Surfing the Net for financial well-being

I hope that by now you are spending time online and have realized that there is a whole universe out there for you to explore. The Internet can be a powerful and profitable investing tool that can open up volumes of timely - and often free - information. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can gather together research reports on companies, view up-to-the-minute stock and mutual-fund quotes, and trade securities on the Web. You also can gather performance data on any stock or mutual fund you wi

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS

I hope that by now you are spending time online and have realized that there is a whole universe out there for you to explore. The Internet can be a powerful and profitable investing tool that can open up volumes of timely - and often free - information. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can gather together research reports on companies, view up-to-the-minute stock and mutual-fund quotes, and trade securities on the Web. You also can gather performance data on any stock or mutual fund you wish to investigate and check out the latest interest rates for CDs and loans.

Early concerns about security on the Internet have not totally gone away. However, the newest versions of net browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Netscape, use the latest encryption technologies. The chances of your data being intercepted and decoded are very small. Be wary of what personal information is given out. Some companies use personal information to customize your account. Others will sell the information to junk-mail marketing companies.

Below, you will find some sites to visit if financial information and activity are what you are looking for. These sites are listed in alphabetical order. Many overlap each other with the information they provide. They are listed merely as a solid starting point.

Daily Stocks: //dailystocks.com

This site is a good "starting point" site. You will find an extensive list of links to many good financial-information sites.

FinanCenter: //www.financenter.com

This is a site where you can gather information about car loans, home loans, savings, insurance, retirement, credit cards, and budgets. It will ask questions about different parameters and make calculations from this data.

Hoover`s Stockscreener: //www.stockscreener.com

This is a great research site! You can plug in any number of numerical criteria for a company - i.e. Price/Earnings ratios, Price/Revenue ratios, growth rates, company size, rates of return, etc., and it will generate a list of companies that meet these criteria. This is very useful for those who use formulas when choosing companies for stock purchasing.

Investorama: //www.investorama.com

At this site, you will find a directory of over 7,500 sites in 75 categories, as well as tools for investors. These include portfolio-tracker, stock-researcher, charts, and a directory of public companies` Web sites. You also will find market commentary and feature articles. This is a pretty extensive and complete financial site.

Investor Links: //www.en.com/users/pair

This site bills itself as the world`s largest collection of stock and company information. You will find links to many other sites, as well as discussion bulletin boards.

Money Online: //jcgi.pathfinder.com/money/plus?page=index.oft

This is the online location for Money magazine. It is filled with articles, bulletin boards, and stock and fund quotes. It may not be the most informative or technical site, but it certainly is entertaining.

Morningstar: //www.morningstar.net

At this site, you will be able to monitor your portfolio, get stock and fund quotes, read articles, do some research, and take part in some online discussion groups.

Motley Fool: //www.fool.com

This is the online site for the book of the same title. It is a very complete site. It is filled with articles, stock and fund quotes, news, and just about anything else you would want to read about financial issues.

Mutual Funds Interactive: ///www.brill.com

At this location, you will find news, features, and discussion groups, all pertaining to mutual funds.

NETworth/Quicken.com: //www.quicken.com/investments

Here you can monitor stocks and funds, follow your portfolio, read articles about stocks and mutual funds, read book reviews, and read financial columnists. This is another very comprehensive site.

OFNews Inline: //www.ofns.com/ofnews

Here, you will find online discussion groups about brokers, mutual funds, stocks, trading tips, personal finance, retirement, and taxes.

Stocktools: //www.stocktools.com

You will find ways to do research on stocks, get quotes, and follow your portfolio.

YahooFinance: //quote. yahoo.com

At Yahoo Finance, you can view stocks, link to other good sites, set up and monitor your portfolio, get the latest in financial news, get the latest in market news, and find extensive research links.

Bank Rate Infobank: //www.bankrate.com

This site will give you immediate access to Bank Rate Monitor`s weekly survey of deals on CDs, mortgages, home-equity lines and loans, personal and car loans, and credit cards.

My Bank: //www.mybank.com

This has a state-by-state listing of bank home pages across the country. You may find that your local bank offers some online benefits.

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FACD, FAGD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He also is the editor of St. Louis Dentistry Magazine and spokesperson and critical-issue-response-team chairperson for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. He can be reached at jdteeth@inlink.com or by phone, (314) 567-5612; or fax: (314) 567-9047.

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