Around the Industry: Calvert Investments

by on May 29, 2013

Calvert Investment LogoOur new Around the Industry series will review the websites and digital resources offered by leading financial services firms that fall outside of our Monitor Services coverage groups. Our first installment comes from our Advisor Monitor team and looks at Calvert Investments.

Calvert Investments is a Maryland-based firm that places special emphasis on socially and environmentally responsible investing, even maintaining its own Calvert Social Index to measure the net performance of sustainable companies. We reviewed Calvert’s online and social media charitable resources last year. Below, we examine the Calvert Investments public website.

As is typical for many Fund sites, Calvert’s homepage features a rotating banner image promoting the firm’s funds, webcasts and commentaries. In addition, the homepage promote thought leaders and lists new commentaries and news. The firm also uses the homepage to promote its Sustainable & Responsible Investing campaigns (SRI), which are essential to the firm’s brand identity and investing strategy.

Calvert Homepage
Calvert Homepage

Fund Profiles
Calvert’s fund profiles follow a typical template, spreading information across seven tabs for Overview, Performance, Pricing, Holdings, Management & Commentary and Fees & Minimums. The profiles include all the hallmarks of quality, such as a hypothetical growth chart, rate of return table and comparisons to index benchmarks. Overall, Calvert’s fund profiles compare favorably to others in the industry, particularly to those on Fidelity’s investor site.

Calvert Fund Profiles
Calvert Fund Profiles (Truncated)

While Calvert’s homepage and fund profiles compare favorably to those of other firms, its commentary offerings and presentation fall short with regards to functionality. Although Calvert hosts a high volume of video commentaries on the public website, the firm does not offer a centralized commentary section or a sound method for searching and filtering.  The video player is also curiously small and the long list of available videos to the right only accentuates the visual imbalance.

Calvert Video Commentaries (Truncated)
Calvert Video Commentaries (Truncated)

The firm offers a good selection of tools, such as a Retirement Savings Calculator, Asset Allocator tool, and a Roth vs. Traditional IRA comparison, among others. Without launching into a detailed a review of the firm’s tools, it is safe to say that Calvert’s public tool offerings are good, but could use a few visual improvements. For example, many tools use sliders to help set input values, but they are either too small or are not immediately recognizable as sliders hurting usability.

Closing Thoughts
Calvert Investments offers a generally strong asset management website. Calvert’s homepage and fund profiles stand out, echoing some of the better elements of top sites across the industry. In other areas, such as tools and commentaries, the firm is quite average. Fortunately, the key issues in those areas are not a shortage of content or resources but rather navigation and presentation which are easier to correct.