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Computerized Investing > September/October 2003

Comparison: Comprehensive Web Sites

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by John Bajkowski

Some people prefer to shop at specialty stores offering the deepest range of products for a given market segment, while others would rather do all of their shopping in one place at the local superstore selling a little bit of everything. If the notion of buying cold-cuts and hot-pants under one roof appeals to you, then the comprehensive investment Web sites in this comparison should be of great interest as well.

Comprehensive investment Web sites offer a wide range of financial information and tools in an effort to be a one-stop shop for investors. Expect to see elements such as portfolio management and analysis tools, market and economic news and data, detailed stock and mutual fund data, charting, stock and mutual fund screening tools, message boards, as well as financial planning tools. Some sites offer access to all areas for free, while others may charge for premium features or more detailed information.

Of course not all comprehensive Web sites are created equal. While all offer a wide range of data and tools, some have a greater emphasis in one area, such as mutual funds, while others offer in-depth market news and analysis. Your particular needs will steer you to the site that can help you the most. For example, Morningstar.com offers detailed mutual fund data and strong portfolio analysis, while Wall Street City features strong stock screening using technical studies.

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