Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
Investopedia is an investing education Web site geared toward all levels of investors. The site covers the basics of investing, advanced investing, trading tools and education, and retirement investing. Visitors to the site will find such useful tools as a dictionary, articles, tutorials, exam information, a trading simulator, and a free newsletter.
The Beginners section offers a list of tutorials on mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. Topics range from Why You Should Invest in Bonds, and Warren Buffett: How He Does It, to Shareholder Rights, Are There Any? Articles relating to the economy, a question and answer section, and a list of investment-related words are also available.
The Experienced Investors area covers fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and other techniques. For example, the area on ratio analysis explains terms such as debt-to-equity ratios, current ratio, quick ratio, and asset turnover. Other topics of interest in this section address impairment charges, how to evaluate management, and moving averages.
The Active Traders section covers electronic trading systems, options and futures, and trading psychology and discipline.
The Retirement section includes a tour of the various retirement plans offered, including plans for the self-employed and a discussion of Roth versus traditional IRAs. Investopedia.com’s dictionary is expansive and provides a categorized list of terms, a list of the top 10 words asked for, and a list of newly added terms.
The Exams tab provides information on the Series 6, 7, and 63 exams. Information is also given on the CFA (chartered financial analyst) levels I, II, and III exams. Links are provided for free study materials.
One of the site’s interesting tools is a stock simulator that gives users an imaginary $100,000 to invest in stocks and options, and try strategies such as short selling and margin buying. Users can try the Investopedia.com Simulator on their own or challenge other friends. A free electronic newsletter offers current news, investing information, Series 7 and CFA exam questions, and an investing term of the day. Use of the Web site, simulator, and newsletter are free.
Fidelity recently updated its Active Trader Pro trading platform for active investors who trade more than 36 times per year.
Active Trader provides users with Nasdaq Level II quotes, a streaming stock watch list, and interactive charting. Traders have the ability to direct their orders to an exchange or electronic communication network (ECN) of their choice including Nasdaq’s SuperMontage, NYSE, Archipelago, Island, or Instinent at no extra charge. The trading screens are fully customizable with one-click trading.
The interactive charts allow users to chart the performance of mutual funds, indexes, and stocks over a specified time period, including intraday, and the ability to make comparisons to market and sector indexes.
Active Trader also features real-time account balances. Users can view the real-time margin balances of their accounts and real-time profits and losses in detail. Also, a margin calculator is available for hypothetical equity trades with potential buying power assessments. Active Trader clients can place multiple trade order entries and also receive commission reductions based on the volume of each trade. Research data and tools are available at Fidelity.com. In addition, independent research from sources such as Lehman Brothers, I-Watch, Second Opinion, and Idea Generator is offered.
The Fidelity Anywhere program benefits the traveling trader by enabling account access on mobile devices. Fidelity supports Internet-ready phones, personal digital assistants and handheld devices. Different functions are available depending on the capability of the device. Service is provided by wireless alliances with Palm, Verizon, Onstar, and others.
The Reuters.com and Multex Investor.com Web sites are merging to form Reuters Investor. The combined sites will initially provide investment, financial, and business information and general news. In January 2004, a full integration will form one site with full content, new tools, and new navigation. Some features from the combined sites may require registration; various reports are offered for a fee.
Day Trading the Markets
Day Trading the Markets is a townsquare of investing with resources, information and links to Web sites including investment software providers, brokers, and more. Additionally, there are chat rooms where community members can post messages and E-mail each other. Use of the site is free.
The Strong Financial Company offers a Plan&Learn investor education section on their Web site. One page is dedicated to college financial planning, covering topics such as 529 plans and gift transfers. A personal investing page covers topics such as women and investing, taxes, estate planning, credit card debt, and investing early in life. Another page describes the various forms of investments. Use of the site is free.
The Option Club
The Option Club is a Web site geared toward stock options. The site provides an option search, option trading strategy, and statistics. At the education center users can learn about options contracts and terminology, how options are priced and the differences between American and European classified options. The strategy tutorial addresses the pros and cons of buying or selling put and call options. Advanced option strategies and case studies are also available. Use of the option education center is free, but some of the services require paid registration. An introductory monthly fee is $45 and an annual subscription is $350.
Alert Guru—Stocks is a financial alert service that employs a numeric pager or E-mail. Users can monitor stocks, stock options, market indexes, and foreign exchange rates. Parameters can be set for basic criteria such as recent bid/ask price, volume, and index values. More specific alerts can be set up on security movements. The account levels range from two user-defined active alerts and five E-mail alerts per day for free (advertisements are displayed) to unlimited E-mail alerts and 150 digital pager alerts per month for $50 per month or $500 per year.
Brill’s Mutual Fund Interactive
Brill’s Mutual Fund Interactive offers a wealth of mutual fund information. Users can learn about the basics of mutual funds, including IRAs, 401(k)s, and advice about college saving. The site also provides links to current news from sources such as USA Today, Boston Herald, New York Post, and more. Expert commentary is provided by industry professionals and a list of mutual fund companies is provided. The Web site is free.