AAII's Best of the Net: Our 2009 Guide to the Top Investment Web Sites
The Web has become one of the top resources for individual investors, with sites that contain timely and useful financial and investment data, research and other information, often at little or no charge. From stock and market statistics to financial and retirement planning calculators, there is something of value to every individual investor.
Making your way through the maze of Internet sites can lead to plenty of dead ends—sites that are purely promotional, with little or no useful information, or even worse, pure junk. In addition, some sites charge a hefty fee for access to useful information. Finding the value through this maze without a guide can result in an enormous investment of your time.
AAII’s Best of the Net guide is designed to allow you to go directly to the most useful investment-related Web sites. The AAII editors have spent many days scanning and researching various sites. This 13th edition of our guide features the sites we have rated as “Best of the Net” for the most common investment needs.
This year, we present our findings in a new, easier-to-use format. The first section presents the Best of the Net sites that we have determined for each major subject area. The second section is an alphabetical listing of the individual sites, with more information on the individual sites, why we like them, and how to find information within each site. To facilitate use of the guide, AAII’s Web site at www.aaii.com presents the top sites with hyperlinks directly to each site, along with an illustrative screen shot.
The Best of the Net Ratings
AAII awards a Best of the Net rating to sites that provide investment information or service that, in our view, is both useful and substantial to individual investors and available either for free or for a reasonable price.
Most sites listed here provide the information or service that we are reviewing free of charge. Some offer basic information for free and charge various rates for more in-depth data or expanded services, such as real-time quotes. In the alphabetical listings, we show the lowest and highest rates to give you a general idea of the range; visit the sites for complete details on pricing. Where fees are charged, we note which sites offer a free trial.
Sites that provide advisory services for a substantial fee are not covered as these are geared toward institutional investors and highly sophisticated investors. Other types of sites not included here are covered in other AAII venues: broker sites are investigated annually in the AAII Journal and in Computerized Investing; and mutual fund family sites are listed in AAII’s annual Individual Investor’s Guide to the Top Mutual Funds. We also publish a guide to exchange-traded funds each year in the October AAII Journal. You can access these special articles year-round in the AAII Guides area of AAII.com.
Keep in mind that the Web is constantly evolving. Sites can change drastically in a short period of time. Be sure to verify the source of information or provider of a service when using Web sites. And read the fine print on pricing before agreeing to pay for any data or investment service.
Research for this article was contributed by AAII editors John Bajkowski, Jean Henrich, Cara Scatizzi, Maria Crawford Scott, and Wayne A. Thorp, CFA.