Personalized features and friendly user interfaces helped Fidelity Investments, American Century and New York Life win "excellent" designations from Boston-based Dalbar for the market research firm’s second quarter 2004 analysis of mutual fund Web sites.

Fidelity’s "excellent" ranking is nothing new, but American Century moved up by offering what Dalbar called an "excellent consumer Web site." In addition, the company said New York Life "delivers an excellent Web site for financial professionals."

Other company Web sites that thrived in the quarter included Thrivent Financial, which was commended to the tune of a top 10 finish for a new sign-on feature that allows customers to log in and access different sections of the site without having to use different passwords.

Among consumer sites, the rankings went, in order from first to fifth place to: Fidelity (its new toolbar was a big hit), American Century, Strong, Salomon Smith Barney and Franklin Templeton. For financial professionals, it was New York Life Mainstay Funds, followed by, in order, Oppenheimer, Franklin Templeton, American Funds and AIM Investments.

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