Asset Manangement/Research Website Design

On an unrelated note, I am playing with the design of a new project (big announcement, hopefully next week) that is geared for active traders and institutions. (We may add a low cost version for individual investors, also).

To get some usability ideas, I looked at quite a few Asset Management, Trading, and Equity Research sites. I am trying to find a good balance between providing a lot of complex information with making something that is inherently intricate more easy-to-use and appealing looking.

Here are some of the sites I’ve been checking out (with my comment below):

Dorsey Wright & Associates
looks dated

Birinyi Associates
Clean design, but not alot of functionality

Global Insight
too busy

Guerilla Trades
Heinously ugly

Channelling Stocks
Almost as ugly

Plexus Group
too much small type

Louise Yamada Technical Research Advisors
That functionality issue again

Fisher Investments
A lot going on — a bit too much

Asset Management Company
Clean design, good usability

Trillium Asset Management
Lots going on — almost too much

LSV Asset Management
Nice design, little functionality

>

None really slayed me in the design or functionality.

If anyone has any suggestions, sites to look at, or other ideas, please let me know!

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Discussions found on the web:
  1. Jason Rasp commented on Jun 22

    I like Minyanvilles site, but it’s not quite “there” yet.

    General design notes on many of the sites: Trying to cram too much onto one page with no appreciation for aesthetics, ease of use, ease of read, and functionality. I think a web page should be limited to the size of the screen. Especially for a home page. Scrolling should not be needed. If you can’t see it on the home page when brought up, then what purpose does it have. The home page is a jump off to other pages. Not many, if any do this anymore…

    I like the tabbing on top like on the Apple site and Dorsey for that matter (even if their site is dated and chunky).

    What about a customizable front page, a la Google’s. Then a user can make it as clean or messy as they want?

    I don’t like Realmoney or TheStreet’s sites any more. I struggle to find what I am looking for. I would prefer to be able to select the 3-4 writers I like and read—and skip the rest or be exposed only via quick editor notes.

  2. Steve D commented on Jun 22

    You certainly should check out Bernie Schaeffer’s Research site (schaefferresearch.com). I haven’t been trading much lately, but I used it a lot when I did…it will give you plenty of ideas. The problem with some of these sites is once you give a single stock pick, it quickly makes the big move before most can act. I’d like to see a site that uses stock screens or lists of stocks in a good setup, like Erlanger’s site (another one to check out).

  3. Bob A commented on Jun 22

    I don’t like the look of Minyanville too much but I like the content on Buzz&Banter. I get it free via TDAmeritrade. But there’s no comments feature.

    I like the idea of a low cost version of your investment site for individuals. I like Rev Sharks blog and it’s the only reason I pay for a Realmoney subscription. I’d love to cancel that next time around and that’s about what I’d be willing to pay for an alternative.

    Huffington Post offers excellent design that
    is easy on the eyes in the same way Google search results are easy on the eyes when compared to Yahoo search results… Big Picture really stands out as being easy on the eyes as well.

  4. rollsroys commented on Jun 22

    i like the layout/info architecture of bnp paribas asset management website.
    it’s not perfect, but easy to use

  5. michael schumacher commented on Jun 22

    take look at investools

    http://www.investools.com/

    The front end of it (sales) is too generic and it sems to cater to people who have not much experience however it has a good set of tools to use on your own. Sites that tell you what to buy and sell are not for me as you basically are in competition with all the other subscribers.

    What do other’s use or think about this one??

    Ciao
    MS

  6. KirkH commented on Jun 22

    More ideas for layout here. The designs are free and you can download the templates. I agree with the other poster that you should look at other sites for functionality but be original with the layout.

    Consider the use of tabs to save space on the page. Consider hiring someone who can implement some of the free tab systems out there.

    There are lots of new web technologies that none of the financial sites are using yet. If you get your own domain and hire a decent web guru with Ajax experience your blog would rule the financial landscape with a silicon fist.

  7. ECONOMISTA NON GRATA commented on Jun 22

    I agree with Bob A… Huff has one of the best user friendly sites. It would be great news to me if you would expand your coverage and perhaps even include other topics that may be of interest to your readers. I’m very happy with the insight and the service that you provide to the universe as is… This site is one of my daily reading sites along with The Onion, Huff, Mish, Mess that G Made, and many others that I scan every day….

    Many thanks for all your insights and usefull comments.

