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Internet Investor: Beat the crisis with Net prophets

WITH THE world's financial markets not so much yo-yoing as bungee- jumping, you may be wondering what kind of edge a private investor can have.

There are plenty of Websites which will keep you abreast of events in Russia. The Moscow-based news agency Interfax will give you the domestic slant; for a broader picture dial up Yahoo's news offering.

However, this is just raw data. To see what the professionals make of the information, sneak a peak at the site run by Internet Securities, Inc. ISI Emerging Markets provides financial, economic and political news and local information providers and will show the kind of stories to which the fund managers and traders pay attention.

If you are serious about managing your investments you will be looking to minimise damage to your savings. Sophisticated investors (for sophisticated read well heeled and willing to take serious risks) should take a look at Currency Management Corporation.

CMC is the world's first real-time Internet-based foreign exchange dealing service. It currently quotes 27 major currencies with clients able to receive real-time quotes in 180 different currencies. In addition, through CMC you may deal in forward foreign exchange, spot and forward precious metals and futures. CMC also offers free market news and a real-time charting service which includes 20 years of historical foreign exchange data.

Before you open an account, try out the dealing service, downloading dummy trading software from the CMC site. CMC will handle your dummy deal as if the market was at your level and execute the deal for you. The whole process takes a couple of seconds and you can see how the deal would affect your positions and also see CMC's real time dealing prices to its existing customers.

CMC's Website is plastered with warnings and rightly so. Remember, you should not invest in derivatives with money you cannot afford to lose. This is definitely not for widows and orphans! In fact, CMC says its execution- only services class all clients as "non-private customers" under the terms of financial services regulation. This means you have to demonstrate a sufficient level of trading experience. However, if you fit the client profile, CMC could prove useful in volatile markets.

Interfax: www.maximov.com

Yahoo: headlines.yahoo.com/ Full_Coverage/World/Russia/

ISI Emerging Markets: www.securities.co.uk

CMC: www.forex-cmc.co.uk