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2013 Monitor Awards

Published January, 2014

2012, Corporate Insight, Inc.

Mutual Fund Monitor Report | Fund Fact Sheets 1

Introduction
This month, we are proud to present our annual e-Monitor Awards Report, detailing the best
features in nine areas of online brokerage offerings and functionalities.
In our analysis, we looked at the public and private sites for all firms in the
e-Monitor
coverage group, and reviewed the following categories: Account Information, Education Centers,
News & Research, Online Documentation, Online Help, Product Range, Quotes, Tools & Calculators
and Trade Tickets. Each category includes a distinct set of attributes and criteria that we used to
grade and rank firms. For each firm that came out on top, we awarded a Monitor Award in either
Gold, Silver or Bronze.
To review, the Gold Monitor is reserved for products, tools or website features that are best-inclass, meeting or exceeding all of the criteria we have established in each category. Website
offerings that provide good value but suffer from a few small flaws earn a Silver Monitor. Finally, for
offerings that are imperfect yet offer discernible value to users, we award a Bronze Monitor.
It is important to note that the Monitor Awards do not follow the Olympic medal system there can
be, for instance, more than one Gold or more than one Bronze awarded in a single category. This
serves to highlight where the industry is succeeding (as well as where it might be failing its clients),
while providing all worthy firms the recognition they deserve. That said, we have worked to make
our method of review as stringent as possible, so that medals are shared only when necessary.
A summary of all Monitor Awards winners is as follows:

Monitor Award Winners


Fidelity
E*TRADE Financial
Charles Schwab
Merrill Edge
TD Ameritrade
optionsXpress
Scottrade
Morgan Stanley WM
Vanguard
RBC WM
Merrill Lynch WM
TradeKing
UBS
0

3
Gold

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4
Silver

Bronze

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Research Methodology

And the Envelope Please

Account Information

Education Center

News & Research

Online Documentation

Online Help

Product Range

Quotes

Tools & Calculators

Trade Tickets

Brokerage Website Audit

Summary Matrix

10

Detailed Rankings

11

1. Account Information

11

2. Education Centers

17

3. News & Research

25

4. Online Documentation

38

5. Online Help

42

6. Product Range

46

7. Quotes

50

8. Tools & Calculators

59

9. Trade Tickets

65

Year in Review

74

2013 Highlights

74

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2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 3

Research Methodology
The 2013 e-Monitor Awards Report investigates key features and tools of the online brokerage experience. As it is
every year, our goal with the Monitor Awards is to highlight the most valuable brokerage products, services, tools
and features offered by e-Monitor firms. This year, we expanded and developed each sub-category and attributes
considerably, updating our criteria in areas where the industry has seen positive movement. This year, the e-Monitor
Awards cover the following topics:
1. Account Information In this category, we review the availability and depth of account balance figures,
positions, transaction details and account history provided by firms. We focused on real-time data, the
breadth of details provided and how extensive each firms archives are. We also took into consideration any
download or export options available, along with account alerts. This year, we updated our grading to
include data freshness for all account information, and considered account performance, a key part of
overall account information.
2. Education Centers This category reviews the presentation and depth of educational content and resources
offered by brokerage firms. Our analysis focuses on the breadth and depth of topics related to investing,
financial planning and personal finance. We also focus on the types of resources provided by firms, including
articles, webinars and tutorials, as well as the location and accessibility of these resources.
3. News & Research In this category, we highlight all news and research content related to overall domestic
and international markets, sectors and industries. We looked at available news resources, commentaries
and research reports. We also analyzed research content for all major product offerings, and incorporated
alert, screener and charting capabilities for each of those products.
4. Online Documentation In this category, we evaluated the availability and accessibility of client account
documents online, including statements, trade confirmations, tax records, and check images, and updated
our criteria weightings to emphasize additional account-related documents. We also noted all available
document formats, the extent of the available online archive and the overall usability of document centers,
while also considering any restrictions or costs to document delivery as well as e-Delivery.
5. Online Help In this category, we identified and graded all available online help features and tools. As in
past years, we looked at general search functions, section-specific help and unified help centers. This year,
we looked more closely at each feature, as well as at the format and accessibility of those options. Other
online help features we investigated include live chat tools and online message centers; for this last
attribute, we expanded our analysis this year to look at all available features and capabilities.
6. Product & Service Range This category focuses on the range of products that can be traded online, along
with managed accounts and cash management features. We looked closely at all major tradable product
offerings stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, CDs and bonds, as well as online global, futures, forex
trading and access to IPO offerings.
7. Quotes In this category we looked at the quote details, functionality and related tools that firms make
available to all clients. As in past years, we recognize firms that offer free streaming real-time quote tools,
with no restrictions in terms of account balances or trading requirements. We also looked at accessibility to

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both streaming and detailed quotes, noting floating quote bars or any ubiquitous tools throughout the
private site. We also reviewed watchlist functionality, details and features.
8. Tools & Calculators A new category to this years Monitor Awards, here we reviewed all available
investment and financial planning tools, asset and portfolio analyzers, as well as financial calculators. We
took into account the availability of these tools, the range of topics covered, account import capabilities, as
well as the depth of inputs and results.
9. Trade Tickets Our final category saw significant changes this year, as we focused on unique or advanced
order entry features and capabilities, looking beyond simply industry standard features. A second key
change this year is that we assessed all available major product offerings, including stocks, ETFs, options,
mutual funds, CDs and bonds. We assessed tickets based on key account and quotes data, help resources, as
well as any information pertinent to each order type. We also looked at the navigation and access to trade
tickets, along with overall organization and usability. (Though we rated firms based on overall quality of
trade tickets available we did not penalize firms for that did not offer tickets because they lacked certain
trading capabilities.)

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And the Envelope Please


Below, we highlight the Monitor Awards winners in each of this reports nine categories.
Account Information
E*TRADE Financial, Fidelity (Gold); Charles Schwab (Silver); Merrill Edge (Bronze) There were a few ranking
changes in this category this year, as we expanded our research criteria and analysis to include performance data.
E*TRADE Financial and Fidelity earn Gold Monitors for their overall strong and thorough offerings of account
information, balances and position details and related content. E*TRADE has now won nine consecutive Gold
Monitors in this category, while Fidelity is a newcomer to the top of the podium. Charles Schwab improves from its
Bronze Monitor last year to a Silver this year, primarily due to the addition of performance data to the category.
Merrill Edge rounds out the winners with a Bronze Monitor, as the firm provides clients with an excellent
assortment of position details and account performance information.
Education Center
E*TRADE Financial, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade (Gold); Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge (Silver); Scottrade, TradeKing
(Bronze) E*TRADE Financial and TD Ameritrade repeat as Gold Monitor winners in the Education Centers category,
and are joined at the top of the podium by Fidelity. TD Ameritrade has received a Gold in this category for three
consecutive years, and Fidelity has secured a Gold in six of the past seven. All three firms feature centralized
Education Centers that offer a wide variety of investing, planning and product educational resources spanning a
variety of content mediums. This years Silver Monitor winners are repeat winner Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge,
the latter of which improved upon its Bronze standing last year. Each firm continues to provide excellent content
depth with regards to investing topics and specific investment products. Scottrade and TradeKing are both
newcomers to the Education Center podium this year, as each firm earns a Bronze Monitor. Both firms specialize in
investing and trading-focused educational resources, though lack the range and depth of resources across all topics
considered in the category to earn a higher award.
News & Research
Charles Schwab, Fidelity (Gold); E*TRADE Financial and TD Ameritrade (Silver); Merrill Edge, Merrill Lynch Wealth
Management (Bronze) Charles Schwab and Fidelity continue their dominance in the News & Research category, as
the firms have now earned a Gold Monitor in this category for 13 and 10 years in a row, respectively. Both firms
provide clients with stellar all-around domestic and international market research, including specific product
markets (e.g., stock, fund research) and related tools. E*TRADE Financial and TD Ameritrade each retain their Silver
Monitors for 2013, as both firms offer good news and research content, but lack the depth and range of resources,
such as research alerts or global market research. Lastly, Merrill Edge and MLWM retained their Bronze Monitors for
providing a respectable amount of research content, but falling short in several respects, including a lack of in-depth
general market, ETF and fixed income research resources, and offering news and research alerts for individual
security symbols only.

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Online Documentation
Fidelity (Gold); Morgan Stanley (Silver); Charles Schwab, RBC, UBS (Bronze) This year, we revamped this category
with some new criteria and changed some existing ones, resulting in some shifting rankings. Fidelity takes home the
sole Gold Monitor for offering an extensive online document archive for all key documents, and for providing
excellent access to it. Morgan Stanley earned a Silver Monitor this year for providing a centralized documents
center, with helpful browsing options. Schwab, RBC and UBS each earned a Bronze. While all three firms offer some
excellent online documentation, they lack some features (e.g., better accessibility) that prevented a higher ranking.
All Monitor winners in this category offer paperless account options, an important capability in todays digital world.
Online Help
Fidelity (Gold); Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade (Silver); E*TRADE Financial (Bronze) Fidelity once again received
the sole Gold Monitor for offering the best all-around help resources, including a universal chat tool, targeted help
content through all site sections, a detailed site search and a good online message center. Charles Schwab
introduced private site live chat in 2013 and a revamped private search results page to help vault it up the rankings,
while TD Ameritrade retains its Silver for offering a good online message center and help resources, but less
effective search capabilities on its public site. E*TRADE Financial retained its Bronze Monitor for providing excellent
an excellent private site email platform and search resources; however, the absence of a universal live chat tool and
some limitations of the message center hurt the firm.
Product Range
Charles Schwab, E*TRADE Financial and Fidelity (Gold); TD Ameritrade (Silver); Merrill Edge (Bronze) All Monitor
winners retained their rankings from last year. All winners allows investors to trade all major products online, and
offer excellent cash management features along with some advisory accounts; the differences in the level and depth
of products and services accounted for the differences in rankings. In addition, higher ranked firms offer investors
access to other products beyond the standard product range, such as futures and forex.
Quotes
E*TRADE Financial, optionsXpress and TD Ameritrade (Gold); Scottrade (Silver); Merrill Edge (Bronze) The award
winners in the Quotes category remain unchanged from last year. E*TRADE Financial, optionsXpress and TD
Ameritrade all take home the Gold this year, as each firm continues to provide strong quotes details, functionality
and tools. E*TRADE Financial has now won the Gold Monitor in back-to-back years, while optionsXpress and TD
Ameritrade have won the Gold every year dating back to 2005 and 2006, respectively. Scottrade holds onto its Silver
Monitor for the ninth consecutive year and Merrill Edge retains its Bronze Monitor for the third year in a row for
providing good quote resources, but falling short of several key resources that are offered by higher ranking firms.

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Tools & Calculators


Fidelity (Gold); Vanguard (Silver); Charles Schwab, E*TRADE Financial, Merrill Edge (Bronze); TD Ameritrade
(Honorable Mention) In our first look at this topic for the Monitor Awards, all ranked firms offer clients a good
range of financial calculators, planning tools and portfolio analyzers. The depth of inputs, the quality of results and
the ability to import current account holdings were the main factors that differentiated the winners. Fidelity earned
the sole Gold Monitor for offering the most extensive range and depth of tools across all planning topics, and is a
clear winner in this category. Other highly ranked firms also offer good tools, but have gaps in key areas.
Trade Tickets
E*TRADE Financial, Merrill Edge, optionsXpress (Silver); Charles Schwab, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade (Bronze)
Industry-wide trade tickets now include many standard features and capabilities that were less common (though no
less important) in years gone by. As a result, some of the most significant changes in criteria and attribute
expectations were made in this category, as we took into consideration unique and advanced order entry processes.
E*TRADE, Merrill Edge and optionsXpress each earned a Silver Monitor for offering the most unique and innovative
trading ticket features, while no firm rose to the level of a Gold Monitor this year. Schwab, Fidelity and TD earned a
Bronze Monitor for providing solid trade tickets, but lacking some of the features of higher ranked firms.

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Brokerage Website Audit


The e-Monitor Awards recognize the most outstanding website features provided by leading brokerage firms in nine
major areas. To conduct our evaluation, we leveraged our Brokerage Website Audit benchmarking software, which
is just one piece of our Brokerage Website Audit service.
The Brokerage Website Audit service provides clients with a customized, in-depth assessment of their website
versus competitors across 10 categories, 60+ sub-categories and 300+ attributes. The 2014 Brokerage Website Audit
includes a new Mobile Capabilities category to help firms understand their competitive position in this increasingly
important area. Audit purchasers also receive a copy of the 2014 Investor Survey Report featuring fresh data on the
behaviors and preferences of key investor demographic groups.
A custom Audit engagement includes the following:

Competitor Benchmarking & Demographic Insights: The Audit identifies strengths and weaknesses in
contrast to competitors and assesses a site's effectiveness in serving different investor types (e.g., mass
affluent, active traders, etc.).

Scores Reflecting Investor Preferences: Audit scores are determined by more than website evaluations.
Results from our in-depth Investor Survey are used to create weighted scores to better reflect the
importance of specific online features to actual investors.

Flexible Framework: We provide the client firm with their scores and the scores of all competitors at the
category, sub-category and attribute level, allowing the firm to perform in-depth competitive analysis.

Tailored Recommendations for Improvement: The Audit provides hundreds of specific, detailed
recommendations to improve the clients brokerage site. Competitor screenshots are also included to
illustrate best practices.

2014 Investor Survey Report: This report analyzes detailed survey data collected from approximately 1,500
individual investors to explore the behaviors and preferences of key demographic groups including selfdirected investors, advised investors, mobile brokerage users, active traders and more. In addition to the
summary report, we include the survey results in Excel, tabulated by a variety of different demographic
factors.

For more information on the Brokerage Website Audit, please contact Bob Burlin, VP of Business Development, at
rburlin@corporateinsight.com or by phone at 646-929-5152.

