Sydney Futures Exchange Online
A lot of work has gone into this site to make it both appealing and very functional. The site is designed for all types of users, from students to private traders, off shore investors to the general public. Users guides are offered, a chat room, bookshop and information aplenty. If you are a member, you can customise the site to open up the way you want it to, offering you the info you need, and circumventing the extraneous stuff another user group might call interesting. There's a nifty little navigation wheel for you to play with that looks a bit like the trivial pursuit gizmo. Somehow I think that getting involved in futures is not so trivial at all. You don't put a site like this together for chumps.
Verdict: Whiz! Bang! Pow! Zap! The future is here.
ASX Quotes, Stock Exchange and Stock Market Data from the WebLink
This full service Australian Stock Exchange site offers just about everything you need to follow what is going on. Hourly updates, graphs, company announcements, trends and so on are meticulously presented to members. Guests can see what's going on, but not the absolute latest stuff. Once you become a member you can even track your own portfolio, and all the share prices can be emailed to you daily in a choice of 30 different formats. Membership ranges from about $10-50 p.m. and you can also order CD's documenting historical data so you can begin analysing the trends.
Verdict: A must have. - SS
Commonwealth Securities Limited
A wholly owned subsidiary of one of Australia's financial industry leaders, the Commonwealth Bank, ComSec pitches itself both at the novice and experienced trader. Public information available includes general market reports, updates and commentary. As a client, you can make transactions over the net, reducing paperwork and cost. Their chief role is to enable transactions, rather than to be an advisory service. It is assumed that you know what you want to do by the time you are doing business here.
Verdict: The big gun is taking the big step into on line share transactions.
A complete financial advice and news centre for Australians offers a host of sound information for anyone who wants to get their money working more efficiently and effectively. As well as the tips and hints are warnings about pitfalls and risky schemes. Taxation, superannuation, investment, home loans, insurance and banking are all given the once over in a nicely organised and attractively set out site. It's a combination of common sense advice and expert inside knowledge that will surely appeal to those not so much in the industry, but wishing to get a good grip on their financial prospects.
Verdict: It's your money, use it wisely. - SS
24 Hour Spot Gold Chart
At the time of review, this site was just about to get a major upgrade to be able to provide almost instant updating of gold prices in it's charts. All is well anyway. The info is still very up to date, and other precious metals are given also. Kitco are a metal refining company for the precious metal industry, so it serves their clients to offer pricing. Buy and sell prices are listed in Canadian dollars. For you, it means keeping your finger on the pulse, and knowing exactly when to start melting down your grandmother's wedding ring and heading off to the pawn shop.
Verdict: Bookmark it for ease of use and convenience. - SS
Charles Schwab Worldwide
Access to the American Stock Market from the Asia-Pacific rim is achievable online here just by filling out web-based forms. A full demo is offered, where you take your account and start buying and selling to your heart's content. Full access to news and information is provided once you become a client. This could mark the end of the stock market as we know it. If anyone anywhere can buy and sell shares instantly over the web, who knows how this will affect the entire financial world's structure and operation. This will certainly become a standard service any investment broker will offer in the very near future. Add a chat page, for real time communication with your broker and - bingo!
Verdict: Impressive and ominous at the same time. - SS
Stockmaster Home Page
One man sitting at his computer in Boston wanting to track his own shares from home began putting this service together. Being a computer whiz certainly helped, and Stockmaster has grown substantially to become the original and one of the best places on the net to find everything you need to know. Stocks, funds, makets, indexes and exchange rates are here, along with portfolio tracking, a book store, detailed quotes and news. There is a huge message board here as well, so you can browse the specific subject of your choice, and check some incredibly detailed information.
Verdict: Who better to learn from than the Stockmaster himself? - SS
Yahoo News Business Reuters
From the computers of Yahoo and the desks of Reuters come the daily US business news updates. It's a good partnership, since the news is bound to be as pertinent as possible, while the links and topics available from Yahoo are well placed to send you everywhere you could possibly want to go to follow up any of the news stories you read. There is a search function on the page specifically for the news articles, and a market snapshot and "get quotes" box.
Verdict: Leaders in their field. What do you expect? Bookmark it. - SS
Yahoo Finance World Markets
Another great Yahoo area, the entire world finance markets presented in detail. Charts and news are given for each country as well as detailed views also available in spreadsheet format. If you sign up, you can track your favourite stocks. There is also a currency conversion chart and calculator, along with market closing times, so you know how long you have to rush to your bedroom and pull out all the cash from under your mattress and start buying.
