BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, is making it easier for financial advisors to pick the brains of its experts through a new Web site.

The Insight Center offers advisors free, taped 15- to 25-minute CIMA and CFP continuing education courses; BlackRock and Morningstar portfolio management tools: detailed information on BlackRock products; general information on investment trends; and advice on helping advisors manage their businesses.

“There are 300,000 advisors. We can’t reach them every day directly,” said BlackRock Retail Head of iShares Investment Strategy Robert Nestor, adding the company’s sales team can usually only speak to and meet with the one-quarter or one-third of advisory firms that are largest based on assets under management.

He noted the taped presentations and written materials fulfill the request the company has often heard from advisors to let them consume information on their own schedules.

Nestor said he thought most advisors would be logging on to its site for the free continuing ed courses, but in the first three weeks of its operation, only a third of visiting advisors have taken advantage of that feature.

Based on conversations he's had, Nestor said, advisors who visit the site may be most interested in how to find income for their clients in a world of low interest rates.

He said he has been pleased by the extensive use of the site’s tools. Nestor noted there has been a lot of rhetoric about portfolio management tools becoming commoditized. While that may be true in some cases, the popularity of the tools on the Insight Center site shows customized tools can be valuable, he added.

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