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e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 9

GOLD
SILVER

GOLD
BRONZE

GOLD

Trade Tickets

GOLD
BRONZE

Tools & Calculators

BRONZE

Quotes

GOLD
SILVER

Product Range

News & Research

SILVER
GOLD

Online Help

Education Centers

Online Documentation

Account Information
SILVER
GOLD

SILVER
BRONZE

GOLD
GOLD

GOLD

BRONZE
BRONZE

BRONZE
SILVER

GOLD

GOLD
BRONZE

BRONZE

GOLD
BRONZE

BRONZE
SILVER

Monitor Winners by Category

S
u
m
m
a
r
y
M
a
t
r
i

Ameriprise Financial
Charles Schwab
E*TRADE Financial
Edward Jones
Fidelity
Merrill Edge
Merrill Lynch Wealth
Management
Morgan Stanley Wealth
Management
optionsXpress
Raymond James
RBC Wealth Management
Scottrade
ShareBuilder
TD Ameritrade
TradeKing
UBS
Vanguard
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo Advisors

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

BRONZE
SILVER
GOLD

SILVER

BRONZE
BRONZE
GOLD

SILVER
SILVER

SILVER

SILVER

GOLD

Honorable
Mention

BRONZE

BRONZE
BRONZE
SILVER

e-Monitor Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 10

Detailed Rankings
For each Monitor Award category in this years report, we have awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze Monitors to the
top-performing brokerage firms. For each of the nine tools and capabilities, we provide background details for the
attributes that were examined, and then discuss the reasoning behind our selection of each Monitor-winning firm.
Where helpful, screenshots are included to help demonstrate or explain interesting and important features from
Monitor-winning firms. As was mentioned earlier, our scoring does not follow the Olympic model multiple firms
can earn any given Monitor award.
1. Account Information
The Account Information category looks at the overall depth of performance, balance, position and transaction
details firms offer. We also factored in real-time updates in regards to account figures, transaction history and
position data. Additionally, we took into consideration alert options, the length of transaction archives, and whether
or not account data can be downloaded via multiple platforms. Firms that met or exceeded expectations in each of
our criteria received Gold Monitors, while firms that received Silver or Bronze Monitors provided strong account
information but were missing certain features. In specific, our ranking criteria for this category included the
following:

Balance, Position & History Data


Length of History
Download Functionality
Alert Types
Data Freshness
Account Performance

E*TRADE Financial and Fidelity both earned Gold Monitors for 2013, as both firms had excellent marks across the
board regarding performance figures, balances, positions, history, data and functionality. Both firms offer
comprehensive and detailed account information thats consistently updated with real-time information. All other
Monitor recipients either lack a key component of account information or provide less comprehensive (or up-todate) details.

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E*TRADE Financial (GOLD) E*TRADE Financial continues its dominance in the Account Information category, as the
firm earns a Gold Monitor in this category for the ninth consecutive year. The firm provides clients with excellent
balance, position and history details, data freshness and download functionality. The firm also provides a good range
of alert capabilities to track account information as well as a strong assortment of performance details that includes
a graphical breakdown of performance by asset type.

E*TRADE Financial Private Site Balances Page

As far as the basics of account information go balances, positions, transaction history E*TRADE provides clients
with a great assortment of information updated in real time. Account balances are centrally located on the Balances
page, where clients can view the previous close and current net account value, total market value of securities and
net margin balance. The Balances page also offers a breakdown of purchasing power, with values for marginable
securities, non-marginable securities, margin equity and margin equity percentage. The firm also provides cost basis
information and gain/loss data per lot on a clearly labeled Gains & Losses tab within the Portfolios section of the
private site.

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The firms transaction history includes a detailed page for each trade, which includes the commission and allows
clients to enter a memo or categorize the transaction. Clients can download their transaction history into Excel,
Microsoft Money or Quicken a good set of options. The firm also offers account balance and activity alerts,
including the option to sign up to receive a daily or weekly portfolio update. Additionally, E*TRADE provides clients
with a good selection of account performance figures on the aptly named Performance & Value tab within the
Portfolios section of the private site. Account performance information includes a summary section that features a
graphical breakdown of performance by asset type, an account performance report that enables clients to compare
account performance with one of 16 major indices and an account value report that displays account balances over
time.
Fidelity (GOLD) Fidelity earns a Gold Monitor this year, a bump up from Silver, primarily due to the addition of the
Performance attribute to the category this year. The firm provides clients with the best selection of account alerts
among e-Monitor firms, including alerts for account position/balances and account balance minimum/maximum
targets, among other alerts. The firm also offers excellent account performance details coupled with a wide variety
of balance, position and transaction details to help vault the firm to the top of the podium.
Fidelitys Balances page provides detailed account balance information for each account held at Fidelity. Details
including total account value, account values by segment, buying power for specific security types, available to
withdraw figures, margin details, additional balances, and additional buying power balance are displayed. All of this
information is formatted in two columns, Current and Change. The firm also provides real-time balance information,
and new trades are reflected immediately. The firms position details are also excellent, with cost basis and gain/loss
information displayed on a lot-level basis. The firm offers account history dating back two years and provides the full
name of the investment and a link to a current quote.
Fidelity provides clients with an excellent selection of account performance information. The firm offers clients rate
of return figures across several timeframes, including since account inception. Additionally, the firm makes a clear
distinction between growth based on deposits and investment performance.

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Fidelity Private Site Performance Page

Charles Schwab (SILVER) Schwab earns the Silver Monitor this year, providing clients with a good assortment of
account details and an excellent selection of performance information. The addition of the Account Performance
attribute to the category this year is the primary reason for the firms jump from last years Bronze to a Silver
Monitor this year. The firm comes up short in attributes like length of history, download functionality and position
data freshness, thus preventing it from achieving a Gold.
Charles Schwabs balance, position and history details all provide clients with excellent information. Balances include
the day change, marginable and non-marginable buying power, fixed income buying power and margin equity
values. Balances are updated in real time as trades are processed. Position information includes a Schwab Equity
Rating or Morningstar rating depending on the security type, along with gain/loss and cost basis information on a
lot-level basis. Online account history includes a detailed page for trades that includes the commission and other
fees. Additionally, clients can sign up for a variety of portfolio alerts, including expired day instructions summary,
expired GTC orders summary, my closing summary, my mutual funds performance summary, my weekly summary,
Schwab equity ratings, and trade notification.

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Charles Schwab Private Site Positions Page

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Merrill Edge (BRONZE) Merrill Edge is a newcomer to the podium this year, as the firm provides clients with an
excellent assortment of position details and account performance information. The firm offers a variety of alerts
related to account values and deposits and withdrawals as well, though it does not offer the depth of alerts that
some other firms. Additionally, the firm lags in the Balance Data Freshness and Length of History attributes, thus
preventing it from earning a higher award.

Merrill Edge Private Site Balances Page

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2. Education Centers
Over the years, the brokerage website has evolved from a simple account information tool to a comprehensive
trading, research and portfolio management platform. Today, these websites are a prime source of product
information and education for investors. For many brokerage sites, educational content is often found in the
form of articles or guides, offering help and descriptions for various products and trading techniques. Industry
leaders go beyond this, offering in-depth content in a variety of formats including webinars, podcasts, videos,
courses, quizzes and more. For this category, we award firms that provide content in lesson format, as well as those
with a variety of multimedia offerings. Also considered is the range and depth of topics highlighted, as along with
the content placement and location on the sites. Our analysis of brokerage firms online education centers focuses
on three primary components:

Investing Basics
Planning and Personal Finance Education
Product Education

E*TRADE Financial and TD Ameritrade repeat as Gold Monitor winners and are joined at the top of the podium by
Fidelity for the Education Centers category. All three firms provide centralized Education Centers that feature a wide
variety of investing, planning and product educational resources. They all offer organized lessons that help provide a
classroom feel, even online. Finally, each of the three firms satisfied our requirements for educating clients about a
wide range of investment products, investing principles and financial planning topics. The Education Centers awards
category is rounded out by Silver award winners Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge, and Bronze winners Scottrade
and TradeKing.

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E*TRADE Financial (GOLD) E*TRADE Financial earns a Gold Monitor in the Education Centers category for the
second consecutive year. The firm provides a variety of excellent educational resources across all major investing
and planning topics within its education centers even before it revamped its online educational content in 2013,
further bolstering their stellar educational resource offerings.
The E*TRADE Financial education center is easily accessible from a clearly labeled Education main navigation menu
tab, along with links to related content within the firms Mutual Fund and ETF research and Retirement and
Guidance sections. The Education tab itself is well-organized, with an overview page that provides featured videos
directly on the page and quicklinks to the Retirement, Most Popular and Three Minute Videos sections of the
education center. The tab organizes educational content across three primary pages Educational Resources, Live
Events and Courses.
E*TRADE provides clients with a host of both proprietary and third-party educational resources, including articles,
videos, webinars, tutorials, webcasts and lesson-based courses. The firm also provides excellent content covering
each of the categories that we assessed Investing Basics, Product Education and Planning & Personal Finance. In
each category, the firm covered the basics in detail and provided more advanced content for experienced investors.
All resources are labeled by educational level, which include The Basics, Intermediate, and Advanced.
Additionally, the firm provides educational resources on special topics that typically pertain to specific current
market events; in the past, the firm offered resources for topics such as dealing with the fiscal cliff, and currently
provides special topics resources dedicated towards market volatility and active-versus-passive investing.

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E*TRADE Financial Education Center Educational Resources: Most Popular

Fidelity (GOLD) Fidelity once again finds itself atop the Education Center awards podium, achieving a Gold Monitor
for the sixth time in seven years. Throughout the course of 2013, the firm added a variety of content to its public
and private website Learning Center, culminating with a redesign of the Learning Center geared primarily towards
making desired content easier to access by the addition of new search and filtering options. The firm provides an
excellent selection of investing, retirement and product-specific educational resources for users at all experience
levels, leading to the firm receiving a Gold Monitor in this category.

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Fidelity Learning Center Overview Page (Truncated)

Similar to other Monitor winners, Fidelity assigns a difficulty level to each resource provided in the Learning Center
so that users can pick and choose based on their experience level. The firm provides educational resources in a
variety of format types, including articles, courses, infographics, videos and webinars. One convenient feature of the
firms courses is that users can track their progress for each course they have begun through the use of Mark as
Complete buttons at the end of each course section. Additionally, the Learning Center provides filters to help users
browse resources by topic/product, resource type and skill level.
Fidelitys education center provides users with a wide range of product-specific content. The firm offers numerous
articles for annuities, bonds, CDs, commodities, ETFs, options, mutual funds, IRAs and even closed-end funds.
Fidelity also provides strong planning content, mainly outside of the Learning Center. Additionally, the firm offers
even more focused content on specifics aspects of each larger product group, such as dividend-paying stocks,
municipal bonds and Roth IRAs. The Learning Center also features a good assortment of retirement and tax-focused
content. Outside of the Learning Center, the firm provides users with a generous amount of planning information,
primarily within the Guidance & Retirement tab where clients can access a host of investment guidance, retirement
planning, wealth management, estate planning and tax information and resources.

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TD Ameritrade (GOLD) TD Ameritrade continues to provide clients with an excellent overall selection of online
educational content, as the firm earns its third consecutive Gold Monitor in the Education Centers category. The
firm provides clients with a strong centralized education center, with content presented in a variety of formats that
covers both beginner and advanced topics. TD Ameritrade offers its clients a vast catalog of free educational
resources from Investools.
The firm provides a well-designed, centralized education center that is accessible from the main private site
navigation menu. The Education overview page highlights the various formats in which the firm provides content
courses, workshops, webcasts, videos and publications. The firm also links to related education content from pages
like the trade ticket and product research pages.

TD Ameritrade Private Site Education Center Overview Page

In terms of educational content, TD Ameritrade features excellent investing content for beginners, average investors
and experienced investors. The firm provides a plethora of educational content for all of the major investment
products, as well as investment concepts such as technical analysis and modern portfolio theory. Additionally, the
firm offers a separate Planning and Retirement tab, which provides a number of resources for financial planning and
personal finance-related topics, including articles and calculators.
Charles Schwab (SILVER) Charles Schwab repeats with a Silver Monitor in the Education Centers category, as the
firm continues to provide excellent content depth with regards to investing topics and multiple products (including
stocks, ETFs, options and fixed income). The firm does not offer lesson-based courses and provides only a fair
assortment of mutual fund and personal finance-focused content, holding it back from obtaining a Gold.

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Schwab provides clients with an easily accessible Learning Center that is housed within the Research main menu tab.
The firm organizes the Learning Center in an intuitive manner, with separate sections for active traders and
investors. Investor education is further broken down into categories like Getting Started, Building a Portfolio and
Understanding Investment Products. Additionally, Schwab does an excellent job linking to targeted educational
articles from product research pages.

Charles Schwab Private Site Learning Center Overview Page

We also found the quality of the firms Investing Basics and Product Education to be excellent. The Learning Centers
Investor Catalog covers the basics by providing resources focused on topics such as investing basics, trading basics,
saving for retirement and diversifying investments. The Trader Catalog touches on trading strategy and productfocused topics, such as options, ETFs, trading basics and technical analysis. The firm provides educational resources
in a variety of formats, including text-based articles, videos, tutorials, quizzes and webinars. Additionally, the firm
provides further retirement and financial planning articles and calculators within the Guidance main menu tab.

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Merrill Edge (SILVER) Merrill Edge is awarded the Silver Monitor this year in the Education Centers category, up
from a Bronze last year. The firm does not provide resources within one unified education center, but instead
positions resources on both product-specific education centers and standalone pages covering general investing
concepts or personal financial planning. Overall, the educational content ranges from basic introductions of
investing concepts to detailed coursework and webcasts related to advanced trading strategies, earning the firm a
Silver Monitor.
Merrill Edge provides clients with an excellent selection of product-focused educational resources on individual
product education pages. The resources touch on a wide variety of topics for investors of all acumens, and format
types include articles, tutorials, courses, quizzes and webcasts. The firm provides general retirement and investingfocused educational resources on the Retirement and Investing pages, respectively, which are housed within the
Planning & Products main menu tab.