    My best regards,

    Econolicious

  8. DavidB commented on Jun 22

    I’m getting a visionary thought…..

    ….cue Vivaldi music….

    Are you going to include a training system for high net worth individuals? That could be very lucrative. You could welcome an absolute newbie(trust me they exist, many are bored R.E. tycoons who are looking for something to do others are retired boomers who are also bored) onto one portion of your site and ‘pull’ them through with a gradual self/lightly-mentored training program that eventually turns them into professional traders that are just gushing cash into your pocket on the back end through membership/data feed/etc. fees and some sort of trader’s forum.

    How about something like a twelve step education process that teaches all aspects of the market, commodities, bonds, real estate etc. etc? Oh, and don’t forget to include the fed and how the money system works. If they don’t learn that it will be like sending them out on the ice to play hockey on the first day of spring.

    The nice part is you don’t have to build it all at once. You could build a section or two every year starting with your strong points and then eventually link them up(I told you this was visionary….though some would say hallucinogenic) (;

    You should take all you have learned and convert it to educating others which = cash. It’s one thing to cater to the high end traders but if you are making them yourself or converting them from other areas outside the market and generating revenue from them as they progress you would then be able to create a huge investment community and you would also leave an incredible legacy

    You could even bring in experts in the various areas and give them a revenue cut as comp.(….and of course you’ll owe me royalties for the idea!)

    ….end vision….

    …fade out with some Mozart…

  9. Matt V. commented on Jun 22

    I’d suggest http://www.wsj.com and http://www.optionsxpress.com for sites that are easy to use but involve complex ideas. I’m a software engineer with lots of webpage experience, so if I could be of assistance then please feel free to ask. However, I have a feeling you’ve got it under control. Cheers.

  10. Bob A commented on Jun 22

    I would also flip through the major newspaper sites, Wa Post, NY Times, LA Times, USA Today etc.

    You can quickly see what you like/don’t like and benefit from the experience of companies that have spent millions on the best and brightest to get where they’re at.

  11. DonB commented on Jun 22

    I have been using Market Edge for a while now. Their recommendations are based on technicals only, with no consideration given to fundamentals. They offer a few different levels… weekly, daily, etc.

    They produce a weekly Market Posture, which is published each Friday after the market closes. While they provide substantial detail on their recommendation, it is briefly summed up in a bullish or bearish statement. Then, one can get their perspective on individual stocks. Again, they provide considerable detail explaining the reasoning behind their position, but they also provide a crisp statement regarding their recommended action.

    They have been surprisingly accurate based on my experience.

    http://www.marketedge.com/

  12. johntron commented on Jun 22

    a website to avoid, check out:

    http://www.brookstonefinancial.com/ (while it lasts)

    sorry for the schadenfreude, but retail investors (or their advisers) in CDO investments deserved to lose their shirts.

    “Irvine broker Brookstreet faces liquidation….Stuart Meissner, a New York attorney and former securities regulator, said he received calls from people whose Brookstreet accounts went from $250,000 to negative value. “They were supposedly guaranteed 10 percent returns,” Meissner said.”

    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/money/subprime/article_1740651.php

  13. johntron commented on Jun 22

    correction, sorry for poor cut/paste skills.

    Brookstreet Financial Website (looks like a ISP template)

    https://www.bkst.com/

  14. j d ess commented on Jun 22

    don’t look at asset management sites. look at sites you like and apply their ideas to your website.

    my current favorite site:
    southwest.com

    so simple, so usable, so good it makes me wanna cry.

  15. j arp commented on Jun 22

    Barry,
    I’m not trying to use your site for advertising, but I do think our site is something different and may be of some use to you, given your request. We’re definitely not go-time yet, still lots of development going on, but I think that when we’re done we’ll have something special (more focused on macroeconomic information than most). Give us a peek and tell us what you think (“contact us” link at the bottom of every page).

    http://www.jarpandcompany.com

    Thanks,
    Jason

  16. Toby commented on Jun 22

    http://www.ar-t.org/index.html

    Barry,

    Above is the site of a friend of mine that tells about his art project and his life quests — what I love about the site is how well it’s organized — just click around and you’ll probably agree, what also appeals is that there’s something about the site, call it ambiance, that just plain makes me feel good.

