September 2014: Advisor Site Profiles

This Mutual Fund Advisor Monitor Report examines the advisors site profile features offered by all 19 firms in our coverage group. Our research looked at how advisors are able to adjust their personal information, and if personalized resources, such as watch lists or literature orders, are offered. Additionally, we examined if firms offer value-added features, such as saved tool presentations, subscriptions to commentaries and alerts. Letter grades were individually assigned to each firm, and best practices were provided. We reviewed advisor site profiles within our coverage group using the following key criteria:

  • Features Offered
  • Personalization Options

All 19 of our Mutual Fund Advisor Monitor firms offer advisor site profiles. When we last addressed advisor profiles in our February 2009 report, 83% of surveyed firms offered them. Along with more firms offering advisor profile features, a healthy increase in usability and features is noticeable. A vastly varying degree was visible, as six firm earned A-grades, seven firms earned Bs, and six firms earned Cs and Ds.

Features such as accessibility, value-added tools, watch lists, literature order history and site tool integration were examined. Accessibility is pretty consistent amongst all firms, as they all direct users to profile features within one click from the homepage. All but three firms feature profile information that is accessible through the top static menu. Overall, advisor site profiles are mixed in their usefulness of features. Some firms fall short in incorporating relevant resources from the site, while others provide convenient options that could assist advisors in their practice. For example, 31% of firms offer watch lists, while only one firm offers advisors the option to save tool generated reports to their advisor profile.

The degree to which advisors can modify their personal information and preferences differs from firm to firm. We reviewed which customization options exist for profiles, such as changes to user names, passwords and security questions. We also considered how profiles allow advisors to manage their eDelivery and notification preferences.

Notable findings in this report include:

  • All firms offer profile features that are one click away from the main homepage.
  • Thirty-one percent of firms offer watch lists.
  • Sixty-eight percent provide email subscription options.