Merrill Edge Private Site Options Education Page

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Scottrade (BRONZE) Scottrade earns a Bronze Monitor in the Education Centers category for providing clients with
a good variety of investment product-focused educational resources within a unified private site Knowledge Center.
The firm provides an excellent selection of individual product-focused educational resources. The educational
resources also cover a variety of investing and trading topics, with information presented as articles, podcasts,
webcasts, webinars, videos and quizzes. However, the firm provides only a limited selection of planning and
personal finance-related educational resources, thus holding it back from receiving a higher award.
TradeKing (BRONZE) TradeKing provides clients with one of the best collections of educational resources centered
on trading and investing basics, earning the firm its first Monitor Award in this category. The resources span a
variety of mediums, including articles, tutorials, videos, webinars and webcasts, and can be sorted by security type,
investing experience level and market outlook. All of the resources are provided within a centralized Education main
menu tab, which also offers access to a variety of related resources including calculators, investor and trader guides
(targeted on a specific trading or investing topics), and FAQs. Unfortunately, the firm lacks educational content
beyond trading topics, and does not provide any retirement or personal finance-focused educational content.

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3. News & Research


This category evaluates market and security research and news content, research reports and related tools that
firms offer. We rewarded firms that provide news and research from a variety of sources, and that make the
resources easily accessible on their websites. The news and research resources we took under primary consideration
in this category were product screeners, general market news offerings, sector- and industry-specific research,
product-specific research and charting capabilities. Additionally, we also considered news, price and research alert
capabilities. In particular, our criteria for this category were focused around:

Content Sources
Navigation and Integration
Product Screeners
General Market News
Sector & Industry Research
Charts
Alerts News, Price, Research
Product Research Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Fixed Income

Charles Schwab and Fidelity lead the way this year, as both earned Gold Monitors in the News & Research category.
Both firms offer clients a robust selection of news and research content from a variety of reliable sources for both
U.S. and global markets. Additionally, each firm features an excellent collection of individual product screeners along
with strong price and research alert types.

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Charles Schwab (GOLD) Charles Schwab continues its dominance in the News & Research category, as the firm has
now earned the Gold Monitor in this category every single year it has been one unified award category, dating back
to 2001. The firm provides clients with an excellent offering of news and research content that covers both U.S. and
international markets, along with a variety of sectors and industries, as well as specific investment products.
Additionally, the firm offers an excellent selection of individual product screeners.
The firms private site main navigation menu Research tab organizes content across eight sub-tabs for general
market information and individual product research. Accessing company profiles or quotes is relatively easy thanks
to a static search field that appears throughout the Research tab. Additionally, mousing over any symbol prompts a
pop-up Stock Snapshot window which displays a real-time quote, detailed price chart and business summary.

Charles Schwab Research Tab Navigation and Symbol Search Field Callouts (left); Pop-Up Stock Snapshot (right)

Schwab provides clients with a well-rounded selection of general U.S. market research, covering overall market
performance and tracking major indices, most active firms, industries and sectors. In addition, the firm provides a
variety of daily and weekly market commentaries and research reports from several different providers Argus,
Credit Suisse, Ned Davis Research and Market Edge as well as in-house research. The firm also offers
comprehensive sector and industry research that includes overall sector and industry performance figures, as well as
regular research reports produced by Schwab and a variety of reputable third-party providers such as Argus, Credit
Suisse and Ned Davis Research.

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Charles Schwab Private Site U.S. Markets Research Page Most Actives Tab (truncated view)

International market research is a particular strength within Schwabs research offerings. The firm provides global
market research that covers all major indices, in addition to those benchmarked by S&P. Schwab also offers regular
proprietary and Credit Suisse commentary about specific international markets, in addition to news articles and
foreign currency rates. The central component of the firms global research is individual country profiles that offer a
thorough investment background for numerous countries.

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Charles Schwab Private Site Country Profile Canada (truncated view)

Charles Schwab features strong U.S. market news content within its private site Research tab sourced from multiple
reliable news providers, including Market Watch, AP and Reuters. News articles focus on top headlines and are
organized across five intra-page tabs Market & Stock News, Company News, Sectors & Industries, EconomicsGovernment-Money and Press Releases. All articles are searchable by keyword, symbol, date, topic, source or
sector. Supplementing the news articles are an embedded quotes bar highlighting the most referenced symbols
and a quotes chart that displays U.S. and foreign indices data. The firm also provides international news content
separate from U.S. news, within the International section. Clients can browse news content across all regions, or
filter by a single region.
Outside of general market overviews, the remainder of the firms research content is devoted to product-specific
research. The firm offers dedicated research sections for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options and fixed income
products. Customizable and pre-defined product screeners are available for all major product types stocks, ETFs,
mutual funds, options and fixed income with options to save custom searches, compare symbols, trade and view
quick quotes and price charts. Charting capabilities are available for all products except for bonds. The firms price
and research alert capabilities are excellent for tracking securities and bond alerts, and for access to third-party and
Schwab commentary, but limited options are available for news.

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The firms stock research encompasses research and analysis from five different providers Credit Suisse, S&P
Capital IQ, Argus Research, Reuters and Market Edge as well as Schwabs Equity Ratings and research reports for
individual companies. Frequently updated equity market commentary and research reports are also offered from all
third-party research providers. The firms options news and research encompasses options chains and quotes,
several tools to help investors search and build different options strategies, as well as access to optionsXpress
options newsletters.
ETF research on the firms client site is extremely diverse and includes: a variety of search options and screeners to
find specific funds; a comparison tool to evaluate five funds performance, portfolio and fundamentals; and a variety
of pre-defined lists. Schwabs mutual fund research center focuses primarily on search tools and options to browse
through the firms fund offerings both Schwabs OneSource and Laudus funds as well as a comparison tool.
Detailed individual ETF and mutual fund research reports are also available from Schwab Research.
Schwabs fixed income research covers all bond markets and products. Though the firm does not segment content
by product type, a variety of research reports are available from Credit Suisse, Ned Davis Research and proprietary
commentary, in addition to news articles. The remainder of the fixed income research includes fixed income search
options and several rate and yield charts.
Fidelity (GOLD) Fidelity earned its 10th consecutive Gold Monitor in the News & Research category for offering an
excellent selection of news content, research reports and related tools and resources to provide clients with a
comprehensive view of both U.S. and global markets. Despite the fact that the firm has ranked among the best
e-Monitor firms with regards to news and research capabilities over the past 10 years, the firm made a number of
enhancements to its public and private websites this year to further bolster their offerings. These enhancements
include expanded mutual fund and stock profiles, three new research focused tools My Research tool, Sector
Portfolio Builder calculator and Report Finder tool new price trigger alert capabilities, and three revamped
research sections Mutual Fund Research, Markets & Sectors Research and Fixed Income Research.
Fidelity separates news and research across two tabs in the main navigation menu, though related news content is
available in research sections and product research is accessible through the Research tabs sub-menu. Accessing
company profiles is relatively easy, through both the sites static Quotes field and the symbol search fields are
embedded on pages of the research sections. Additionally, mousing over any ticker symbol prompts a pop-up
window that displays the daily performance of the security along with a link to the securitys full profile page.
Fidelity provides clients with one of the most comprehensive collections of online news and research resources
among all e-Monitor firms for both domestic and global markets. The Markets & Sectors section of the Research
main menu tab provides a variety of both global and U.S. market research. The U.S. market research section offers a
view of major indices that track equities, fixed income, forex and a variety of sectors and industries. The firm offers
general market commentary and research reports from four different providers Hightower, S&P Capital IQ, Ned
Davis Research and Zacks Investment Research as well as proprietary research.
The firm also provides clients with comprehensive international market and currency performance data across 46
countries. Fidelity offers some of the most extensive international market research, complete with currency data for
each country and individual country profile pages. Additionally, the Global Markets section also features a Find
Investments tab that offers immediate access to a stock screener for depository receipts and global ETP/ETF,
currency ETP and mutual fund finder tools.

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Fidelity Global Markets Overview Page (truncated)

Fidelity also offers in-depth sector and industry research, providing overall performance figures, charting
capabilities, commentary from several providers, and news content for all industries and sectors. The Sectors &
Industry section also features a variety of information on the impact of the business cycle and market weightings
and recommendations. Additionally, the section features a Find Investments tab that provides customizable
screeners for clients looking for sector or industry specific stocks, ETFs/ETPs and mutual funds.

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Fidelity Sectors & Industries Overview Page (truncated)

General market news, which includes both U.S. and international news articles, is provided within the dedicated
News page that is located in the main menu News & Insights tab, as well as within relevant research sections. The
dedicated News page is the main source for all news articles and videos. Content is organized by topic with an
option to search by keyword.
In addition to the News tab, the firm provides related news content within general market and investment product
sections. The firm offers strong U.S. market and sector news from over 15 providers, including Reuters, Market
News International, Hightower and S&P. A variety of search filters are also available, including date, provider and
topic. Global news is housed in corresponding sections and provides news articles for all major regions.
Outside of general market overviews, the remainder of the firms research content is devoted to product-specific
research. The firm offers dedicated research sections for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options and fixed income
products. Customizable product screeners are also available for all of these product types, along with pre-defined
screeners that help investors search for investments based on specific investment strategies. Fidelity offers a
comprehensive list of pre-defined screeners, with over 20 stock and mutual fund screeners each, over 10 options
screeners and several ETF screens. Additionally, well-designed charts with a variety of customizable features and
time parameters are available for all products.
Fidelity offers the most comprehensive selection of price, news and research alert capabilities among all e-Monitor
firms. The firm allows clients to track securities, fund prices and bonds, and to receive alerts for dozens of market
news, commentaries and research reports. Additionally, all of the alerts are conveniently housed within a unified
Alerts page that is located within the Research main menu tab.

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Fidelity offers some of the strongest stock research among the firms we track, one factor that helped the firm
retains its Gold Monitor in this category. In addition to proprietary research, Fidelity provides commentary, research
reports and ratings from 17 third-party research firms. Fidelity also offers StarMines Relative Accuracy Score for
each research firm, allowing users to see which firms have offered the most accurate ratings for an individual stock
in the past 24 months. Fidelity also provides comprehensive ratings changes for stocks and sectors, along with
technical analysis through its Recognia charts, Strategy Testing tool and Wealth-Lab Pro. Additionally, the firm
recently added a new My Research feature that enables clients to select and organize the securities, news and
commentary they want to monitor all from one convenient location.
Fidelity also offers clients a deep collection of options research that includes detailed quotes for options chains and
volatility figures and charts based on the underlying symbol. The firm also offers several options pricing calculators,
and S&P options commentary and downloadable research reports.
Similar to its stock research content, Fidelity offers some of the industrys most comprehensive ETF research. In
addition to fund screening and comparison tools, Fidelity offers an ETF Market Tracker tool that provides detailed
performance, volume and size across asset class or sector. Fidelity also offers a variety of ETF commentary sourced
from several different research firms.
The firms mutual fund research, which was upgraded this year, is centered on a comprehensive fund screener and
evaluator, along with fund picks from Fidelity and Morningstar. Noticeably, the firm offers a variety of research
reports for individual ETFs but no comparable research for mutual funds.
Fidelity also upgraded its already stellar fixed income research, which features dedicated sections for bond funds,
CDs, and individual bonds including treasuries, municipals and corporates. One notable addition to the firms fixed
income research is their new yield performance tab, which enables users to quickly search particular bond types by
yield. Most of the fixed income research includes independent news and benchmark charts, incorporated with a
variety of bond and CD search options. The firm also provides a dedicated news section that covers the overall fixed
income market, along with specific product segments (e.g., treasury, municipal). Similarly, an extensive variety of
regularly updated commentary and research reports about the general fixed income market and specific bond
markets are available from Fidelity and eight third-party research firms.
E*TRADE Financial (SILVER) E*TRADE Financial repeats as a Silver Monitor winner in the News & Research
category. The firm provides clients with an excellent selection of product screeners, charts, and stock, ETF and
mutual fund research. The firm lacks a full range of sector, industry and global research, however, and also provides
a limited range of news and research alerts.
E*TRADE offers a strong selection of news and research content that is centrally located within the private site
Research main menu tab. All resources are clearly organized into separate sub-tabs by domestic and global markets
or product type (e.g., options, ETFs). The firm also provides an aptly named News sub-tab that offers U.S. market
news; international news resources are provided within the Global Markets section. Additionally, mousing over a
security name or symbol displays a pop-up real-time quote and price chart.

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E*TRADE Private Site Research Tab

E*TRADE offers good market analysis for both the U.S. and global markets, including a customizable global markets
section, a dedicated Futures research page and forex news and commentary. The firm provides market movement
data for major U.S. indices and for the six global markets that clients can trade in via the firms international trading
platform. Market commentaries are available from the firm itself, as well as from Dreyfus, Morningstar and
BondDesk. Though E*TRADE offers good international research and news for general markets and companies, the
firm lacks more comprehensive research spanning a wider range of global markets at the regional and country level
key drawbacks that prevented the firm from a higher ranking.
The firm offers a good range of general market news from a variety of content providers including Briefing.com, Dow
Jones, Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ and PR Newswire. The news articles are not organized around specific topics;
however, users can filter content by symbol, keyword(s) and source provider. Particularly notable features in the
news content are the embedded real-time price quotes and the charts for symbols mentioned within an article.
While the firm offers a respectable amount of sector and industry research content, including brief S&P
commentaries at the industry-level, along with listing top performers and charting capabilities, it lacks a fuller range
of research content and commentaries offered by higher ranked firms.
The remainder of the firms research content is devoted to product-specific research. The firm offers dedicated
research sections for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options and bonds. E*TRADE provides a variety of pre-defined
screeners, with over 10 each of stock, options and ETF screeners, and over 20 mutual fund screeners. Charting
capabilities are available for all products, with graphs also available for bonds. A drawback that prevented the firm
from earning a Gold Monitor this year were the lack of a variety of news and research alert capabilities.
E*TRADE Financial provides stock research reports and commentary from Briefing.com, On the Edge and S&P Capital
IQ for specific companies and the overall market. Additionally, ratings changes and related reports are provided by
Credit Suisse, S&P, Thomson Reuters and SmartConsensus. E*TRADE also provides technical analysis, including
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MarketEdge's Second Opinion Weekly research reports that are regularly updated and include buy and sell ratings
for individual stocks. The firm also offers technical screeners. E*TRADEs options research features detailed options
chains and quotes, strategy building tools, a probability calculator and an options screening tool.

