Free delayed quotes just don't cut it anymore.
Over the weekend I spoke on two panels at
The Plain Dealer's
MoneyWatch seminar in Cleveland. And I quickly realized that many investors are looking for a lot more than basic investing tools on the Internet.
I started covering financial services firms and the Internet about two and a half years ago, and I can remember when free quotes with a 20-minute lag were considered a breakthrough.
Now they are as omnipresent as
Some sites already are offering free real-time quotes these days, including
Raging Bull (but you have to be a registered user to access them). One panel attendee announced he was looking for real-time streaming charts. Others asked where they could find information on options and insider buying and selling.
Other MoneyWatch attendees seemed to have a keen interest in initial public offerings. Not a surprise. When some investors think about IPOs, their thoughts immediately go to a name like
-- which is up over 1,200% from its offering price -- rather than a stock like
. (Conoco is down 13% from its offering price.)
For those of you who are interested, you can find some IPO news on
Yahoo! Finance. You should also check out
www.ipo-fund.com. The Greenwich, Conn.-based firm, which runs the
IPO Plus Aftermarket fund, offers IPO news, calendars, pricings and rankings, among other things.
With online trading flourishing, interest in Internet brokers was high. If you aren't trading online and are trying to figure out how to choose an online broker, you should start by reading the
Online Brokers Survey.
Answering one reader's
question last week, I explained the difference between the
Vanguard 500 Index fund and its
Total Stock Market fund.
Reader Chuck Miller had this to add. "If I had $50,000 to invest for 34 years, and it had to be a Vanguard index fund, why not the
Growth Index fund?"
"It just so happens I was faced with this problem last year," Miller writes. "But I'm 63, so I split the $50,000 in two, with $25,000 going to the Growth Index fund and $25,000 in the regular
Growth & Income fund. ... If I had it to do over again, I'd put the whole $50,000 in the index fund until such time that I need some income."
Send your questions and comments to
email@example.com, and please include your full name.