By: Charles Bowen

Keeping Up With Online Investing

by Charles Bowen

To get started, visit Investorama at

Got business reporters who missed a few of the memos you’ve been writing
about the growing importance of online investing to your ever-more-savvy
readership? Well, you can either pitch one of your famous fits in the
middle of the newsroom – are those still working for you? – or you can
fix the problem by directing them to a little continuing education
right at the keyboard.

Some of the best background on the subject of Internet-based investing
is, to no one’s surprise, on the Internet itself. A site called
Investorama is quickly becoming a major gathering place for that new
breed of ”entry-point investors’ and other users of online financial
services. And, of course, because the ultimate goal of digital
investors is the same as that of their more traditional counterparts
who continue to make money the old-fashioned way, the site also
provides a wealth of general information about securities, mutual
funds, companies, and business news.

For instance, Investorama, reached at, has
in-depth information on more than 6,500 publicly traded stocks through
its new ‘Company Reports’ service, which contains many features that
are unique to Investorama or have never before been provided for free
on the Web.

Each company report offers up to six years of fundamental data,
including income statement and balance sheet data, historical growth
rates, and fiscal year high and low prices. And probably of interest
to your readers will be the fact that the site hosts a thriving
interactive community of investors as well as a huge compilation of
rated links to finance-related sites. At last count, Investorama
featured more than 16,000 links.

The site also provides free access to market news, stock and mutual-fund
quotes and research, market commentary, portfolio tracking, message
boards, member e-mail, customized start pages, educational resources,
and a comprehensive Web directory of financial information. And for
advanced users, the site offers in-depth stock and mutual fund research
and investment clubs. Beyond that, the site includes:

* ‘Ask Investorama,’ a source of common questions and answers and an
opportunity to get a response from a financial expert.

* ‘Start Your $1 Million Portfolio,’ a guide to building a winning

* Free financial software downloads.

* A stock and fund power search.

* Communication tools such as chat and instant messaging for talking
to other investors.

Based in New York, the site was launched by author Douglas Gerlach,
a personal-finance expert, who has written books about the new wave
of Internet investing, including ”The Complete Idiot’s Guide to
Online Investing’ and ”Investor’s Web Guide.’

Other considerations in using Investorama for your writing and editing:

1. Scroll the introductory screen to reach the site’s ‘Quick Index,’
links to investment ‘essentials,’ such as that previously mentioned
massive directory of financial Web links, the stock and fund ‘

‘PowerSearch’ features, assorted calculators, the ‘Ask Investorama’
service, a glossary, and the portfolio tracker. Also in the ‘Quick
Index’ are links to assorted financial guides and member tools, such
as the message boards, e-mail, and clubs.

2. If you don’t see what you’re looking for in the ‘Quick Index,’
scroll to the bottom of the introductory screen and click the ‘Site
Map’ link. This will provide a wealth of links to services relating
to investments, real estate, retirement, mutual funds, and so on.

3. Besides these list-browsing options, the site supports powerful
search options. In the center of the introductory page is a search
service. From the drop-down list, select the section you want to search
(choosing among ‘16,000-Site Directory,’ ‘Articles and Archives,’
‘Member Directory,’ ‘Message Boards,’ or ‘Stock PowerSearch’), then
enter a keyword or phrase in the associated data-entry box and click
the ‘Search’ button. The site also has a ‘PowerSearch’ engine for
stock in the same area of the introductory screen. To use it, enter

a stock ticker and click the ‘Go’ button.


Bowen writes columns, articles and books from West
Virginia, and is host of the daily Internet News syndicated
radio show (

(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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