E*TRADE Private Site Stock Research Page

The firms ETF and mutual fund research centers are generally focused on the firms ETF picks All-Star Lists as
well as commission-free ETFs, a comparison tool to evaluate up to five funds, and screeners. However, the firm also
offers dedicated ETF and mutual fund news articles, educational videos, and data to compare different fund
categories. E*TRADE also provides detailed proprietary and third-party research reports for individual funds.
The firms fixed income research offers a respectable amount of general news, commentary articles and videos
sourced from several different third-party providers, including a series of Morningstar-provided analysis videos.

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Beyond opinion articles, the firm does not provide in-depth and comprehensive research reports that cover the fixed
income markets. As with other brokerages that offer online bond trading, a large portion of E*TRADEs fixed income
research is devoted to a variety of product search functions.
TD Ameritrade (SILVER) TD Ameritrade retains its Silver Monitor in the News & Research category. Overall, the
firm provides a great selection of market news and research resources for general markets, specific sectors and
industries, and individual products. Additionally, the firm centrally houses all news and research content within the
Research main menu tab, and navigation is relatively straightforward, with a number of avenues to access company
profiles. However, TD Ameritrade offers a comparatively limited selection of global research and does not provide
clients with a dedicated stock research section, preventing the firm from earning Gold.
One of the strengths of the firms research content is the availability of news and commentary for U.S. markets. The
firm offers analyst reports about the overall market and specific stocks and funds from several third-party providers,
in addition to the firms proprietary research. The firm also offers news content sourced from 11 different content
providers and offers excellent filter and search options. One of the best features includes a section pre-populated
with news articles related to symbols in a clients portfolio or watchlist. News articles are also sortable by topic,
industry or news provider, and searchable by symbol, keyword(s) or date.
Overall market research also includes key indices data across major U.S. and global indices. While the firm does not
offer individual country profiles like the other two Gold winners, they do provide a good assortment of global
markets reports and commentaries coupled with news content from a variety of providers.

TD Ameritrade Markets News Page Display Option Menu Callout

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The firms Sectors & Industries page offers access to the pre-existing TD Market Monitor tool, which provides a
variety of performance figures across a number of sectors and industries. The page also provides a Sector
Performance vs. S&P 500 chart, along with an accompanying description of the overall performance of the charted
sectors for the selected time period. A variety of performance information and charting capabilities are also
provided, which include individual sections for sector characteristics, industry movers and industry highlights. The
page also features an event calendar, Credit Suisse reports and news articles from a variety of reliable sources.
Additionally, dropdown menus are provided at both the top and bottom of the page that enable clients to filter
information by a particular sector or industry.

TD Ameritrade Sectors & Industries Page (truncated)

TD Ameritrade clients can sign up for a variety of price, volume and research alerts for specific stocks, including 52week high/low alerts and percentage moves relative to indices. The firm also offers a wide variety of research alert
types that enable clients to receive security-specific research and reports from numerous content providers.
Unfortunately, the firm's news alert selection is very limited, as clients are not provided the ability to sign up for
news alerts for specific topics or keywords.
TD Ameritrade centrally houses its product screeners for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options in a single
section, and offers both customizable and pre-defined screens. Fixed income screeners are located separately within
the Bonds & CDs section. All screeners include the option to save custom searches and access symbol price, quotes,
charts and trade tickets. TD Ameritrade offers a wide variety of pre-defined screeners, with over 20 stock and
mutual fund screeners each, and over 10 options and ETF screeners. Charts are available for all products, including
bonds.

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The remainder of TD Ameritrades research content is devoted to product-specific research. While the firm offers
dedicated options, mutual fund, ETF and fixed income research centers, there is no comparable stock research
center. Instead, stock research content (including analyst reports) is housed alongside general market information,
and the centralized Stock Summary sub-tab only offers company profiles. Some of the most detailed investment
research available to TD Ameritrade clients centers on options, including detailed options chains quotes, S&P
options research report, brief commentaries and most active options.
The firm continues to provide clients with excellent ETF research, which includes a variety of search options to
browse for funds; a comparison tool and S&P options research reports; fund ratings; and regular commentary
articles. The firm also offers S&P research reports for individual funds. Similarly, the firms mutual fund research
includes a variety of search functions to browse funds, a comparison tool, and Morningstar commentary articles. TD
Ameritrade provides proprietary research reports and brief Morningstar analyst commentary for individual funds.
TD Ameritrade offers strong fixed income research that includes commentary articles and news for specific bond
markets, along with regularly-updated third-party proprietary fixed income market research reports. A significant
portion of the research includes bond and CD search tools, along with several pricing calculators. Additionally, the
firm offers a convenient yield performance table that features two tabs All Products and New Issues thus
enabling clients to search all bond offerings or for exclusively new issue bonds by yield.
Merrill Edge; Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (BRONZE) Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
once again find themselves on the podium for the News & Research category by retaining their Bronze Monitors.
With a few notable changes made by the firms to their joint news and research content throughout 2013 updated
stock, EFT and mutual fund screeners, new ETF research content and updated stock profiles the firms have
solidified their Bronze award for 2013. The firm lacks in terms of news alerts, and does not offer the expected depth
of general market, ETF and fixed income research resources, thus limiting them from earning a higher Monitor
award.
The firms centrally house all market and investment research within the private site Research & Insights main menu
tab. Merrill offers an extensive view of different markets, including performance for a variety of sectors, key U.S. and
global indices, and currency exchange rates. Similarly, news articles are provided from multiple news sources
Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, Business Wire and PR Newswire for all major U.S. and global markets. A variety of
search filters are available, including a helpful option to view news related to a clients holdings or watchlists. Users
can also access a good variety of stock, ETF, mutual fund and fixed income news and research with security-specific
profiles for all products. While the two firms offer good price alerts, news and research alerts are limited to securityspecific content. Additionally, the firms provide clients with Bank of America Merrill Lynch research reports that
cover security ratings changes, price objective changes, estimates, earnings estimate changes as well as general
market commentaries and insights.

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4. Online Documentation
This category analyzes the online account document management capabilities of each brokerage firm tracked by eMonitor, focusing specifically on the variety of paperless documents available, the accessibility of and depth of the
document archive online, and any paper statement suppression options. This year, we adjusted our criteria slightly,
emphasizing the availability of important account documents beyond the available of primary documents (i.e.,
monthly statements, confirms, tax documents) which are now standard to all brokerage firms. All highly ranked
firms in this category offer the three standard document types, as well as provide easy accessibility to a centralized
documentation center, all account documents, extensive archives, and fee-free access to electronic or paper
documents. We used the following attributes to evaluate the firms online documentation centers:

Accessibility
Online Document Availability
Document Archives
Functionality
Access Restrictions
Paper Suppression

Based on the criteria outlined above, six e-Monitor firms received a Monitor for their online documentation centers
in 2013. This year, Fidelity receives the only Gold Monitor; Morgan Stanley receives a Silver Monitor; and Charles
Schwab, RBC and UBS each receive a Bronze Monitor.

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Fidelity (GOLD) Fidelitys online documentation center is centrally located as a sub-tab within the main Accounts &
Trade tab, which can be accessed through the main navigation menu. The center also includes quicklinks to adjust edelivery preferences, and clients can enroll one or all documents in e-delivery.
The online documentation center is well-organized, with separate pages for different document types, including a
10-year history for monthly and quarterly account statements and trade confirmations, along with a five-year
history for tax forms. A search filter option in its Trade Confirmations section helps clients locate trade confirms.
Beyond these standard account documents, the firms online document center provides a personal Account Records
section that lists any changes to the clients Fidelity account, such as a change in the accounts mailing address.
Furthermore, the document center includes two sections Prospectus and Proxy Materials containing a library of
shareholder materials. The firm also provides the ability to view cleared check images, and clients can view and print
copies of the front and back of checks for a rolling eighteenmonth period from the date of clearing.
Fidelity provides a My Notes feature within the Trade Confirmations and Statements section that allows clients to
write a note for any selected trade confirm or statement. All documents are provided in PDF, with the option to view
statements in HTML. Additionally, all online documents are obtainable through regular mail or e-delivery at no cost.

Fidelitys Online Documents Center

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Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (SILVER) Morgan Stanley earned a Silver Monitor for its Account
Documents section. The firms online documentation center is easy to access, and provides a seven-year online
archive for all primary account documents monthly and quarterly account statements, trade confirmations, tax
documents. In addition, similar archives are offered for other important account documents, including general
correspondence, quarterly performance reports, statements on the sale and purchase prices of auction rate, futures
statements, OTC statements and account agreements. The online documents are located within the centralized
Account Documents sub-tab, which is easily accessible from the main navigation menu. Clients are able to view
documents in PDF format, and all documents are available through regular mail or e-delivery at no additional cost.
Clients have the ability to view cleared check images and can view and print copies of the front and back of checks.
The Account Documents section also features a quicklink to delivery preferences.
A dropdown menu is offered that allows clients to browse different types of documents. Additionally, Account and
timeframe filters are provided. The firm also provides an effective search option within the Trade Confirmations
section, allowing clients to filter by trade action type Buy, Sell, Sell Short, Corporate Action Credit Advice, In-Kind
Rollover, and Mutual Funds Exchange. The firm also provides a good range of timeframe filters, permitting clients to
view documents for the current year, YTD, annually or over a specified date range.
This past year, the firm added a new feature that allows clients to consolidate up to 12 primary account documents
(monthly statements, confirms and tax documents) into a single downloadable PDF. Previously, clients would have
to manually download account documents separately. Now, clients check off the desired account documents and
download them into a single PDF.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Managements Account Documents Center

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Charles Schwab (BRONZE) Charles Schwab received a Bronze Monitor this year, dropping from its Silver ranking
last year. While the firm mostly excels in its Online Documentation capabilities, the Statements & Reports section is
located as a third-level sub-tab from the main navigation menu a key drawback.
The firm provides an extensive 10-year online archive for all account documents, which includes monthly
statements, annual tax statements and trade confirmations, as well as other account-related documents (e.g.,
managed account reports). A key strength for the firm is the ability to view cleared check images, and clients can
view and print copies of the front and back of cancelled checks for a rolling period of 24 months from the date of
clearing. All documents are viewable as PDFs.
Account documents are available by e-delivery or regular mail at no cost. A noticeable drawback is the lack of
quicklinks from the Statements & Reports section to e-delivery preferences and settings; most firms with high
ratings in this category provided a quicklink to delivery preferences from their Online Documents center.
RBC Wealth Management (BRONZE) RBC Wealth Management redesigned their private site this past year, making
several changes to its Online Documents center. The firm provides a 10-year online document archive and includes
calendar pop-up windows that makes it easier to select a specific date. However, the firm lacks a symbol search
option for trade confirmations, and limits search queries to two years at a time. In addition, the firms Online
Documents section is located as a third-level sub-tab from the main navigation menu, which makes it difficult to
locate.
Despite these drawbacks, the Online Documents page provides a quicklink to document delivery preferences and
the firm archives monthly account statements, tax documents, and trade confirms for 10+ years. In addition, the
firm provides check images online and all documents are viewable in PDF. Additionally, account documents are
deliverable electronically and through regular mail at no additional cost.
UBS (BRONZE) UBS earned a Bronze Monitor for its Account Documents section, the first time the firm has earned
a ranking in this category. The firm provides a 10-year online archive for statements, trade confirmations, managed
account quarterly reports and tax reports. Cleared checks are also viewable online. Documents are located within
the centralized Statements and Reports sub-tab, which is accessible from the main navigation menu. All documents
are viewable in PDF and available through e-delivery or regular mail at no additional cost. UBS also provides quick
access to delivery preferences from the Statements and Reports section. A major design flaw in the firms Account
Documents section is the inability to filter for multiple account documents at one time. Currently, clients must
manually search and download account documents separately and on a monthly basis, a tedious process.
The Statements and Reports section features an Account dropdown menu at the top of the page, which allows the
client to select a personal account. In addition, the firm provides dropdown menus to choose and view statements,
quarterly documents and tax documents. The Statements segment has a dropdown menu beside it that allows
clients to choose from four different types of statements statement household with summary, account statement,
statement household summary and year end summary. The Managed Account Quarterly Reports segment has a
dropdown menu that allows clients to search for quarterly performance reports and QPR composites, while the Tax
Reports dropdown menu allows clients to select different types of tax-related documents. A timeframe filter is
provided allowing clients to search by year, day and month.

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5. Online Help
Brokerage websites provide a great deal of information and functionality, some of which may be difficult to use for
some clients and prospects. An online help center can be a valuable resource for users when they have a question
that they cannot answer themselves. The firms receiving awards within the Online Help category all did an excellent
job in providing site-based assistance to users, including excellent platforms for customer service. As we researched
and assessed the Online Help capabilities of each firm, we focused on the following:

Format & Accessibility


Site and Help Search
Live Chat
Email Platform & Message Center

Fidelity once again received the only Gold Monitor in the category, offering an overall excellent array of help
features. The firm provides online help resources that are well-organized and easily accessible while providing an
abundance of information and offering contact with the users choice of representatives technical support or
investment representative via live chat. Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade each earned a Silver Monitor, and
E*TRADE Financial rounds out the podium with a Bronze Monitor.

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Fidelity (GOLD) Fidelity is awarded the Gold Monitor for the third consecutive year in the Online Help category.
The firm continues to provide users with excellent site search functionality, live chat capabilities and email
assistance. Additionally, the firm offers good accessibility to online help features and provides clients with welldesigned message center.
Fidelitys website search field is positioned within the site header and is available throughout both the public and
private sites, providing excellent, relevant results. The firm presents a list of topics from which clients can filter
search results in addition to news and insight articles that contain the keywords utilized in the search. The users
search terms are also highlighted in the results, and the firm provides a feedback option adjacent to the results
asking users if they found what they were looking for. Additionally, in terms of help resources, the firm provides
excellent accessibility with pop-up help on nearly all site pages.

