Web sites of mutual funds, in general, are well-designed with well-written content, but tend to be slow to embrace new technology, according to a new study.
The Internet Standards Assessment Report, released by the Web Marketing Association
, provides industry benchmarks for Web site development and is based on data culled from 9,748 Web site evaluations in over 80 industries since 1997. The evaluations were based on categories such as design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity and ease of use.
The study found that mutual fund sites are generally in step with current Web standards of excellence.
“Many asset management companies have been very effective and using their Web sites to meet the needs of investors and their financial advisors,” said William Rice
, president of the Web Marketing Association, in a statement. “However, they tend to be slow to adapt to innovation and new technology, usually due to the conservative nature of fund companies, and the strict regulatory environment in which they operate."
The best mutual fund sites, Rice added, contain up-to-date commentary and tools to aid investors in getting a better understanding of their investments, as well as the investment manager's outlook on macroeconomic issues and the portfolio.
The Web Marketing Association has been holding its annual WebAward Competition for Web site development since 1997.
Last year, Cohen & Steers
, a New York City-based firm specializing in REIT mutual funds, received the award for best mutual fund Web site.
Fund companies interested in having their site evaluated against the ISAR index and be considered for a WebAward may visit
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