Mutual Fund Web Sites Benchmarked in New Internet Study; Sites are Above Average in Content and Copywriting

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According to the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association, Mutual fund Web sites are generally in line with current Web standards of excellence. The sites are generally well designed with well written content.

According to the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association, Mutual fund Web sites are generally in line with current Web standards of excellence. The sites are generally well designed with well written content. The ISAR study provides industry benchmarks for Web site development and is based on data collected from 9,748 Web site evaluations in more than 80 industries over the past decade. A copy of the full report can be downloaded at http://www.webaward.org/isar_report.asp.

“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. “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 Web sites have up-to-date commentary and tools to help investors understand their investments and the investment manager’s outlook on macro issues as well as the portfolio.”

Since 1997, the Web Marketing Association has been conducting its annual WebAward Competition for Web site development. The Internet Standards Assessment Report is the results of nearly a decade of independent evaluations of Web site development based on seven categories: design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use.

Here are some of the past WebAwards Best Mutual Fund Web site winners.

2005 Cohen & Steers Website

2004 HighMark Funds Website.

2003 iShares.com

2002 pioneerfunds.com

A complete list of past winners can be found at http://fund.webaward.org

Mutual fund companies wishing to have their Web site evaluated against the ISAR Index and be considered for a WebAward, which can help boost a Web site's credibility and marketing efforts, can nominate their site at http://www.webawards2006.org.

“Of course, as in every industry, there are mutual fund Web sites that stand out and others that don’t make the grade,” concluded Rice. “Our goal has always been to be more than just a popularity or beauty contest that rewards brand names and good design. Instead, this ISAR study is designed to return some value to every entrant with input as to what Internet professionals should strive for in their Web site development efforts in an objective, empirical and constructive way.”

About the WebAwards

The 10th annual international WebAwards competition sets the standard of excellence in 96 industry categories by evaluating Web sites and defining benchmarks based on the seven essential criteria of successful Web site development. The goal of the Web Marketing Association, sponsor of the WebAwards, is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective Web sites on the Internet today. Entrants benefit from a Web site assessment by a professional judging panel and the marketing opportunities presented to an award-winning Web site. For more information, visit http://www.webawards2006.org.

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive a chart comparing two or more of the industries within financial services categories within the 2006 ISAR Study, please contact William Rice.

For additional information contact:

William Rice

President, Web Marketing Association, Inc.

(860) 558-5423

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