Fidelity Search Results Page

The firm also received an Excellent in two attributes pertaining to customer service messaging Live Chat and Email
Platform. The firms live chat is available for both clients and prospects from the centralized Customer Service
section of the public and private websites. Here, clients can ask questions about the site including help with making
a trade. Clients who prefer to email Fidelity a question receive a timely response and a notification in their personal
email when the firm answers a query. Fidelitys message center is well-designed and features both sent and received
messages, but lacks more advanced options, such as the ability to create custom folders.

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Charles Schwab (SILVER) Charles Schwab is awarded a Silver Monitor in the Online Help category after not
medaling at all last year. The firms rise up the e-Monitor rankings in this category is due to the introduction of
private site live chat in 2013, along with a revamped private search results page. Charles Schwab offers excellent
public and private site search functionality and a great client email platform, but has room for improvement with
regards to its message center and overall help format and accessibility.
The firm provides section-specific help for all important client site features and provides a Help link within the
website header that provides quick and easy access to website assistance from most pages. The client website
search field is positioned adjacent to the main navigation menu, and search results include bolded search terms, a
most popular searches list and topical filter options. Additionally, a link to the live chat is provided directly on the
Search Results page, and on various other site pages.

Charles Schwab Search Results Page

The private website header features a Contact Us dropdown menu that offers immediate access to the firms email
interface. Clients can submit an email through the interface and the firm's response is delivered to the site-based
inbox. A notification is sent to the client's personal email address when the response is available. The firms message
center is also available from a website header dropdown menu and allows users to view both the messages they
have received from the firm and the messages they have sent. Clients can customize their preferences for the
automated notifications they receive from Schwab, but they cannot create custom folders for incoming messages.
TD Ameritrade (SILVER) TD Ameritrade provides public and private site users with a good overall range of help
resources, leading to the firm earning its second consecutive Silver Monitor in this category. The firms private site
email platform and message center are particular standouts. TD Ameritrade also provides good access to help
resources, and a site search and live chat are offered on both the public and private websites. However, the firms
public site search tool provides less effective results than their private site search, and their private site live chat is
offered on only a very limited selection of pages.
The private site provides a link directly within the website header that leads users to a centralized Help Center that
features FAQs, contact information, demos, a glossary and topical help. Additionally, help icons are presented
throughout the private site that provide section-specific help on many key pages.

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The firms private site Message Center is easily accessible from the Clients Services main menu tab and allows clients
to compose customer service messages to the firm and view both sent and received messages. The firm notifies
clients in their personal email accounts when it replies to a message. Clients can also create custom folders in the
Message Center to store old messages, a helpful feature.

TD Ameritrade Private Site Message Center

E*TRADE Financial (BRONZE) E*TRADE Financial earns its second consecutive Bronze Monitor in the Online Help
category. The firm provides excellent public and private website search resources, as well as an excellent private site
email platform. While the firm provides good help features within the Customer Service section, including FAQs, firm
contact information and online demos, there were several factors that prevented E*TRADE from earning a higher
ranking. The absence of a universal live chat tool and some limitations of the message center hurt the firm. In
addition, while section-specific help is available for parts of the site, it is not enabled throughout all site sections,
such as the Education and Research sections.
E*TRADE provides a strong search feature on both the public and private sites. The results are organized into two
categories (E*TRADE Financial and Market News), and the search term is bolded within the individual results.
E*TRADE also provides pop-up Tips for Better Searching. In terms of site messaging, the firms Live Chat
capabilities are good but not great, as the firm provides the tool only on select pages throughout the private site,
including the Customer Service page and within the online application. The firms email platform provides a website
form, and the firm returns messages on the private site and provides a notification to the clients personal email
when a response is available. However, the firms message center does not facilitate the creation of custom folders.

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6. Product Range
The range and availability of investing products are often dependent on differences in firms overall business model.
Brokerage firms that traditionally offer advisory services may not offer strong online trading capabilities. Likewise,
firms that focus on active traders tend not to provide good financial planning services. However, most brokerage
firms now offer bond trading, and cash management services like funds transfer and options trading, among other
products and services.
In this category, we evaluate brokerage firms based on the range of products and services they provide. Firms that
offer the best all-around range of products, serving the broadest possible range of individual investors, were
awarded the highest ranking. We assessed online trading capabilities for the following products stocks, ETFs,
mutual funds, options, bonds, CDs and global stocks. We also took into account other products that are available to
retail investors online, including futures, forex and participate in IPOs. For the purposes of this report and category,
we did not take into account planning products (e.g., college or retirement savings plans, annuities). In addition, we
did not evaluate or award firms based on account pricing or commissions programs. Our research into products
focuses on the following:

Cash Management Features: Checkwriting, Bill Pay, Transfers


Managed Accounts & Advisory Services
Tradable Product Range

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Charles Schwab (GOLD) Charles Schwab retained its Gold Monitor for offering retail investors a full range of baseline investment products and online trading capabilities, as well as a suite of planning and advisory services. Though
the firm caters primarily to the mass affluent, it also offers products and services for active traders and higher-networth clients.
The standard retail brokerage account Schwab One Brokerage Account includes access to online trading and free
cash management features. Though the account carries an initial investment of $1,000, waivers are available and
there are no additional annual account fees or asset requirements to maintain the account. Schwabs online retail
trading platform offers stock, ETF, basic and advanced option order types, and mutual fund, bond and CD trading
within the U.S. markets. In 2013, the firm expanded its ETF offerings with the introduction of Schwab ETF
OneSource, a platform offering clients with over 100 commission-free ETFs from a variety of fund providers.
In addition to these standard investment products, Schwab also allows clients to participate in IPOs online. The firm
offers a robust international trading program that allows online trading in 12 foreign markets, though this requires
clients to open the separate Schwab Global Account. Schwab clients are encouraged to open optionsXpress accounts
to trade futures and forex, as the firm does not currently have its own platforms for those products. Beyond the
standard online trading platform, the firm offers excellent active trading resources including free access to the
StreetSmart Edge platform to all investors regardless of trading frequency.
All brokerage clients also have access to free cash management services, including an ATM/debit card (with
unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements), check writing privileges, online check and deposit slip re-ordering, and
online check images, In addition, the firm offers free online transfers between internal and external accounts, and a
bill payment section that includes some advanced capabilities.
The firm offers a variety of advisory services and products through several units Schwab Private Client, Schwab
Advisor Network as well as a variety of Schwab Managed Portfolios, which offer active management in either ETF
or Mutual Fund profiles for a minimum of $25,000. The firm offers a variety of managed accounts with investment
minimums as low as $100,000. For affluent clients, the firm offers the Schwab Private Client program, with a
minimum initial investment of $500,000 that offers buy and sell recommendations, a financial consultant
relationship and a portfolio consultant who provides investment advice.
E*TRADE Financial (GOLD) E*TRADE Financial earned a Gold Monitor in this category for offering a wide range of
investment products that investors can trade online. In addition, brokerage clients have access to an excellent range
of cash management products and advisory services.
The firm offers excellent trading capabilities through the standard brokerage account E*TRADE Complete
Investment Account which requires a relatively low minimum investment ($500), carries no annual fees or asset
requirements, and provides free access to cash management features. The firm also caters to active traders with the
E*TRADE Complete with Pro Elite Status account (30+ trades per quarter) which includes free access to the E*TRADE
Pro trading platform.
All self-directed clients are offered the option of receiving investment recommendations from E*TRADE
representatives, with personalized guidance and advice available through E*TRADE Capital Management. Investors
can also open a variety of managed accounts, including managed ETF and mutual fund portfolios, or a unified
managed account.

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The firms standard online trading platform allows clients to place basic and advanced stocks and options orders,
trade mutual funds, ETFs, bonds and CDs, all within the U.S. market. The firm also provides IPO trading, as well as
international trading in six major markets, directly through the standard brokerage account. Clients also have the
ability to trade futures and forex online, though both require separate accounts.
E*TRADE offers excellent online cash management features and capabilities free to all investors. Clients can order
new checks and deposit slips online, along with viewing cleared checks from their eligible brokerage accounts.
Online transfers through the Transfer Money tool allows clients to easily move money between their internal
accounts as well as to linked external accounts. The firms online bill payment center includes a full range of features
beyond basic payment services, such as biller management, e-bills and auto-pay. All brokerage clients can receive a
free debit card that includes up to five free ATM fee refunds per month; qualified clients or active traders receive
unlimited reimbursements.
Fidelity (GOLD) Fidelity continues to offer an excellent range of investment products and services for self-directed
and active investors, as well as free cash management features and a good range of advisory services and managed
accounts. The standard retail brokerage account Fidelity Account requires a relatively high initial deposit
($2,500), but carries no annual fees. Cash management features are included within the Fidelity CMA account, which
carries no minimum deposit or annual fees. Through the Fidelity Strategic Advisors group, affluent clients with a
minimum of $200,000 in assets can open actively managed accounts, including a municipal separately managed
account that includes management oversight from Breckinridge Capital Advisors.
Clients can trade a full range of investment products online, including basic and advanced stock and options orders,
ETFs, mutual fund, bond and CDs within the U.S. markets. Fixed income trading is a particular strength, as the firm
offers one of the deepest inventories among firms in our coverage group. The firm also offers a strong online
international trading capabilities, allowing clients to trade in more than 20 major markets, as well as exchange over
10 different currencies, all directly within the standard brokerage account. In addition to all standard investment
products, Fidelity also allows clients to participate in IPOs online. Active traders, those who place 36+ trades/year,
have free access to web- and desktop-based Active Trader Pro platforms. Currently, futures and forex trading
capabilities are not supported on any trading platform.
The firm offers excellent cash management services, free to all clients with a CMA account. The firm provides: online
bill pay with a range of advanced services and a well-designed online payment center; online funds transfers
between internal and external accounts; and online check, deposit-slip re-ordering, as well as the ability to view
check images online. The CMA account includes an ATM/debit card that provides unlimited domestic ATM
reimbursements for all clients.

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TD Ameritrade (SILVER) TD Ameritrade received a Silver Monitor for a good range of tradable products for
investors, with strong focus on excellent active trading resources. The firms standard brokerage account includes no
minimum fund requirements and carries no annual fees. Currently, the firms online trading capabilities are limited
to the U.S. markets. Though the firm offers forex trading, clients cannot trade on foreign exchanges, a feature
offered by higher ranked firms.
The firms online trading platform allows clients to trade basic and advanced options, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds,
bonds and CDs, and allows clients to participate in IPOs online. TDs greatest strength is its active trading platforms
the web-based Trade Architect, and desktop-based thinkorswim which are free to all clients. With a focus on active
trading, advisory services are a relatively weak spot for the firm, as clients only have access to single-product
managed portfolios provided by Morningstar Associates. There are no direct advisory services available from TD
Ameritrade, however, the firms AdvisorDirect referral service can help clients connect with Registered Investment
Advisor.
All TD brokerage clients also have access to free cash management services, including an ATM/debit card with
unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements. Clients also have the ability to view cleared check images online and reorder checks online, though deposit slip re-ordering is not available. Clients can also easily move money into and out
of linked internal and external accounts through online transfer capabilities; and they can also access a
comprehensive online bill pay center.
Merrill Edge (BRONZE) Merrill Edge earned a Bronze Monitor for offering a good range of investment products,
cash management features and some advisory services for self-direct investors. All clients have access to online
trading for basic and advanced options orders, stocks, ETF, mutual funds, bonds and CDs. Advisory services include
an advisory brokerage account through the Merrill Edge Advisory Center, as well as several single-product managed
account options. Though the firm offers an active trading platform, it is weaker, in terms of features and trading
capabilities than platforms offered by higher ranking firms.
Several other factors contributed to the firms Bronze ranking, with some gaps in the firms tradable product range.
Currently, the firm does not offer a platform for trading foreign securities (outside of ADRs), futures or forex. In
addition, though IPOs are listed on the client site, investors cannot participate online a feature provided by all
higher ranked firms.
Cash management features are a particular strength for the firm, with a variety of free services. A significant change
in 2013 to the firms cash management features was the elimination of out-of-network ATM fees; an important
change as Merrill Edge was one of the few firms that charged a per-transaction fee for ATM withdrawals at out-ofnetwork ATMs. Free online cash management capabilities include check and deposit slip re-ordering, check images,
bill pay center and funds transfers is available between all internal and external accounts.

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7. Quotes
One of the core functions of the brokerage website is to provide clients with timely market data, including real-time
security quotes, charts, watchlists and similar features. These tools allow investors to monitor the market in real
time and make more informed trading decisions. In evaluating quotes we looked at all available quote details,
placing emphasis on whether a firm offers free streaming real-time quotes to all clients. We also considered quote
profile detail, the presence of static quote retrieval tools and watchlist details.

Functionality
Quote Data Detail
Data Freshness
Watchlists

The podium remains unchanged in the Quotes category this year. The Gold Monitor winners are E*TRADE Financial,
optionsXpress and TD Ameritrade. All three firms offer free streaming real-time quotes, detailed quote profile pages,
a static quote bar and excellent watchlist details. Other winners include Scottrade (Silver Monitor) and Merrill Edge
(Bronze Monitor). All Monitor winners offer streaming real-time quotes in some capacity, however the firms that
received Gold had slightly better all-around features than those that received Silver and Bronze.

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E*TRADE Financial (GOLD) E*TRADE Financial is awarded with its second consecutive Gold Monitor in this
category, as it offers an excellent range of quote tools and in-depth data. The firm offers real-time streaming quotes
through the E*TRADE 360 tool and MarketCaster, both of which are available for free to all clients. The firm also
offers a static quote bar, static get quote search box, detailed quote profile pages and an excellent selection of
watchlist capabilities. Additionally, quicklinks on both the quote bar and quote profile pages direct clients to related
site pages, sections and tools.

