The Web's Best Financial Sites
Murray, Dennis, Medical Economics
Your bottom line could benefit from some of the information available through your computer Here's where to find it.
Still tracking your portfolio the oldfashioned way, scanning the tiny type in the newspaper each morning? Want a faster way to stay current that's easier on the eyes-plus gives you up-tothe-minute news, market analysis, even annual reports?
Visit a financial site on the World Wide Web. The best ones track market indicators, individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and other investments. Some even allow you to monitor your own portfolio, and will send you, via E-mail, news that could affect it.
First, you'll need an account with an Internet service provider or an on-line service like America Online or CompuServe. Now you're set to tap into the Web, your gateway to thousands of resources for financial planning.
We narrowed the field to 13 sites that seem most worth your time. They're all functional, informative, and, except as indicated, free.
Just click on "markets," then "U.S. stock markets," to track the biggest gainers and losers, and the most actively traded stocks. The site also allows you to access Lipper Mutual Fund Report (click on "your money"), where you'll find recent performance and price information on more than 5,000 U.S. mutual funds.
This popular Internet search engine provides a neat little tool, accessible by clicking a stocks icon, that lets you monitor up to 50 stocks and mutual funds. (First you'll have to register your name and some other basic information.) In addition to a wealth of statistics, you'll get a running total of your portfolio's value; quotes are delayed about 20 minutes.
There's even a search function if you can't remember the ticker symbols of the stocks and funds you want to track. Scroll past your portfolio to find businessnews headlines and links to other financial sites.
Visit this site if you're big on small caps. A whole section is devoted to them, and it includes news on initial public offerings, charts and research reports, and links to the Web sites of small companies. There's a monthly stock tip, too; PTI Holding, which makes safety gear for cyclers and skaters, was a recent recommendation.
You also can monitor the collective might of stocks in particular sectors, from airlines to utilities. Coming soon: access to free annual reports, and an on-line "chat room" for investment junkies.
The place to go if you want to plow through the SEC filings of a company you're thinking of investing in. You'll find enough balance sheets, income statements, and exhibits to keep you up half the night. (Or, depending on your view, to induce sleep.) Be warned, however, that some of the files are huge and may take a long time to download.
Home to some 4,300 links to other Web sites. Want to visit your mutualfund company's site, but don't know the address? Click on the directory, then "mutual funds online" to find an exhaustive list. The directory is also your springboard to sites for brokerage and investment firms.
Recent articles posted here have covered mutual-fund diversification, tax tips, and long-term market strategies.
Take a minute to register your name and password with InvestorNet, then zoom around to find some of the most detailed stock information anywhere on the Web. For example, we looked at Kmart, the national retail chain. Up popped the current price, the previous close, and the high and low for the day, followed by historical price information. Best yet, there were earnings estimates and an analyst consensus for Kmart, which advised investors to hold their shares. …