Rating System: D - Design | E - Ease of Use | V - Value

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Best Calls - Blue Chip Pick
If analysts and company officials jabber about earnings announce-ments on conference calls, why shouldn't everybody be able to listen in? So goes the thinking behind a handful of sites that have begun broadcasting these once-closed calls over the Web to any interested individual investor. BestCalls is one of the best of the genre. Investors may not discover any revelations - the calls can be quite humdrum - but more information is always a good thing. BestCalls posts a calendar of upcoming conference calls, and investors can also search for schedules by company name. The site provides easy instructions on how to listen to them and allows you to post questions during live calls. Users can sign up for a CallTracker service, which sends e-mail alerts of upcoming conference calls. Membership is free, though you must regis-ter. Free optional subscription to the BestCalls newsletter.

D-9 | E-8 | V-10

Companies Online
Search engine Lycos and corporate research firm Dun & Bradstreet teamed up to put together this free reference tool. Links to more than 100,000 public and private corporations with online pres-ences. Companies pay to have their Site featured on the front age, but users can fire up the search engine to look for spe-cific companies.

D-8 | E-8 | V-10

Company Sleuth
Clue into what public companies are doing behind the scenes. Company sleuth combs other Web sources to gather data on the inner workings of the public companies you specify. Receive daily e-mail reports on new patents and trademarks, newly registered Internet addresses, message board postings, insider trades, and more. Day-old info. Free registration, although premium services are offered for a fee.

D-8 | E-9 | V-9

Contingency Analysis
Excellent place to explore the dark side of the markets. Fundamentals section ideal place to learn about risk. Take the risk intuition test to learn how much you don't know. Stay away from message boards, though, which are focused on institutional investor solutions.

D-7 | E-8 | V-9

Earnings Whispers
Check here for forecasts of company earn-ings, allegedly from inside but unnamed sources. Site publishes whisper numbers about three to four weeks before compa-nies are supposed to report earnings. Type in the ticker symbol or company name for nearly 4,000 stocks to call up whisper numbers, current price, and other stock data, along with a message board dedicated to each stock.

D-8 | E-9 | V-7

Avoid receiving a ton of hydro-engineering sites when you submit a query on liquidity with this Yahoo! of Internet investing. Search engine focuses exclusively on Web sites that have financial content. You've gotta register before you use, and you can only access the engine from a personalized, post-registration bookmark. So you can't just type in the URL and start searching.

D-8 | E-4 | V-9

With links to academic journals and papers, this site is geared toward the heady investor. Also includes an interna-tional list of links to financial and eco-nomic professionals. Site design a little amateurish, given the high-brow nature of the content.

D -5 | E-6 | V-7

$ First Advisors
For a $l9.95 a month subscription, users "look over the shoulders" of professional investment advisors including Gabelli Asset Management, Locke Capital Management, and Oxford Capital Groupe. This flashy site has the look and feel of a downtown loan agency. Has lava become the neon of the '90s?

D-4 | E-6 | V-7

Sneak a peak into the portfolios of a com-pany's execs - see how much they're buying and selling of their own company's stock. This information must be reported to the SEC and can be found on various govern-ment and private sites. But if you need timely info and aren't willing to wade through legal documents, this site's free and subscription services nicely package and analyze insider-trading info.

D-7 | E-8 | V-8

$ Investment Wizard
At $5.95 a month, this site is a solid deal. Generates proprietary analysis of stocks, mutual funds, and commodity prices. Includes daily list of stocks to buy. Plus sews and commentary.

D-8 | E-8 | V-9

$ Investment-Advice
Unusual site offers specific trade recom-mendations based on computer analysis of existing or theoretical portfolios. Pricing varies, depending on how you want the advice. Single reports on a stock cost about $5.

D-6 | E-7 | V-8

Investor Relations Information Network
Fairly simple free site specializes in provid-ing online versions of company annual reports. Search tool lets you find Web links to more than 2,000 companies.

D-7 | E-6 | V-7

Market Guide
Free financial data site features a continual-ly updated database of research information on more than 12,000 public companies. Also includes numerous charting and com-parison tools. Check in regularly at "What's Hot/What's Not" for rankings of companies, investment sectors, and industries.

D-7 | E-8 | V-8

Media General Financial Services
This financial data vendor, in an attempt to promote its products and services to media and financial firms, lets individual investors use a search tool to generate company pro-files. Graphics could use improvement.

D-5 | E-6 | V-7

Interest rate central. The latest on prime rate changes and banks offering good yields. Look up key rates, economic indica-tors, and national rate averages. Site has links to consumer and investment rates not provided. Delivers rates via e-mail for between $29.95 and $49.95 a year.

D-7 | E-8 | V-7

$ NetCurrentAsset.com
For $11.95 a shot, this service provides a listing of stocks that trade below their net current asset value in the country of your choosing. Also includes a rundown of the companies' financials.

D-8 | E-8 | V-7

Prospectus Online
You can sign up for free electronic delivery of mutual fund and corporate SEC prospec-tus filings at site. Mutual fund selection is limited to those offered by participating brokers, unless you choose to include a search of the federal government's vast EDGAR database.

D-8 | E-8 | V-7

Public Register's Annual Report Service
Somewhat amateurish design, but this site is very helpful. Mails out free copies of annual reports of firms listed on NYSE, AMEX, and Nasdaq, as well as over-the-counter firms. Check out surveys of best brokers, stocks, and investment strategies. Includes links to brokerage Web sites.

D-6 | E-6 | V-9

Rapid Research
Efficient tool for selecting stocks. Look up fundamental data on more than 8,000 stocks. Create your own basic or advanced stock screens, based on up to 29 criteria. The site also runs its own screens to gener-ate lists of the top 20 income, value, and growth stocks.

D-9 | E-10 | V-10

$ Split Predict
A virtual crystal ball for predicting stock splits. Maintains a database of split predic-tions for more than 2,500 companies. Newsletter (which costs $118.95 a year) forecasts prices.

D-7 | E-6 | V-7

This handy tool screens stock information based on maximum and minimum perfor-mance criteria. Results tap company data from Hoover's Online.

D-8 | E-9 | V-9

Stock Valuation with Sense
Pretty inventive stuff here. Introduces a method that uses a company's fundamentals to evaluate its stock price. Neat "Double Search" tool lets you compare the statistics of two companies at once. QuoteTV feature feeds streaming stock prices into your PC.

D-8 | E-9 | V-9

Street Advisor
Slightly schizophrenic site blends original tech stock coverage with day-trading edu-cational briefs. In addition to daily tech stock analysis, also offers a model portfolio for longer-term investors.

D-8 | E-9 | V-9

$ Telescan
The parent company owns a search-retrieval technology it pitches to businesses and individual investors on its Web site. For between $12 and $18 a month, plus the price of soft-ware, investors can use the search tool to find appealing stocks, options, and mutual funds. Telescan also offers online pricing analysis from $9.95 for one hour of access each month up to $299.95 for unlimited use.

D-7 | E-6 | V-8

Value Point Analysis
Site promotes proprietary computer-trading model. Users can input data into the com-plicated model and analyze the risk of pur-chasing certain stocks or index derivatives. Includes discussion boards.

D-8 | E-7 | V-8

World Mergers and Acquisitions Network
Poorly designed but useful site includes information on how to profit from mergers and acquisitions worldwide. Lists potential takeover targets by industry. Data could be updated more frequently.

D-3 | E-6 | V-8

Rating System: D - Design | E - Ease of Use | V - Value

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