E*TRADE Financial Private Site Quote Profile Page

The static quote bar, which is accessible from the bottom of the private website, provides clients with real-time
quotes and the following data: last, change, bid, ask and volume. The tool provides excellent functionality, with links
to the following private site pages: Alerts, Balances, Bill Pay, Complete View, Portfolios, Quick Transfer, Trading,
View Orders and Watch Lists. Thorough quote profile pages provide clients with market capitalization, dividend data
and shares outstanding information, along with other research content.

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E*TRADE Financial Private Site Static Quote Bar

The firms watchlist capabilities include the ability to create an unlimited number of portfolios with gain/loss data
provided for each individual security. Watchlist data can be exported to excel, and portfolio news is provided for
securities within each list. Streaming quotes are offered on watchlists via the MarketCaster tool, which allows for
clients to create, save, edit and trade from watchlists. Data fields available on MarketCaster include price, day
high/low, 52 week high/low and cost basis.

E*TRADE Financial MarketCaster

optionsXpress (GOLD) optionsXpress once again retains its Gold Monitor in the Quotes category, and now has won
the Gold every year the firm has been part of the e-Monitor coverage group, dating back to the 2005 Monitor
Awards. Like the other Gold winners, optionsXpress provides clients with a stellar all around selection of quoting
capabilities, highlighted by its free real-time streaming quotes courtesy of StreamingXtend, its static real-time quote
bar and detailed quote profiles. The firm also offers streaming quotes on its charts, a unique feature not offered by
any other e-Monitor firm.
The real time static quote box, universally located at the bottom of every page within the private website, provides
clients with change, bid, ask and volume data. External links to options chains, Streaming Xtend, Trade, watchlist,
news, quote box and charts are offered, providing clients with easy access to a variety of other excellent and
relevant tools. The firms quote profile pages rate highly in functionality with quicklinks provided to options chains,
charts, StreamingXtend, margin, Trade and Probability Calculator, Xspreads, price, watchlists, alerts and trade.
Additionally the embedded chart on the page and in-depth data which includes P/E ratio, volume outstanding
shares and market capitalization make the firms quote profile page one of the strongest across all e-Monitor
firms.

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optionsXpress Stock Quote Profile Page and Static Quote Bar

optionsXpress offers strong watchlist data, which is viewable from the StreamingXtend tool. Watchlist information
includes last, bid, ask, change percent, volume and day high/low, among other data points. Clients can configure the
tool to make any or all of the following information viewable: positions, balances, order status watchlist, options,
quote detail, move funds, trade ticket, trade view and news. Clients can also can add or delete securities from the
selected watchlist. Additionally, clients can view a more basic watchlist from a link within the Quotes main menu
tab.

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optionsXpress Streaming Xtend Tool - Watchlist

TD Ameritrade (GOLD) TD Ameritrade is awarded the Gold Monitor in the Quotes category, and now has won the
Gold every single year since the merger of TD Waterhouse and Ameritrade in 2006. The firm provides clients with an
excellent selection of quote capabilities, highlighted by its static quote bar, which provides clients with streaming
real-time quotes and access to a variety of private site tools and resources. Additionally, the firm provides excellent
watchlist capabilities and substantial quote profile information for each individual security.
The expandable static quote bar is detachable and provides clients with streaming real-time quote data, including
bid and ask information and a basic trade ticket for simple stock and options orders. Additionally, the tool provides
links to options chains, buying power information, full quote information, charts, order status information, client
messages and help information. Quote profile pages include such detailed security information as dividend data and
shares outstanding. Links to options chains, alerts, watchlists and trading are also offered from the quote profile
page as well.

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TD Ameritrade Private Site Quote Profile Page and Static Quote Bar

The firms watchlist offerings are extensive, as clients can create over 40 Watchlist portfolios with gain/loss data
offered for each position, both for the current day and for the life of the position. From the Watch Lists page clients
can link to a variety of private site resources including trade tickets and streaming charts, among other resources.

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TD Ameritrade Private Site Watch Lists Page

Scottrade (SILVER) Scottrade earns the Silver Monitor in the Quotes category for the ninth consecutive year. The
firm offers free real-time streaming quotes (Scottrader Streaming Quotes), a static quote bar and quote search box,
and excellent integration with related site features. While Scottrade provides clients with strong all-around quote
offerings, the firms static quote bar, which includes an auto-refresh option, is somewhat easy to miss. Additionally,
watchlist capabilities are not nearly as strong as higher-ranked firms. It is also worth noting that Scottrades
Scottrader tool functions mainly as a trading platform, so we could not fully incorporate it into the firms overall
ranking since we did not rate active trading platforms in this category.
The static quote box, called Quick Quote, is universally accessible on the left side of every private site page. It
provides clients with price, change, bid, ask, open, volume and 52 week high/low data. Clients can expand the quote
to the full quote profile view by way of the provided Research link. A trade ticket is also offered on the quote bar, as
well as a link for clients to view their account balance. Quote profile pages include an embedded chart, securityspecific news headlines and thorough data including shares outstanding, market capitalization and P/E ratio. Links to
trade and add to watchlist are provided on the page.

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Scottrade Private Site Stock Quote Profile Page and Static Quote Bar

The firms Scottrader Streaming Quotes tool, which functions more as an active trading platform, is free for all
clients and offers extensive data including a full quote view, news, time and sales, charts, trade and to NASDAQ level
II for each individual security are offered.
Merrill Edge (BRONZE) Merrill Edge retains its Bronze Monitor in Quotes for its static quick quote search, solid
quote profile information and free real-time streaming quotes. The firm offers excellent quotes information through
a dedicated quote field in the header and static quote bar universally displayed on the bottom of every private site
page. The static quote bar provides the current price, change, bid, ask, and volume for each searched security, and
links to a pop-up chart and the trade ticket. Despite the firms strengths, it is held back from receiving a higher
award due to its delayed options chains data, a 20 watchlist maximum, and less extensive data within the streaming
quotes tool.
The firms quick quote search provides clients with an initial quick quote pop-up box that displays a chart along with
a variety of information including dividend, day range and bid/ask information. Clients are able to trade, set an alert
and add the security to a watchlist via the quick quote box, making it a very useful site feature. The detailed quote
profile page displays such high-level quote information as shares outstanding, P/E Ratio and market capitalization.
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A chart is incorporated within the page and embedded tabs link clients to news, charts, options chains and other
security-specific information. Quick links are provided to for alerts, trade, watchlists and to the firms Comparison
tool.

Merrill Edge Stock Quote Profile Page, Static Quote Bar and Quick Quote Pop-Up

Clients can create up to 20 watchlists and can view the data with the firms Streaming Quotes tool. The firm offers
the following list of data columns for its watchlists: bid, ask, day change ($ %), day high/low, volume, bid size and ask
size. The tool allows clients to add benchmarks, create new watchlists and edit columns and watchlists. More basic
watchlists are accessible from a link provided within the Research & Insights main menu tab.

Merrill Edge Streaming Quotes Tool

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8. Tools & Calculators


Financial planning tools and calculators can help investors evaluate their portfolio, plan for future goals and get
basic answers to questions about their personal finances. Most firms offer these tools free to all investors, heavily
promote and integrate them within client sites, and overall position them as valuable resources to clients. These
tools can help offer investors a quick and easy way to think about their personal finances and understand whether
future goals are within reach, broadly speaking. As a result, we added a new category to this years Monitor Awards
as we highlight the best-in-class for tools and calculators, where we looked at three types:

Financial Calculators
Goal-Planning Tools
Asset & Portfolio Analysis Tools

Within this category we focused on all available investment, financial and goal-planning tools and calculators, as well
as asset and portfolio analyzers. Fidelity was the clear winner in this category, and earned the only Gold Monitor, for
tools and calculators that cover a range of investment products and planning topics, and that produce in-depth
analysis. Other winners include Vanguard (Silver), Charles Schwab, E*TRADE Financial and Merrill Edge (all Bronze
Monitor), with an Honorable Mention for TD Ameritrade.

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Fidelity (GOLD) Fidelity earned the sole Gold Monitor in this category for offering a solid repertoire of tools and
calculators to help clients plan for major life events and goals. The firm offers by far the most extensive, in-depth
results, analysis and recommendations of any firm, and allows clients to import existing internal and external
account balances a key component for offering meaningful results.

Sample List of Fidelitys Planning Tools and Financial Calculators

One of the strongest tools offered by the firm is the asset and portfolio analysis tool Portfolio Review which
serves as a comprehensive multi-goal planner. This means that the tool enables users to plan for a range of goals
simultaneously, allows clients to incorporate existing account balances, offers a detailed comparison of the current
and provides target allocation models. As a nice bonus, the tool includes trading functionality. Though other winners
in this category offer an asset allocation or portfolio analysis tool, no firm provides comparable features or results.

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Portfolio Review Tool

Goal-planning tools are another strong suit for the firm. Fidelity offers excellent planning calculators that cover all
major planning topics and allow clients to import existing account balances, including detailed personal and financial
data. As a result, these calculators produce comprehensive and meaningful sets of results and recommendations.
Some of the strongest tools are provided for retirement planning, with multiple planners for different stages of the
planning process saving for retirement, approaching retirement or in retirement.
Fidelity also offers a number of proprietary and third-party calculators that cover an array of planning and investing
topics, including estate planning, college spending and charitable planning, as well as a variety of retirement
planning tools. Most of the calculators offer basic inputs and general guidelines, however some proprietary tools
incorporate in-depth data and results.
Vanguard (SILVER) Vanguard received the sole Silver Monitor for offering impressive portfolio analysis and
planning tools that incorporate aggregated internal and external account information. However, a few factors
prevented the firm from earning a higher ranking, including access limitations to the portfolio analysis tool, which is
only available to clients with minimum investments of $50,000, and the firms financial calculators, which do not
provide equally comprehensive results.

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The firm offers a relatively strong asset allocation tool Portfolio Watch that incorporates both existing Vanguard
accounts and outside positions, and compares the client's current allocation to a target allocation. The target
allocation is created with the help of Vanguard's Investor Questionnaire, by selecting a pre-established model
portfolio or by creating a custom mix. Though the tool results do not offer any specific rebalancing
recommendations, they offer some general recommendations on how to bring a portfolio more in line with the
desired level of risk the user indicated.

Portfolio Watch Tool

The firms goal-planning tools are equally strong, but focus mainly on retirement planning. The Retirement Plan tool
incorporates both internal and external account balances, making results particularly useful. Based on personal
information, the tool helps clients determine how much their portfolio might be worth and how likely they are to
reach their income and retirement goals.
Vanguard also offers multiple financial calculators related to retirement, college and taxes, however most of the
content is scattered throughout the site on related pages. Unlike the portfolio analysis and retirement planner,
however, these tools generally require only a few basic inputs and do not provide targeted or actionable
recommendations.

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Charles Schwab (BRONZE) Schwab earns a Bronze Monitor for offering tools that cover a good range of planning
and investing topics, though they lack the depth in both inputs and results offered by higher ranking firms. Though
the firm allows clients to import current account balance figures for the asset allocation tool, external balances must
be manually added. Furthermore, none of the goal-planning tools or financial calculators allow clients to import
account information, another key factor that prevented the firm from earning a higher ranking.
The Schwab Portfolio Checkup offers a detailed comparison of a clients current and target allocation. Though the
tool includes an Investor Profile Questionnaire to help clients determine which asset allocation best fits them,
specific goals are not taken into account. In addition, though the tool imports current holdings from accounts held at
Schwab, outside holdings must be manually entered. Schwab offers a good range of financial calculators and
planning tools related to general investing, retirement, higher education and taxes. However, none of the tools
incorporate a clients existing account balances. (The retirement tool allows clients to easily view current account
balance, though without importing the data into the tool.) Most of the calculators offer a basic set of questions and
inputs which result in some general recommendations and outputs, but not more detailed, actionable guidelines.
Likewise, some goal-planning tools offer helpful results and follow-up steps while other tools only provide simple
projections.
E*TRADE Financial (BRONZE) E*TRADE Financial was another Bronze Monitor winner for offering tools that cover
a good range of investing and planning topics. However, the firm limits analysis to internal accounts, and does not
allow clients to import external account balance figures into its tools.
A strong point for the firm in this category is the range of asset allocation and portfolio analysis tools. The firms
asset allocation tool the Online Advisor allows clients to create a risk profile, and compare their existing
allocation to an appropriate model, based on existing account holdings. The process consists of detailed
questionnaires, recommended target allocation models, pie charts and tables. The Online Advisor tool successfully
allows clients to establish investment portfolios and understand their asset allocation. The tool also allows clients to
implement the target allocation by placing actual trades in an existing account
The firm also offers two analytical tools Risk Analyzer and Portfolio Analyzer designed to help clients understand
the risk character of their portfolio(s) and of their individual holdings as well as the overall diversification of their
portfolio. Similar to the Online Advisor, both tools only analyze existing assets held at the firm.
Similar to financial planning tools, the firm offers a few goal planning tools; however, since most are offered by
third-party providers, they only offer basic inputs, provide modest analysis and do not allow clients to import
account balances. The most comprehensive and useful planning tool, the proprietary Retirement Planning
Calculator, automatically imports existing account balances, but not outside account figures, which have to be
entered manually. The tool produces a helpful action plan on how to meet retirement goals, as well as providing
projected retirement assets over time and the likelihood that they will reach certain levels of retirement income.
Finally, E*TRADE offers a wide range of calculators that cover a broad range of issues, including capital gains,
education financing, life insurance, goal savings, home budgeting and tax-related issues. However, since most of the
tools are provided by third-party providers, the calculators only take into account basic information and offers
general recommendations.

