Enthusiasm may make the Web go round at present, but the long- term propellant will be money. If you doubt it, take a look at MoneyWorld, "the UK's Personal Finance Web Site", which opens with a list of more than 20 advertisers' links, just in case you're averse to activating the links in the ads themselves. I've never seen so many ads on a UK zine site.

There's a lot of information here, from a glossary of terms (and helpful links to it from all over the site) through to an abundance of raw financial data. The impressive-looking News section is supposedly updated daily - at the end of the day, it seems - but only about a quarter of the content was fresh the day I called in. Even so, you get a fair picture of what's going on in the world of personal finance.

For financial innocents, the Guides are potentially the most helpful section, containing Q&A-based explanations of more than 20 key financial products or processes. Having recently invested weeks of my life in the study of critical illness cover, I can tell you that most of what you get on the subject here is both relevant and correct - I found only one error of substance. The guide underplays the importance and difficulty of comparing policies for cover, too. But good stuff, on the whole.

OK, so I've decided I need critical illness cover. Next, a comparative table of competing policies would be nice. Links to companies that do them would be an acceptable substitute, on a free site. Sadly, MW gives me nothing beyond a link to the company sponsoring the guide.

The Homebuying section is similarly disappointing. There's a long list of lenders, but it gives only phone numbers and addresses, rather than links. And the Rates section lists only half a dozen lenders. Are they the best buys? I think we should be told. Same goes for the separate Savings Rates sections.

Elsewhere there are tables of performance for all sorts of funds and trusts - though I'm not sure how relevant they are to the ordinary punter, since they seem to take no account of the infamous charges.

Financial Contacts has tables of providers of financial services, intermediaries and regulators, including a map-based "find a stockbroker" system, but precious few links. There are links by the ledger-load in the Personal Finance Directory. The accountants section, in particular, has a peculiar fascination: if you want to browse some truly dreary sites - and some really desperate attempts to escape dreariness - this is the place.

Or you might have a look at MoneyWeb, which, in contrast to smooth MoneyWorld, looks every inch the home-grown site. It's less of a magazine, more of an accumulation of wisdom, and appears to be the work of one dynamic individual. But even if it looks chaotic, it contains a lot of interesting stuff - and links to a lot more.

MoneyWorld http://www.moneyworld.co.uk/

MoneyWeb http://www.moneyweb.co.uk/