offer it to their advisors. The ability to assess proprietary funds against competitor options from the broader investment universe, an option found in half of tools, is a critical attribute. Allowing for direct comparison across competitors gives advisors a more holistic view of available opportunities. Value-added options for comparison tools include the abilities to create client-ready reports, to save searches and to email or print results. Recommended best practices include providing a predictive search bar and placing links in product pages that direct advisors to the tool.