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Merrill Edge (BRONZE) Merrill Edge earned a Bronze Monitor for providing key planning tools and calculators,
some of which allow clients to import current assets held at the firm. However, as with other Bronze Monitor
winners, the firm does not allow clients to import external account balances, a key factor that prevented the firm
earning a higher ranking. In addition, the firm offers a fair number of calculators for major planning and investing
topics, though not quite the range and variety that higher ranked firms offer.
The firms Asset Allocator tool is relatively simple and easy to use, and points out allocation imbalances based on a
clients existing accounts held at the firm and their target allocation. Though clients can manually enter outside
account balances, there is no import functionality, and the tool does not offer a detailed risk questionnaire or offer
any specific follow-up steps.
Several financial calculators related to retirement, taxes, investment returns and net worth are offered. Most of the
calculators collect a limited amount of data to produce basic recommendations and results. However, the net worth
calculator analyzes all account assets held at the firm to determine a general overview of a clients net worth and
provides a few guidelines for clients to consider.
The firm only offers two goal-planning tools retirement and college however the multi-step Retirement Planner
automatically imports existing information for accounts held at the firm; outside assets have to be added manually.
Based on that information in addition to personal details, risk tolerance and other investment preferences the
planner provides an analysis of retirement saving shortfalls and general strategies for filling the gap.
TD Ameritrade (Honorable Mention) TD Ameritrade earns a nod for its comprehensive Portfolio Planner and
retirement planning calculator. The firms Portfolio Planner tool offers clients a way to create and trade a custom
user-defined portfolio, based on a selected pre-defined or custom target allocation. The tools core purpose is to
rebalance a clients existing portfolio, and as a result only includes existing holdings from the firm. In addition, there
is no risk profile or questionnaire to help clients determine their true risk tolerance an obvious drawback. Overall,
the tool requires some level of investing knowledge and maybe not be suitable for novice investors.
The firm also offers an assortment of financial calculators and planning that covers various investing topics, however
most tools only include basic information and provide general results without much actionable advice. The most
comprehensive tool provided by TD Ameritrade is the proprietary WealthRuler, which analyzes retirement shortfalls
based on assets held at the firm and personal client information, though not retirement lifestyle preferences.
Though the tool does not offer specific investment recommendations or rebalancing suggestions it offers a helpful
list of follow-up options for each of the basic projections and recommendations.

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9. Trade Tickets
Trade tickets and the order entry process are an important factor in online brokerage sites. When evaluating trade
tickets for this years Monitor Awards, we significantly tightened our grading criteria, leading to some ranking
changes. This year we reviewed all available trade tickets stocks, ETFs, options, mutual fund orders, bonds and
CDs. We looked at the overall design, navigation and accessibility for each, as well as the depth of information
provided on each ticket, including account details and quotes, as well as content relevant to specific order types
(e.g., capital gains and reinvestment preferences on mutual fund tickets).
This year awards were earned by trade tickets that offer a seamless order entry process, provide pertinent
information and include features that go beyond standard options. All of our highest ranking winners, who earned a
Silver Monitor, provide base line capabilities, but also offer unique features that distinguish their trade tickets or
order entry process from competitors.
(Please note: as in previous reports, we did not evaluate trading capabilities within active trading platforms, such as
Fidelitys Active Trader Pro and Schwabs StreetSmart Edge. In addition, we rated firms based on overall quality of
trade tickets available and did not penalize firms for that did not offer tickets because they lacked certain trading
capabilities.)
The specific aspects of each firms trade tickets that we analyzed for this category were:

Navigation & Functionality


Quote Availability
Account Information
Content Specific to each Order Type
Estimated Costs of Transaction

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E*TRADE Financial (SILVER) E*TRADEs trade tickets and order entry process is relatively straightforward, easy to
use and access. Clients can access trading through different points on the client site, with buy/sell links that appear
on all key areas of the site (e.g., holdings, quote detail) as well as via the ubiquitous Quotes Taskbar. E*TRADE
Financial is one of only two firms that offers an innovative all-in-one trade ticket that combines basic and advanced
equity and options trading capabilities. Both the Total Trade Ticket and individual trade tickets offer elements and
features that help E*TRADE earn a Monitor in this category.

Trade Sub-Tab and Quick Link on Static Quote Bar

The trading process for all tickets, is relatively easy to follow in a three-step process with some design elements to
highlight key information (e.g., current price and Place Order button). Clients can access all pertinent account
information, including buying power, current positions and open orders, all updated in real time. A dynamic quote
search appears as users enter a symbol or the full name of the security or fund. Real-time quotes automatically
appear after entering a symbol. All tickets also display Estimated Commission and Total Cost figures for the order.
The Total Trade Ticket also includes an informative risk chart for inputted security. All trade tickets also include
helpful messages to indicate if an order cannot be processed to due to insufficient buying power, a fund that cannot
be traded through the firm, among other information.

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Account Information and Dynamic Symbol Search on Trade Ticket

Some factors prevented the firm from earning a higher ranking. Though the Quotes bar provides links to pre-filled
trade tickets, the option is somewhat unintuitive, as users are required to hover over the symbol name to link to a
pre-filled trade ticket, or select the Buy/Sell icon (which links to a blank ticket). The fixed income order entry is
accessible from the main Trading section, but not well-integrated in terms of design and layout with all other trade
tickets. In addition, the Total Trade Ticket supports a variety of trade orders, but does not include conditional orders.
The firm also does not offer any trading default preferences.
Merrill Edge (SILVER) Merrill Edge earned a Silver in this category for offering trade tickets that follow a simple,
consistent design and layout; easy to access throughout the site; and offers some account information and security
details. One of the strongest aspects of the trading process is the Trade Bar, which appears throughout the client
site, and offers trading functionality. Other factors also contributed to the firms Silver standing, including a helpful
dynamic search tool that allows clients to search for options chains and bonds and CDs by issuer name, respectively
a unique feature not offered by most other competitors. Despite the well-designed individual trade tickets, as well
as the Trade Bar, the firm does not offer other advanced trading features (e.g., all-in-one trade ticket, save order
functionality, order default preferences), and provides few help resources or tools to assist clients with more
complex orders.
Trading is easily accessible from the main Trade tab, with a flyout menu that allows clients to access specific trade
tickets. Additionally, quicklinks to trading are found on the Action menus and pop-up security profiles, which appear
throughout the site. All trade tickets are designed in a uniform layout and design, include real-time account
information and quotes, as well as total order cost and applicable commissions and fees.
The Trade Bar allows clients to initiate an equity and options trade from anywhere on the private site. After entering
the order information, clients are directed to the Order Preview page, within the Trade tab. (The Trade Bar is visible
but disabled when clients place orders through the standard trade tickets.) Clients can also set default preferences
for number of shares, duration and order type (e.g., market, limit).

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Trade Bar includes Stock and ETF Order Entry

Each standard trade ticket Stocks/ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds displays some account balance figures including
total buying power, and relevant holdings and open orders (e.g., equity positions are displayed on the Stock/ETF
trade ticket) displayed in real-time. A dynamic quote search appears as users enter a symbol or the full name of the
security or fund. Real-time quotes automatically appear after entering a symbol, feature typical of all winners in this
category, but also display any existing positions of the selected security (total value, and number of shares). All
tickets also display Estimated Commission and Total Cost figures for the order.
The bond and CD trading process allows clients to initiate orders through the Fixed Income Screener, a common
practice by most other competitors; however, the firm also includes a dynamic search tool that allows clients to
enter the name of a bond issuer, a unique feature not provided by other ranked firms. In addition to basic bond
details, the order entry displays a yield chart.

Fixed Income Order Entry and Dynamic Search Results

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optionsXpress (SILVER) optionsXpress also earned a Silver Monitor this year. Similar to E*TRADE, optionsXpress
offers an all-in-one trade ticket that allows clients to place a variety of basic and advanced equity and options trades
through one platform. However, the firm goes one step beyond E*TRADE, supporting conditional trading through
the All-in-One Trade Ticket a unique feature that is currently only offered by optionsXpress and allowing clients
to set the ticket as the default option. The firm also allows clients to select a variety of default trading preferences,
including default trade size for stocks, options and futures; stock and options actions (e.g., buy, sell); duration; and
the ability to skip the order preview screen and to save orders.
Despite the relatively strong All-in-One ticket and trading preferences, standard individual order tickets have some
gaps current account positions and open orders are not available, and some accessibility issues persist (basic and
advanced options order provided in separate sections).
Trading is easily accessible from several points on the client site: the main Trade tab, which includes a flyout menu
for specific trade tickets; the static Quote bar, which does not include trading functionality, but offers a Trade link
that leads to a pre-filled order form for the security selected; and the Trade quicklinks with specific securities.

Trading Accessible from Multiple Points on optionsXpress Client Site

The All-in-One Trade Ticket allows clients to place basic and advanced stock, ETF and options orders, including
conditional trades. In addition to the condensed order types, the order entry and preview screens are combined into
one view after inputting information, the preview step appears as a pop-up. Clients have access to account
balances, positions, and open and saved orders, with all information available in real-time. All quotes, including
those for options chains, also appear in real-time; estimated commissions and total order figures are also provided.

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optionsXpress All-in-One Trade Ticket

All individual trade tickets follow the same design and layout, but offers somewhat mixed style elements (e.g., stock
order type options displayed as radio buttons but duration in a dropdown menu). In addition, navigation between
basic and advanced trade tickets is somewhat uneven (e.g., clients can navigate from the Stock Order Form to the
Trailing Stop Order Form, but not vice versa). One of the more significant gaps in the individual trade tickets are the
lack of current positions and open orders, although current buying power is displayed. Real-time quotes
automatically appear after entering a symbol and include links to the corresponding security profile. All tickets also
display Estimated Commission and Total Cost figures for the order.
Charles Schwab (BRONZE) Charles Schwab earned a Bronze Monitor in the Trade Tickets category for providing a
straightforward order entry process, good quote details, detailed account balances and buying power figures and a
uniform design scheme across all product tickets. Overall, the firms trade tickets are easy to use and provide good
information, though there are no advanced features to streamline the trading process (e.g., default preferences), or
unique features similar to those offered by higher ranked firms, and limited help resources to guide clients through
order entry. All trade tickets feature a uniform design and layout with some common elements, though the mutual
fund trade ticket and fixed income order entry less streamlined than other trade tickets. Trading is accessible from
the main Trade tab, which includes a fly-out menu that displays links to individual order tickets; the firm does not
provide any all-in-one trade tickets. The highly visible static Quote bar provides a quick link to pre-filled trade tickets,
but does not include trading capabilities directly within the tool.

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Trading Accessible from Main Tab and Static Quote Bar

Fidelity (BRONZE) Fidelity earned a Bronze Monitor in the Trade Tickets category for offering an order entry
process that provides detailed, real-time account and security information, as well as a wealth of resources to
understand different order and guide clients through the trading process. All product trade tickets incorporate a
high level of buying power and positions details, access to relevant tools and educational content, and excellent
quote data. Clients also have the option to skipping the preview order screen. Navigation to trading is accessible
from the Trade sub-tab, accessible from the main Accounts & Trade tab, as well as quicklinks to trade from the
Quotes bar and throughout
However, the trade tickets and overall trading process, fell short in some key areas and prevented the firm from a
higher ranking. Some features available on most competitor trade tickets, are surprisingly absent on Fidelitys order
entries, including a dynamic symbol search and a universal or ubiquitous order entry tool. In addition, there is an
inconsistency in terms of overall design and layout between the different trade tickets; rather a cohesive, uniform
design. In addition, despite the informative account details, some balance figures appear in multiple areas on the
Order Entry screen, and other data appears excessive. Though a Trade link appears in the main Accounts & Trade
tab, trading is not housed within a standalone section or area of the site.

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Fidelity Stock Trade Ticket and Links to other Trade Tickets

All trade tickets Stock/ETF, Options, Mutual Fund and Fixed Income offers extensive account information
including detailed account balances and buying power figures, open orders and positions details. The mutual fund
and fixed income order entries, unlike the equities and options trade tickets, are less streamlined, as the order
action (e.g., buy) and the remainder of the order process (e.g., fund name and amount) is separated on two
different steps. The fixed income order entry allows clients to manually input a CUSIP or navigate to a screener.
TD Ameritrade (BRONZE) TD Ameritrade rounded out the Bronze Monitor winners circle. The firms key strength is
the SnapTicket trading feature in the floating quotes bar. Through the SnapTicket, clients can trade stocks, ETFs, and
basic and advanced options. All standard individual trade tickets, are accessible through the main Trade tab, which
includes a flyout menu allowing clients to navigate to specific trade tickets. The firm also provides some trading
default preferences, including the ability to bypass the order preview for stocks and basic options orders.
Despite the Trade Bar capabilities, the firm lacks trade tickets lack some basic information and information that is
common to most competitor firms, including a dynamic symbol results, commissions and fee information on the
order preview and current account positions and open orders; and the mutual fund ticket does not include the
option to select reinvestment preferences.

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Main Trade Menu and SnapTicket

All standard stock, ETF, options tickets feature real-time quotes, account balances, including buying power, and
some help resources. Though the total order amount is displayed with a link to trading fees, estimated trade
commissions and fees are not provided on the order preview page. Likewise, the firm provides the existing position
value if a client trades shares of that symbol, but there is no option to view all positions within an account. Fixed
income orders can be initiated after searching for bonds or CDs using a screener or entering a CUSIP or Issue Name,
and include buying power figures but does not display currently held positions.

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Year in Review
2013 was a year marked by steady improvement across the online brokerage space. Several firms revamped their
public or private sites, and a handful of firms unveiled new sitelets. Another notable event in the brokerage industry
in 2013 was the introduction of mini option contracts on five of the most actively traded stocks and ETFs by NYSE
Euronext, making it easier for investors to gain access to these high-priced securities. Additionally, in October, the
U.S. federal government had a partial shutdown that lasted for six days, and many firms were compelled to add
client calls, proprietary research and commentaries to address how the shutdown would impact the economy and
financial markets. As always, a multitude of private site changes and new tools added up to a busy year, as firms
provided their clients with more research capabilities, additional educational content (particularly with regards to
retirement), improved customer service and more account information features. In this section of the e-Monitor
Awards Report, we look at some of the most prominent changes and website upgrades from 2013.

