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Hot Hitlist: Top 10 Reasons Internet Is For Investors

Somewhere where the rubber meets the road (or the chicken crossing it) the Internet changes everything in the buying and selling of stocks. Wall Street is now on your PC thanks to the Web.

While the reach and power of the medium has yet to be unleashed on a public at large, the tens of millions of investors the world over, all reaching for equal footing in valuing the ups and downs, movers, moved, shakers and shaken, the Pandora's box of empowerment now rests with you.

Where before you'd need a high-end, expensive Bloomberg box and lots of patience, now you may need just lots of patience. Box no more. The Web has it all. Yes, all over the place and often hard to find but it's there. Coalescing into a meaningful melange of media. Or at least a meringue of it.

In short, here's the top 10 reasons the Internet is a good tool for investors, small and large:

Steve Harmon's HitList

10 reasons why the Internet could be your best investment investment

1. It's 3 am and you're not counting sheep but counting losses; the Internet allows you to place trades in the middle of the night for execution as soon as the market opens. Get some sleep.

2. Your broker's on vacation but your Web trading service isn't; and despite sluggish servers on busy days it beats waiting in phone-mail, voice-mail purgatory to talk with a trader.

3. Instant news about and from most companies; sure some of it's PR and pasteurized to make it nonedible for those on a low-fat diet, but at least you can access it anytime you need fiber.

4. Powerful analysis and software at your fingertips; combining the power of computing and the dataflow is one area that still is very untapped.

5. Before the Internet you'd pay $$$$ for news & info, which now costs pennies, or is free. Monthly magazines, especially in the investment arena, are way out of date with their three-month lead times. Anyone using one of these to make decisions is at least three months behind. In the Internet space that's like being a year behind. Go online and stay in the loop

6. Be anywhere and buy and sell stocks via a laptop; dial and go, trade and log off in a few easy steps. Trading using the Internet shouldn't be more than $10 per trade. Firms that charge more haven't figured out that on the Internet everyone knows everything at some point. Infobog.

7. Removes overpriced brokerages from the equation, saving you $. See above.

8. Access to other investor's opinions, newsgroups, analysts such as Internet Stock Report. Within minutes of a company making a right or wrong turn the Internet is full of opinions about why and how, who and when. Lots of noise to signal, but the ability of millions to communicate in a medium is unprecedented and severely underhyped.

9. Information resources from thousands of sources (try squeezing that in a newspaper), and with investments the market's self-corrected oftentimes before the ink can dry on the newsprint. Tomorrow's published stock prices will be yesterday's closing values. Out of synch. The Web is real-time quotes (or slightly delayed at 15 minutes).

10. Empowers you to make better informed investment decisions; all of the above and more combine to empower both institutional and individual investors to make better decisions.