By Matthew Sheahan
When you go to order something on Amazon (AMZN) or another online retailer, you look over a lot of information before you click ‘Add to Cart.’ You get to read product details, look at photos taken from different angles, read reviews, and get pricing information.
For retail investors and small broker dealers, important information about investment products has not always been at their fingertips – as say product details are on Amazon. But now, thanks to the Nasdaq Fund Network, it is.
On March 28, Nasdaq (NDAQ) announced the relaunch of the Mutual Fund Quotation Services (MFQS) as Nasdaq Fund Network (NFN), a service which brings vital information about investment products to millions of people at no cost. Let’s take a quick look at the history of NFN and MFQS and how it has been serving the investing public.
MFQS was launched in 1984 and provided mutual fund information free of charge to the public in the U.S.. Nasdaq provided an essential framework to make mutual funds and money market funds more accessible and popular with investors, institutions, online portals and media outlets.
The service brought much-needed transparency to the mutual fund world and helped popularize the use of those funds in investors’ portfolios. While MFQS had recently expanded to Canada, it was not offered globally and did not include investible securities beyond mutual funds and money market funds.
With Nasdaq Fund Network, investors from any corner of the globe can access the same information about mutual and money market funds and also look up managed accounts (SMA and UMA), collective investment trusts, hedge funds and separate accounts. The service also supports annuities, unit investment trusts, NextShares Exchange Traded Managed Funds, and structured products such as alternative investments, non-traded REITs, funds of hedge funds and private equity offerings.
The service is free for the general public. Companies that want to list their funds or other investment products pay a nominal fee that allows them to list their product with a unique symbol and reach more than 1 million institutional and retail investors every day.
“Nasdaq has been providing market transparency to mutual funds and money market funds for more than 30 years through MFQS,” said Garrick Stavrovich, AVP and product manager within Nasdaq's Global Information Services department, who spearheaded the expansion and relaunch. “By relaunching and expanding the instruments covered, Nasdaq Fund Network’s mission expands to include more asset classes and investment products. This opens a new and exciting opportunity for Nasdaq and our customers, and for both institutional and retail investors.”
NFN is the latest step in Nasdaq’s mission to help make markets more transparent and accessible and provide the tools that allow the investing public to build and create wealth.