Category No. 20: Best ETF Offering: Independent Broker-Dealer Category – 2014
Awarded to the independent broker-dealer offering its reps and advisors the best total offering in the ETF space, including research, data, tools, trading capabilities and education.
Nominee No. 1: Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab has been a leader in supporting ETF-focused financial advisors for years, from good basic services and commission-free trading to stand-out model portfolios from Windhaven.
Nominee No. 2: Commonwealth Financial
Commonwealth has stepped up its game in ETFs, offering solid research and a network of ETF strategists to provide its advisors with best-of-breed solutions.
Nominee No. 3: Convergex
Convergex leads with market commentary and investment insight, offering incisive views on the macro markets and ETFs in general.
Nominee No. 4: Envestnet
Envestnet's big-tent approach to advisor roles is backed by solid technology and service. It has one of the most-respected ETF strategist research teams anywhere.
Nominee No. 5: LPL Financial
LPL's adoption of the ETF-strategist model is working for advisors and investors alike.
Category No. 21: Best ETF Issuer Website – 2014
Awarded to the most informative and user-friendly website by an ETF issuer.
Nominee No. 1: BlackRock
BlackRock's now-streamlined fund pages offer top-level portfolio information at a glance, with more detailed holdings and returns information available to download. Tools, white papers and blogs round out a very well-developed website.
Nominee No. 2: First Trust
First Trust puts the most critical information needed by investors front and center on its website. Index construction methodology is the biggest determinant of fund returns, and First Trust explains complex processes in simple bullet points, right at the top of each fund's home page. Data are easy to access, with full NAV history available. Full index holding data is offered alongside fund holding data—a very nice touch.
Nominee No. 3: SPDRs
SSgA provides lots of detailed information on a well-organized page for its SPDRs. Fund data such as NAV returns are easy to download.
Nominee No. 4: Van Eck
Van Eck's portfolio analytics tab offers useful metrics such as P/E, P/B and market-cap breakdowns. Van Eck also provides the ETF industry's only securities-lending tab, displaying collateral and counterparty information.
Nominee No. 5: WisdomTree
With separate pages for its ETFs and indexes, WisdomTree explains investment strategy, provides NAV history and gives a basic overview of portfolio exposure. Clear and timely distributions information is a plus, as well as great investment insight and white papers.