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Can you clarify that?

Manager websites need some work, analysis shows

Money managers have vague, poorly written websites. That's the general view of an analysis by VisibleThread, a software provider and website analysis firm.

Its 2018 Asset Management Website Clarity Index report ranks money managers on website clarity. Putnam Investments, Boston Partners and Vanguard Group Inc. ranked highest in terms of website clarity, but that doesn't mean their content is clear, according to the report. "As a group, financial services content is poorly written. Even the top-ranked websites don't meet expected standards," the report said. "Content clarity is poor industrywide."

The index measures content readability through the use of active sentence structure over passive, sentence length and the number of hard-to-understand words that are used. The average score for the 69 websites reviewed was 36.22. Scores of 60 or higher are considered ideal. Putnam had the highest score among at 66.

Issues with money manager websites in general were that passive voice was used at almost three times the recommended levels and unnecessarily long sentences accounted for an average 25% of total content, VisibleThread said.

"Customers of asset management firms are often well educated. But, they also lead busy lives. Complex content takes longer to digest. Even for the educated, poorly written content is hard to understand," the report said.

The full report is available on VisibleThread's website.