July 2018 – A Look Back at Fund Prices: A Review of Historical Pricing Tools

Historical pricing tools are a key resource for financial advisors when they are interested in researching funds. The pricing tools provide a convenient way to get a fund’s exact price on a specific date, which advisors can share with clients or use internally for fund comparisons. In our first review of historical pricing tools, this Asset Management Monitor – Advisor Report examines the tools’ findability, search inputs and generated results as well as any customization features allowing advisors to manipulate pricing data.

Eighty percent of coverage groups firms offer historical prices for funds online. Most firms integrate pricing information within the fund profiles, while 31% employ standalone pricing tools where advisors can perform a search for a fund’s prices from the full suite of products. A quarter of the firms integrate tools in both locations to improve visibility. The price searches are straightforward with a single input of a fund dropdown menu, with only Fidelity and Vanguard employing more advanced fund search options. OppenheimerFunds and Vanguard allow advisors to add additional funds within the tool for a quick comparison. Firms are split on the presentation of results between a table and chart format. American Funds and John Hancock provide calendar views of historical prices. Roughly one-third of firms offer multiple formats to ensure advisors can digest the information as they prefer. The only unique feature firms employ is allowing advisors to export pricing data to CSV. Overall, Asset Management Monitor – Advisor firms provide straightforward, easy-to-use tools to obtain historical pricing information.

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