March 9, 2011

Zions, BondDesk Join to Help Retail Investors Compare Bond Yields

Benchmarking tool lets investors see how Zions auctions compare to other bond sales

Zions Direct and BondDesk Group on Friday announced their latest collaboration, which lets retail investors see how yields on bonds auctioned by Zions compare to weighted-average yields for similar issues in the broader market.

This latest collaboration of online broker-dealer Zions Direct and fixed-income technology firm BondDesk’s electronic trading platform offers a user-friendly “Market Snapshot” that appears weekly on ZionsDirect.com.

The snapshot allows retail bond investors to see how the yields on bonds auctioned by Zions compare to weighted-average yields computed by BondDesk for similar issues in the broader market. For example, if Zions is auctioning an AA 3-year corporate bond, investors can refer to the snapshot to determine if the Zions-auctioned bond has a higher yield than the market average.

“Zions has essentially blended our analytics with their sales process so investors can compare bonds that Zions is auctioning,” said Chris Shayne (left), a BondDesk chartered financial analyst and director, in an interview on Tuesday. “It’s a quantifiable way to show you’re getting a good value for your investment.”

In May 2010, Zions Direct and Bond Desk joined together to launch a new version of the Bond Store trading platform that retail clients use at www.zionsdirect.com. In October 2010, the two firms announced the ability to place buy/sell orders after-hours.

"These changes are largely the result of customer feedback. The staff at Zions Direct is committed to adding value to users' experience with future improvements to www.bondstore.com," said W. David Hemingway, chairman of Zions Direct, in a news release announcing the Market Snapshot.

The partnership with Zions allows BondDesk to deliver innovative solutions to their customers that neither party could provide alone, said BondDesk CEO Greg Stockett in the news release. "We are constantly evolving our business to meet the needs of the market, and this partnership is a great example of our ability to provide custom tools, data and analysis to our clients,” Stockett said.

Read about Chris Shayne’s launch of a muni transparency report and a corporate transparency report at AdvisorOne.com.

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