    Toby

  17. matt m. commented on Jun 22

    Dorsey Wright is by far the most powerful trading/investment site on the internet. If you are a commentary-economic-woulda,coulda,shouda trader don’t waste your time. The site is designed for traders who are dead serious about running money. You’ll find no interpretation of Fed moves…economic data or any other of the nonsense that occupies 90% of most traders days.
    As for the site being dated…huh? Covers every market in the world…in depth…from a supply and demand perspective (point & figure).

  18. Greg0658 commented on Jun 22

    ++ I noticed Gorilla is concerned for dialup users. A reason to have landlines and for roadtrip www users.

    — I dislike websites not showing address location(s) when your looking in the right spot. I like seeing the bricks & mortar. Maps and directions are cool too.

    :-) I see BR, you appreciate uncluttered

    :-0 Todd aka Wally, a hoot

    +- How many www sites are there now?

    ps – note to amature webmasters – pictures can be compressed with the correct photo program to use less bit space,ie faster downloads & less waste in server space

  19. Dodney Rangerfield commented on Jun 22

    Before the FDIC banks were big, beautiful buildings where you just knew that your deposits were going to be safe.

    You want your financial website to scream security. Given the names scream security, I checked out prudential.com and fidelity.com

    Pretty good sites. I think the greens and blues suggest money and security. This is good.

    Ironically, the bank websites don’t scream security… they scream WOULD YOU LIKE A HIGH APR CREDIT CARD WITH ENOURMOUS LATE FEES?

    You see a similiar dichotomy in mortgage lender websites. fanniemae.com with an actual bank photo versus mortgage.com screaming OUR PRICES ARE INSAAAAANE.

    In the non-financial area, mozilla.org is wonderfully easy on the eyes.

  20. The Financial Philosopher commented on Jun 22

    As Longfellow said better than I could: “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”
     

  21. Bill M commented on Jun 22

    Dorsey Wright’s functionality is 100%

    It’s amazing how much information they make available and useful.

  22. bkinga commented on Jun 22

    Barry,
    For research, LehmanLive is good. For asset management, New England Asset Mgt has a pretty decent site.

  23. UrbanDigs commented on Jun 22

    Barry – I was a NASDAQ equities trader with Tradescape before E-Trade bought them and used their Lightspeed trading platform. Now they are private again and merging with Schoenfeld Trading on LI.

    http://www.lightspeedtrading.com/Lightspeed_Trading_Platform.php

    Key is clean, fast, efficient platform that works! System should have a ticker that you can customize. System should color code new high bid and dropped offer based on current position. It should allow you to buy a hypothetical share of any stock you type up so that you can monitor those stocks in your main position manager. You can buy a share or sell short a share so color coding works based on your focus for that stock. Order flow of the highlited stock should be shown.
    MM’s obviously must be shown as well as their advertised order flow. Up to you to figure out if they are hiding a much bigger order. Easy access to ALL ECNS; ISLD, INCA, BTRD, etc..Predefined keys for FAST order execution and customizable keys for quick release or buy orders; easy exit easy load up keys. Full access to daily charts, weekly, charts, etc..Real time news for stocks monitored in position manager.

    For active traders this is what I got used to and would want to see if I re-entered the game.

  24. Philippe commented on Jun 23

    The ultimate assets management Website

    Cover the macroeconomics background (to be sober and useful which means address the real economic issues, Mr Kasriel modules are well suiting the work frame)
    Include bonds as an asset class.
    Equities
    Others
    Should have proprietary quantitative models on investment themes.

    Should have the same format and keys on a global investment scene
    Asia (BP web site to be created)
    Europe (BP web site to be created)
    USA (BP « enhancement »)

    The blog format should be preserved, BP as it is not only enjoyable as it is, but it avoids the dogmatic and sometimes mercantile spin of investment houses or financial websites, it must preserve integrity through a large democracy of exchanges of ideas and critics of the investment themes. I find the input of the largest segment of population as possible extremely valuable, as long as within the mainframe subject.

    Ultimately to have access to three websites at the same time.

    To be able to reflect and explain the market opinion, strategy, even when in opposition with fundamental and financial logic (to be able to reach the cynical stage or the second derivative of « markets« ).
    The integrity of this site is interesting (more IT focussed) http://stockmarketbeat.com/blog1/

    Pitfalls to avoid

    Dogmatism
    A supermarket of ideas which conflict each other.
    Mercantilism

    The style
    Readers have the same propensity worldwide to « browse » and to have their attention focussed on one subject only which is « the theme of the jour »

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