Verdict: Another winner. - SS
The Motley Fool - Finance and Folly
In olden days, the fool was the one who always told the king the truth, since everyone else was too concerned with their own agendas of greed and self importance to do so. This site was set up to inform, educate and amuse anyone interested in making money out of investment in much the same way, hence the name. It is packed with ideas, tips, anecdotes, news, faqs, how-tos, and a whole range of resources to delve into. Being so widely appealing you may have to dig around to find what you are looking for, but it would be worth bookmarking and checking in at regular intervals, to keep abreast of all things financial.
Verdict: Good tools for nobody's fools. - SS
Australian Stock Exchange
Someone has made a wise business decision and ordered that the ASX get themselves a killer web site. This is the hub, the epicentre of the beast that is stocks and shares. There is no shortage whatsoever of information here. From a detailed history to investment courses, market surveillance to enterprise market and how-to-buy-shares information, no stone is left unturned in the ASX quest to inform and enrich us about the power, the glory, the wealth, the toil on golden soil, that is corporate Australia.
Verdict: Bookmark it. No, better still, whack it on your active desktop! - SS
Business Times Stocks On Line
All the latest on the Asian market figures and movements are presented here in a constantly updating page (if you hit the 'refresh' button). Previous days closing reports and prices and market views plus the ability to track your own stock prices are here, along with some very good advice, reports and reviews. You never have to wait until the end of the commercial TV news for those HangSeng and Nikkei figures ever again.
Verdict: Up to the minute data. - SS
The Digital Financier - Financial Information On The Internet
An award winning one-stop money shop for the financial world. It starts with a daily update of financial markets and moves through a range of resource material for the financial industry. It is this site's ambition to be the most visited site by financiers, and to do so they have provided links galore, career opportunities, job listings, a list of up-coming meetings and conventions and a book store with all the important knowledge fountains for this ever changing and challenging industry. The web is going to transform the financial world probably more than any other aspect of humanity, and this site is trying real hard to keep up.
Verdict: Helping you smooth the transition to the new world order. - SS
Moody's Investors Service
We all know the famous Moody, the man who, from 1900, set the standard for rating company risk level for investors, governments and industry players. The web site is presented in a very simple text format, presumably so you can surf it from your mobile phone or handheld personal digital assistant. They are the world authority and definitely a good place to visit to ascertain your position with regard to investment decisions. Everything is rated and much information is given about the whole rating process and how to use the ratings. There are even a few jobs going here.
Verdict: How do I know? Ask Moodys.
Moodys get down to nuts and bolts here on their official web site where the main business is conducted. A quick guided tour as a guest will get you itching to sign up, as you realise the power of the information Moodys can give you access to. You'll get fully searchable data on more than 10,000 NYSE, AMEX and Nasdaq exchange companies, including all SEC filings. This is the full Monty, the whole enchilada, no sandwiches short of a picnic. With their knowledge, they can offer the best advice and services around. The site is quite attractive, too.
Verdict: Bookmarkabilty factor of at least 10.
INVESTools - Trusted Investment Advice
What can my money do? How much profit can I make by sitting on my butt? Is there such thing as a guaranteed 300% return on investment? Can my money really make a difference to society? Investools is here to answer any question you may pose with advisors, detailed research, a newsletter, and speculation aplenty on the potential earning capacity of your hard-earned cash. The site is well maintained and easy to navigate, as you select menu after menu of quotes, discussions and news about the financial world. With over 175,000 registered users, there's gotta be something going on here. Perhaps it's time you signed up.
Verdict: I don't know what ools are, but I'll certainly invest in them. - SS
The Interactive Business Channel
IBC gets real on the net here with actual business opportunities and investment offers right on the Website. The main page contains every imaginable resource. A ticker tape scrolls across the page while links, tools, offers, charts and reports urge you to delve into IBC's world. They are very much into the notion of buying and selling shares over the net, and as such have put together quite an impressive body of work to support the activity. Certainly the Internet is an inexpensive way to publicise a company and try to raise capital to get things underway. See how it's done right here.
Verdict: This site will interact with your wallet.
Cyberinvest.com - Free Investment Guides
Dedicated to providing the most comprehensive set of investment advice and resources for on-line investment, Cyberinvest manage to achieve quite a notable level of success. Through the Internet, access is given to information about companies that are otherwise ignored by the mainstream investment advisers and brokers. Advice is given here about anything related to finance and the Web. Banking on-line, hot web companies, how to invest on the web, prospecting, portfolios, mutual funds, it just doesn't stop. The site is big enough on it's own, but freely links you to all kinds of other web-based advisory services. This kind of free information you just cannot refuse.
Verdict: The big Daddy of investment guides.
