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Portfolio Tracking

One of the best features on the Web for investors is the ability to look up stock quotes and track portfolios online. Gone are the days of paging through the Wall Street Journal or the local paper to see how your stocks or mutual funds are doing. Your entire portfolio, together with updated information about particular stocks, is only several clicks away by using the Web. For those of you who have not yet tried this, you will be amazed at how much time you save as well as how much additional information you will have about stocks that you own or stocks that you are tracking. It seems that every Web site has added features that provide readers with stock quotes and portfolio tracking. The sites listed below are among the best.

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Yahoo! Finance
This is probably the best site on the Web to track your stocks and do basic research. The advantages of this site include ease of use and the breadth of information that is available. Setting up portfolios of stocks you own and stocks you want to track is very easy. These portfolios allow you to track a stock's performance and easily review information relating to that stock such as news reports, analyst upgrades or downgrades, company research, message boards and a company profile. The news articles are comprehensive - including articles from traditional wire reports such as Reuters as well as cutting edge articles and commentary from TheStreet.com and CBSMarketwatch.com. The fact that news articles are referenced below all portfolios and individual stock quotes is a very helpful feature that surprisingly has not been copied by many web sites. Many sites have imitated or tried to improve upon Yahoo's format, so finding a satisfactory portal or finance site that provides this information is not difficult, but this site is the best.

CBSMarketwatch.com
This site provides an excellent portfolio tracking system that can be customized to meet your needs.

Quicken.com
This site offers a good portfolio tracking system that is similar to the Yahoo! Quotes site, but not as good. The portfolios are easy to set up and you can easily customize the layout and type of information that appears in the chart you create. Included in those features are tools that allow you to track the annualized rate of return for individual stocks if you input the purchase price and date. The news section, however, is not very comprehensive.

Motley Fool
A good portfolio tracking system is one of the many attractive features of this site.

MSN Money
The new quote system is pretty cool.

Google Finance
They're catching up with a very useful site.


Free Real Time Quotes

Most sites now offer this feature. Unless you're a day trader or you need up-to-the-minute quotes because news or the market is moving one of your stocks, you won't have much of a need for the real time quotes feature. Quotes on some sites are delayed by only 20 minutes. These are good sources if you need them NOW!

FreeRealTime.com
This site provides an unlimited amount of free real time quotes for all registered users. Registration is free.

MarketGuide.com
This general finance site offers up to 50 free real time quotes each day for registered users (no fee for registration). The rest of the site isn't bad.

E*Trade
This online broker will provide free real time quotes for readers who register on this site. Registering does not require opening an account. This site is loaded with additional features for investors.

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