January 2013: 2012 Advisor Monitor Awards

Welcome to our annual Advisor Monitor Awards, where we recognize the best site features across the firms we track. In this report, we evaluate key areas of our firms’ websites, including resources and tools offered for public visitors as well as those available behind the login. We awarded a Corporate Insight “Monitor” (in Gold, Silver or Bronze) to the firms that ranked best in our examination.

To review, Gold Monitors are presented for site features that offer an exceptionally valuable and comprehensive service to customers and/or prospects in a user-friendly, well-designed interface. Silver Monitors are awarded to tools that offer strong capabilities, though suffer from a few small flaws, and Bronze Monitors go to features that, though imperfect, offer users an excellent or uniquely valuable service. An Honorable Mention recognizes firms that provide adequate features with the potential to provide stronger resources.

It is important to note that our distribution of rewards is not given solely to the top three contenders (as in the Olympic model), but to all deserving recipients. Sites are not competing against each other, with the “best” capturing the Gold, the “second best” capturing the Silver, and so on. We evaluate each site independently and bestow awards upon firms that meet or exceed our expectations for a particular feature. As will be seen, some categories have multiple Gold Monitor winners, while others have none at all. This is intentional and should serve to highlight where the industry is succeeding – and where it is failing – as far as the development of Web-based features is concerned.