Standard & Poor's has added a bond portal to its MarketScope Advisor service, seeking to capitalize on heightened interest in bonds among financial advisers and wealth managers.
The platform aims to provide research on stocks and the economy for financial advisers, many of whom do not have the time or the sophistication for the research on platforms dedicated to institutional investors.
Standard & Poor's launched a bond feature on its platform on Aug. 13. The platform is designed to distill information, commentary, and analysis on bonds in a way that is accessible to financial advisers.
Thomas Ryan, a product developer for the platform, said Standard & Poor's decided to beef up the site to include bonds because feedback from many financial advisers showed they became more interested in fixed income after the financial crisis.
"That's something that we've heard as we've spoken to a large percentage of our clients," Ryan said. "More emphasis on fixed income."
Standard & Poor's already has a wealth of information on bonds from its RatingsDirect platform, he said.
The challenge is distilling the analysis and commentary on that site into simpler and shorter bites more suitable for financial advisers.
For municipals, the portal would have rating reports from Standard & Poor's as well as a tax-equivalent yield calculator.
Another feature of the portal is advice on bond laddering, which means diversifying a bond portfolio by maturity.
The site offers a six-step process enabling advisers to specify whether they want taxable or tax-exempt bonds, what credit quality they want, how much they want to invest, and what their time horizon is. The portal then shows bonds that make sense for a laddered portfolio.
Aside from the new portal and stocks, the platform also features exchange-traded funds, options, and variable annuities.
MarketScope Advisors has 80,000 subscribers, Ryan said. The distinct portal can be purchased as a package or separately.
The bond portal would cost $800 a year for a one-person subscription, he said.