BlackRock, John Hancock Mutual Funds and Fidelity Investments topped Kasina's list this year of best websites for advisers.

The 12th annual study, also listed J.P. Morgan Asset Management, American Funds, Oppenheimer Funds, DWS Investments, Putnam Investments, Vanguard and Franklin Templeton Investments, in that order.

The New York-based consultant built its list based on 156 different factors, including content, functionality and user experience, putting 42 adviser-facing websites through their paces, explained Eric Daugherty, principal and director of research at Kasina.

Of the top three, "BlackRock does a really nice job with its education tools and content," he said. "A great example is a Roth IRA conversion calculator, which is timely, intuitive and an easy tool for advisers to use in client meetings."

Meanwhile, John Hancock got top marks for its job-changes resource center. "It speaks to the needs of a specific client group, those looking for new jobs," Daugherty said. "Again, it's a timely resource."

For it's part, Daugherty said Fidelity is a strong performer across the board, but what it does particularly well is data capture. "It segments users' online experience based on what they know about an individual adviser, such as which funds he's invested in," he said. "That way, Fidelity targets its messaging around those funds, and doesn't present information that advisor doesn't care about."

Generally speaking, there are a couple of areas fund companies in the top 10 excel at, Daugherty said The first is thought leadership, making their portfolio managers and executives available to site users as experts, increasingly posting videos in addition to static formats.


Less Than One-Third Of Investors Ready for Risk

The willingness of mutual fund shareholders to take substantial or above-average risk remained at 30% of all mutual fund-owning households in May 2010, the same as in May 2009, the Investment Company Institute said.

Back in May 2008, 37% of mutual fund-owning households were willing to take on additional risk. The ICI attributed the decline to lackluster equity markets and Baby Boomers approaching retirement.

Indeed, fund performance continues to dominate investors' opinions of the mutual fund industry, with two-thirds of investors saying this is a "very" important factor, the ICI survey also found.


60% of Wealthy Never Plan To Retire, Barclays Finds

Retirement is being rejected by a new breed of wealthy workers.

According to a survey conducted by Barclays, 60% of wealthy individuals say they plan to become a "Nevertiree." They want to continue working for as long as they are able, or start new businesses or take on new projects in their later years.

The survey of 2,000 high-net-worth individuals indicated that this group of "Nevertirees" is expected to grow over the next several years with over 70% of respondents under the age of 45 saying that they will always be involved in some form of work.

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