Lipper Inc., which historically geared its efforts toward institutional clients, unveiled last month a new Web site, www.lipperleaders.com, in hopes of attracting more individual investors and investment advisors to its product line. “We are pretty well known on the institutional side of the business,” says Lipper research analyst Jeff Tjornehoj, “so to reinvigorate the brand we really needed to provide tools so that individuals and advisors will recognize our name and other products.”
To differentiate itself from the Morningstars and S&Ps of the world, Lipper has devised two unique mutual fund search tools, with more in the works. “We’ve started with consistent return and preservation of capital,” says Tjornehoj. Within the next three months, after-tax performance and expenses-and-fees search tools will come online. The consistent return search criteria will screen for those funds that have returned solid risk-adjusted returns relative to their peers. The preservation criteria will find funds in broader asset classes, such as equity, fixed-income, or mixed equity, that have best avoided losses over a three-year period.
“Someone who does not watch their investments very closely might not understand what we are screening for,” says Tjornehoj. “For example, in the category of preservation under fixed-income, we get a lot of short-maturity and short-intermediate bonds dominating. That’s to be expected if you understand that shorter-term bonds generally mean less volatility. But a lot of individuals would not know that off the top of their head. We are trying to provide them with a simple tool to find a fund that will suit their needs.”