2013 Highlights
Mini Options Trading Capabilities
On March 18, 2013, NYSE Euronext launched mini option contracts on five of the most actively traded stocks and
ETFs Amazon, Apple, Google, SPDR Gold Trust, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF thus enabling investors with limited capital
to trade options on these higher-priced issues without taking outsized risks. Mini options are option contracts that
deliver 10 shares of an underlying stock rather than the standard 100 shares. Almost immediately, several e-Monitor
coverage firms introduced the ability to trade mini option contracts online to their clients.
Six e-Monitor firms provided online mini option trading capabilities soon after these products became available,
including Ameriprise Financial, Charles Schwab, optionsXpress, Scottrade, TD Ameritrade and TradeKing. Two of
these firms, Ameriprise Financial and Charles Schwab, added the capability to their online trading platform with no
accompanying announcement, press release or promotional website content. Scottrade accompanied the addition
of online mini options trading with a press release, while optionsXpress, TD Ameritrade and TradeKing created mini
options-focused product pages to herald the new trading capability, in addition to issuing a press release.
optionsXpress went as far as to unveil a sitelet dedicated to mini options trading and posted several promotional
images throughout its private site that link to the sitelet.

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optionsXpress Mini Options Sitelet (Truncated)

By years end, six more e-Monitor firms added mini options trading to their online trading platforms E*TRADE
Financial, Fidelity, Merrill Edge, Merrill Lynch, ShareBuilder and Wells Fargo Advisors. Currently, 85% of the
e-Monitor coverage firms that offer online options trading capabilities enable clients to trade mini options contracts.
As confirmed by CSRs, Morgan Stanley and Vanguard do not yet provide mini options trading to clients online,
making them the only two e-Monitor firms with options trading that do not offer the capability.

Firms Emphasize Retirement Education


Retirement education continued to be a major focus across the industry as many firms continuously added content
to their site on a variety retirement topics. With so many sites offering similar content, it has become crucial that
firms provide unique Web-based educational resources that set them apart from the competition. Approximately
half of the firms within the e-Monitor coverage group made significant improvements to their retirement
educational offerings over the course of 2013, and it is safe to assume this trend will continue in 2014. Here are
some of the more notable enhancements made to e-Monitor firms online retirement educational offerings in 2013:

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Ameriprise Financial
The firm added a Confident Retirement campaign in late June to its public website. The goal of the new campaign is
to restore clients confidence in retirement plans by promoting the four basic principles of retirement: covering
essentials, lifestyle expenses, preparing for the unexpected and leaving a legacy.

Ameriprise Financial Public Confident Retirement Approach Page

Charles Schwab
The firm added a new public site Retirement and Planning sub-tab in early February that features entirely new
Planning content alongside pre-existing Retirement content. The new tab also features a new overview page
providing links to pre-existing retirement pages and tools, as well as new planning content. Planning content covers
retirement, college spending and savings, among other topics. A new planning overview page was also added, which
features a central promotional banner, links to pre-existing site pages such as Life Events and links to additional
planning content.

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Charles Schwab Retirement and Planning Landing Page

Fidelity
Fidelity added a Retirement section to its public and private site Learning Center. This marks the first time the firm
added a financial planning topic to the education center, as all other topics are related to investment products or
trading topics (e.g., ETFs/ETPs, technical analysis). The Retirement section offers a strong selection of articles, videos
and webinars related to specific retirement accounts and strategies. The content is geared specifically toward
beginner and intermediate topics. The educational articles are sourced from the firms Viewpoints newsletter, and
from third-party provider Wiley Global Finance; all videos and webinars are solely from Fidelity.

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Fidelity Learning Center Retirement Section

Fidelity also revamped their public and private Guidance & Retirement main navigation menu tab with new graphics,
additional sub-sections, and revised links to new and pre-existing pages. The new links, which were introduced in
early May, lead to Investing Basics, Investing for Growth, Investing for Income, Portfolio Review. Each of the new
pages is organized into four sections Calculators & Tools, Fidelity Viewpoints, Fidelity Learning Center and What
We Offer. Fidelity also updated all the Life Events pages within the Guidance & Retirement section by increasing the
font size and updating the page layouts throughout the section.

Fidelity Investment Guidance Overview Page

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Other Notable Additions

E*TRADE Financial The firm started off 2013 by adding a variety of new retirement-focused tools,
including adding an IRA Start Guide, a 401(k) Savings Calculator and a Sustainable Withdrawal Projector to
the private site.

Merrill Lynch In May, the firm began to hold a weekly retirement-focused Q&A on its Twitter page. While
the firm still answers retirement-focused questions on their twitter account, they no longer provide a
formal, weekly retirement-focused Q&A.

Raymond James As part of a larger private website overhaul in late January, the firm updated its Research
and Commentary content, and included a variety of new retirement-focused pieces.

ShareBuilder The firm redesigned both the public and private site Retirement tab twice, once in January
and again in May. Each redesign focused on aesthetics, navigation and organization, and no new content
was added.

Vanguard As part of a broader revamp of the private site My Accounts main menu tab in early October,
the firm added a new Retirement Summary page to the tab consolidates pre-existing information and
organizes it in a more user-friendly format across four intra-page tabs. Additionally, later that month, the
firm celebrated National Save for Retirement Week by consolidating several pre-existing retirement
resources onto a temporary Retirement Week page.

Wells Fargo Advisors The firm added a new My Retirement Plan Savings Calculator in early January.

Responses to Government Shutdown


The partial government shutdown at the beginning of October became a focus for many e-Monitor firms, as many
brokerages promoted client calls, proprietary research and commentaries about how the shutdown could impact
investments and the financial markets. Here are some examples of the online brokerage industrys government
shutdown coverage:
Ameriprise Financial
Ameriprise Financial addressed the government shutdown through a market perspective piece that discussed the
potential impact it could have on the U.S. economy. The firm promoted the article through an image on the public
homepage.

Ameriprise Financial Government Shutdown Banner Public Homepage


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Charles Schwab

Schwab posted three Investing Brief commentary pieces concerning the debt ceiling debate and the government
shutdown to the public site Expert Insight & Commentary page. The three commentary pieces 2013 Debt Ceiling
Debate: What Investors Need to Know, Countdown to a Government Shutdown, and Government Shuts Down
were published over a span of three days leading up to the partial government shutdown on October 1, 2013. Each
piece outlined the ways investors might have been affected by economic uncertainty, furloughs and government
inactivity. The firm also published the 2013 Debt Ceiling Debate piece in full on the Schwab Facebook profile.

Schwab Investing Brief Published on Facebook Page (Truncated)

Fidelity
The firm posted a Budget Battle article added to the public Fidelity Viewpoints page, which provided commentary
from three Fidelity experts on how the government shutdown and budget issues might affect the markets and the
economy.

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TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade alerted clients that domestic financial markets will remain open during the partial shutdown of nonessential U.S. government services with a message on the private site homepage. The message also linked to a post
on the firms Ticker Tape Monthly blog, which offered ongoing coverage of the government shutdown as well as the
debt ceiling discussions.

Private Site Homepage Message About Government Shutdown

UBS
The firm added a commentary piece, Impact of a Government Shutdown for Investors, and information about a
special client call featuring Mike Ryan, Chief Investment Strategies for Wealth Management Americas. The special
client call discusses the political environment and the debt ceiling, as well as its potential impact on the economy
and financial markets. The commentary piece highlighted the firms views on the ongoing U.S. federal government
budget negotiations, and provided an overview of the government shutdowns effect on both the financial markets
and the U.S. economy. Both resources were directly accessible from links added to the public homepage.

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New Sitelets
Unveiling new sitelets was a common occurrence among the e-Monitor coverage firms in 2013. In total, seven firms
added and promoted new sitelets of varying focus throughout 2013 Charles Schwab, E*TRADE Financial, Fidelity,
Merrill Edge, Morgan Stanley, TD Ameritrade and UBS. We highlight some of the more noteworthy new sitelets
below:
Charles Schwab
The firm added a new sitelet in mid-September for the Schwab Personal Referral Program. The sitelet is aimed
towards referred friends, and provides links and access to pre-existing tools, insights and investment guidance. New
clients referred by existing users can choose from one of lifes financial milestones (New Job, Marriage, New Child,
Retirement, Family Loss) and access related pre-existing resources.

Charles Schwab Personal Referral Program Sitelet

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Fidelity
Fidelity launched the Fidelity Money Firsts sitelet in December, and announced the launch on its Facebook page. The
firm teamed up with a third-party financial planning company, LearnVest, to provide the sitelet. The sitelet provides
a host of resources, including articles, videos and quizzes that aim to educate users on how to save, borrow, spend
and invest money, along with how to prepare for financial goals. Additionally, the sitelet incorporates sharing and
feedback capabilities into every page.

Fidelity Money Firsts Sitelet

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Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley launched its Institute for Sustainable Investing sitelet in mid-November. The sitelet provides thought
leadership about investing capital in sustainable projects, and seeks partnerships with different institutions that
construct best practices and encourage sustainable investing. The sitelet features a press release that details the
role and responsibilities of Morgan Stanleys Institute for Sustainable Investing.

Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing Sitelet (Truncated)

TD Ameritrade
The firm unveiled the Futures Resource Center sitelet in late May. The sitelet is solely dedicated to futures trading
and provides users with a host of well-designed resources. The tools available here include a futures quote board, an
economic calendar, news briefs concerning individual countries, and a list of Market News & Analysis headlines that
can be sorted by futures sector. The entire sitelet is publicly accessible despite being linked from within the private
site. No trading can be enacted from the Futures Resource Center sitelet, and it is intended for research purposes
only.

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Vanguard
Vanguard unveiled the My Life Ticker sitelet in March, which allows users to import Facebook photos and create a
ticker for their life. The sitelet encourages clients to use the images to indicate what they want more of and less of in
their life, which they can then post to social media outlets. The sitelet also includes some Vanguard promotional
information and links to the firms online account application.

Vanguard My Life Ticker Microsite

Website Revamps
We observed many firms that implemented a significant site revamp. The following are highlights of the changes we
reported on:
Charles Schwab Public Site
Charles Schwab celebrated its 40th anniversary and introduced a new logo, a new Own your tomorrow campaign,
and a revamped public site Homepage and navigation menu in mid-June. Alterations to the homepage include new
graphics and a tiled design, along with different background and font colors. The redesigned navigation menu
includes new colors of its own, and now highlights tabs that are selected.

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 85

Charles Schwab Public Homepage and Menu

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 86

Merrill Edge Public Site


The firm redesigned its public website in mid-October, revealing a lighter color scheme and improved navigation
features. The primary navigation upgrade was the addition of flyout menus to the main navigation menu, which
facilitate navigation to all pages housed within the respective tabs. The menus also added promotional content
making Merrill Edge the first e-Monitor firm to include such content directly within main navigation. Rounding out
the update, the firm unveiled a new public homepage that features a cleaner design and offers access to a variety of
featured public site content.

Merrill Edge Public Site Main Navigation Menu

Merrill Edge Private Site


The firm made several private site changes in mid-February, which included adding a new Merrill Edge Select Funds
program. The program highlights several NTF mutual funds that the firm recommends. The firm also updated the
private site color scheme, and added a static quote bar that allows clients to enter stock and ETF orders throughout
the site.

Merrill Edge Private Site Login Message

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 87

Raymond James Private Site


Raymond James updated multiple major sections of its private website at the end of January. The updated sections
include the Investor Access login page, online documents archive, research content, Commissions and Fees page and
Client Tools tab. The firm also implemented a cleaner, less cluttered design.

Raymond James Revamped Private Documents Page

RBC Wealth Management Private Site


The firm unveiled a revamped website in mid-August. The revamped site included a new navigation menu and a
completely new page design, matching the color scheme and layout of the public site. The firm added the ability to
create multiple watch lists and expanded its Portfolio Watch feature, which is now called Hypothetical Portfolios.
The revamp included the addition of alerts, which RBC did not previously offer, and account balances are now
reflective of the current day, rather than the previous close. Finally, the firm added a new My Service Center tab
consolidating features previously split amongst the Change My Settings and Help sections.

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 88

RBC Wealth Management Portfolio Summary Private Site Homepage

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 89

TD Ameritrade Private Site


In June, TD Ameritrade unveiled a beta version of a new client website that was fully implemented in the fall. The
firm made significant changes to the navigation, appearance and functionality of the entire TD Ameritrade private
site with this update. New features were added such as a static menu for customizable modules, an expanded quote
utility bar and consolidated text and quote search boxes. The layout and appearance of the site was also adjusted to
more closely resemble that of the firms public site. Additionally, the homepage was completely remodeled and
content previously stored on separate Home and Accounts tabs was combined into one, unified section.

TD Ameritrade Revamped Private Site Homepage

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 90

Wells Fargo Public Site


Wells Fargo redesigned their entire public website in two phases, the first of which was unveiled in June with the
second rolled out in mid-December. In the first phase, the firm redesigned various sections of the website, including
the homepage, Customer Service section, Tax Center and Retirement Planning section. The changes included a new
organizational structure, along with new graphics, site navigation, menus and intra-page tabs. In the second phase,
the firm updated the remaining pages of its public website to match the changes from the first phase of the redesign
and added a new main navigation menu. Overall changes to the website include a new organizational structure, new
graphics, new color scheme and fonts, and easier site navigation.

Wells Fargo Public Homepage Main Menu Callout

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 91

Looking Forward to 2014


Brokerage firms are continuously trying to improve the customer experience in the online space. Firms are always
on the lookout for ways to implement new trading tools and technologies, to make browsing their website easier
and more pleasurable, and to make research more useful for clients. Additionally, more and more investors are
accessing websites from a mobile device, so many firms want to not only improve their mobile website, but to also
optimize the full versions of their website so they function well on a tablet or smart phone. We have every reason to
believe that brokerage firms will continue to redesign and revamp their websites in 2014, especially those that have
not implemented a full website revamp in a few years.

2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 92

For more information, please call us at 212.832.2002


or visit us at www.corporateinsight.com

420 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10170 | Tel: 212.832.2002


Website: www.corporateinsight.com | Blog: http://www.corporateinsight.com/blog.html
2014, Corporate Insight, Inc.

e-MonitorSM Report | 2013 e-Monitor Awards 93