Over the month of April, a number of asset management firms released new tools and calculators, many of which reflect a growing trend. These new tools tend to be very small and simple, serving more to promote a product or illustrate an investment concept rather than fitting the mold of traditional online calculator. Two good examples of these online resources are Putnam’s Municipal Bonds vs. CD tool and Eaton Vance’s After-Tax Growth Calculator.
Putnam’s new comparison tool lets users weigh the options between investing in Municipal Bonds and bank CDs. Unless the user inputs unrealistic return rates for CDs, the tool will display hypothetical calculations that build a case for investing in municipal bonds. For example, one results option compares the levels of investment needed to achieve a certain level of income and highlights how much less money muni bond investors will need in order to reach that goal.
Putnam Municipal Bonds Vs. CD Comparison Tool
Eaton Vance’s new After-Tax calculator serves to illuminate the firm’s concepts of Tax Aware and Tax Oblivious investing. For some background, being Tax Aware means only taking capital gains at long-term rates, while Tax Obliviousness involves taking gains at short term rates. This tool aims to more fully illustrate the penalties for being “oblivious. ” Based on the user’s inputs, which are fixed to a preset 20-year timeline, the results will show how much money can be saved using an investment strategy founded on the principles of tax awareness.
Eaton Vance After-Tax Growth Calculator
These are just two examples of the many new tools that asset management firms unveiled this past month. It will be interesting to see what direction firms go in with their tool offerings – traditional, concept-driven, or a combination of both.