Voted best on-line brokers three years running, Discover are doing something right here. By providing the best up-to-date information and facilitating a full service to the private independent investor, they make on-line investing as easy as possible. Take a run through the trading demo, to see how good the service really is. There are a lot of benefits to investing directly over the Net, and by using someone experienced in the field, the risks are minimised.
Verdict: Your own personal cyber-croupier.
Australian Ethical Investment
The real bottom line of any business should be more than just the dollar return. Business is about doing things, and some of these things, a lot of them actually, are ripping the planet apart and threatening our very existence. One of the biggest ways to counteract this pitiful trend is to pour as much of our investment dollars into helping businesses that either tread lightly on the earth or contribute to reversing some of the damage already done. This is the place to start. An A-Z listing of ethically sound operations presented clearly with how-to and faq's. It's Australian too.
Verdict: The choice is simple. Start and finish here.
Learning For a Better World - What has "Ethical Investment" to do with Ethics
Even though this site is two years old, the primer on ethical investment is still holding up. Better World is a magazine dedicated to sustainability and improving the planet. They present a very readable yet complete coverage of the whole ethical investment issue. There are always grey areas when you are dealing with production, and BW do a good job of sorting out the moral implications of investment, and giving the reader a good understanding about what kind of unethical activities are going on around the globe.
Verdict: Required reading.
This hard-hitting e-zine goes straight for the jugular of the multinational corporations that are getting away with murder, and a lot of other nasty crimes. Reporters who really know their stuff are investigating the activities by companies - and indirectly by the people who invested in them - that are just not acceptable by anyone who would consider themselves "good" citizens. It's not just expose stuff, a lot of analysis is done on the global situation, which, when you are sitting there with your hard-earned dollars waiting to invest in something, you may suddenly realise that you can do something about. When you're done here, go and look at the rest of the essential.ORG site.
Verdict: Packs a punch. Keeping the multinational monsters on their toes.
International Trade Law
Maybe you don't want to go through a broker. Maybe you want to just hop on a plane and take your money to some country and shop it around and get some venture up and running with someone who can't speak a word of English. The laws and regulations involved in such activities are all spelt out here. UN transnational contract principles, arbitration, conventions, treaties, customs, protection of intellectual property, the site covers everything. There is also a whole swag of links and related resources if you want more clarification on specific matters.
Verdict: No globe unturned.
Green Money On Line Guide
The financial world spits out its daily facts and figures. Those in the know get rich quickly and constantly. Small investors sit back in relative ignorance and watch their share prices fluctuate here and there. It's good to know that while all this is going on, some people are creating alternatives. Become a part of a growing network of citizens who are turning the tide of profiteering that until now has axiomatically created big losers somewhere on the planet. There is a web guide, product guide, and information about socially responsible banks and credit unions. You can get directly involved.
Verdict: Go green, it's the only way.
A complete tutorial about the stock market. It is designed for anyone with little or no knowledge to begin to get a grip on the fascinating world of finance. By looking at well known companies like Coca Cola, Nike and Netscape, and then studying the nature and operation of the stock market, you will quickly get a good overview of what transpires every moment around the world. The layout is simple and visually appealing, and after you have completed the tutorial, you can try your hand at a 20 minute simulation.
Verdict: Elegantly educational.
The Wall Street Coffee Company
In 1792, a group of merchants and brokers got together in a coffee shop and started the New York Stock Exchange. Since then Wall Street has probably been the capital of coffee addiction ever since. In a light-hearted marriage of coffee and money, the WSCC offers a selection of coffees like "broker's roast" and some very valuable advice and information for investors as well. Their mission is to be America's centre for personal success, and I think they might just have hit on the right blend.
Verdict: Surf this before, during and after your coffee break.
The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition
This publication needs no introduction, and for a mere $49.00 a year, you can now access the extra power the Internet can afford this major player in the financial world's information network. Real time quotes, with a big focus on the technology industry, news updates 24 hours a day, customisable information delivery. The slick and informed crew at WSJ are ready to make your financial outlook a whole lot rosier, as you continue to fund their drive to stay ahead of the rapidly encroaching Internet pack.
Verdict: To pay or not to pay, that is the question. - SS
Douglas Gerlach's Invest-o-rama
Just as we come to the end of this chapter, the blockbuster site from heaven is here to fill in all the blanks and then some. A one-man effort of titanic proportions, boasting over 8,000 links sorted into 89 categories, free tools like a portfolio tracker, stock screening, advanced charting plus market commentary, bookshop, even a competition. The links, by the way are all clearly described, unlike most peoples' links pages. Doug has put it all together here for you, and in gratitude, it wouldn't be too much to ask to buy his book now, would it?
Verdict: You don't have to pay, so there is no question. Bookmark this now. - SS