Investment Advisors are voracious researchers. They spend a large portion of every work week using websites, web applications, and mobile applications to find new investment opportunities and manage their clients’ portfolios.
To better understand these financial sages and how they research investment opportunities online, we surveyed 284 asset managers, investment services/specialists, institutional investors, Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs), wealth/portfolio managers, Chief Investment Officers, investment analysts, asset class investors, and stock brokers. We asked them a series of questions on everything from which websites they visit to find investment information, what devices they do research on, and what types of phrases they search for. The survey findings painted the picture of highly advanced and efficient web surfers that know how to find, research, vet, and invest in funds quickly. Below are some of the key findings.
- They are constantly looking at investment websites: 28% of the advisors said they are online looking at funds and investment opportunities daily. Another 10% said they are looking online for opportunities every week.
- They are fast: 80% of the advisors said they search for, find, and invest in new opportunities in 1 month or less.
- They require options: Each advisor said they look at multiple fund websites when doing research. The advisors said they visit an average of 7 fund websites before making a decision. 27% of the advisors said they look at more than 10 fund/investment websites when doing research.
- They are hunters, not gatherers: While the various advisors collectively listed 27 different types of data that they were looking for, the majority of advisors only listed 3 critical data points (e.g. top holdings, fees, average performance). Inversely, the advisors said they abandoned a fund/investment site was not being able to quickly find relevant information.
- Investment decision often require two types of websites: Almost half of the advisors surveyed said they research a single fund on a fund database (i.e. Morningstar) or a media site (i.e. Barrons) and looked at the funds website.
- They are still laptop dominant: While sites like Google and Facebook are seeing more visitors from mobile devices, our advisor panel was using their laptops 78% of the time when researching investment options.
- Large investments require human contact, but not face-to-face: When the advisors cannot find the critical information on the website they prefer to ask questions on the fund via email (71%), a phone call (11%), or an advisor forum (6%).
- It’s not just about the numbers: When asked what types of information advisors are looking for on fund sites, the answers were not strictly about fund attributes. Advisors were also looking for organizational data such as company history (35%), tenure of management (26%), and company location (5%).
The research showed that the best asset management and investor services websites require comprehensive content on funds (i.e. ETFs, mutual funds), rich organizational content, as well as industry trends. To develop a strong content library to supply necessary information to visitors, asset websites need a targeted content strategy and a friendly web content management system (CMS). The web design for investor services and asset management websites should be user friendly to task oriented advisors and the firm should consider developing videos for the content library. Extractable starts our engagements understanding the unique information needs and task preferences of audiences such as R.I.As and then crafts superior websites to fulfill on the goals of our clients such as lead generation, lead nurturing, investment conversions, and growing investments with existing clients.