Now you can match the City... without the braces

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The Independent Online

Take two similes and call me in the morning. The frenzied pace at which web developments come leave me gasping for an image. A couple do spring to mind. Tracking the development of share trading systems on the Internet this year has been a cross between watching an arms race and a time-lapse film of a blooming flower.

Take two similes and call me in the morning. The frenzied pace at which web developments come leave me gasping for an image. A couple do spring to mind. Tracking the development of share trading systems on the Internet this year has been a cross between watching an arms race and a time-lapse film of a blooming flower.

Almost with each new brokerage launch has come a technical development which gives the new entrant some kind of edge. So it is with the official launch on Tuesday of myBROKER by city firm Options Direct. To sign up for myBROKER you will have to download a form from the website, fill it in and post it "snailmail" with a cheque for a minimum of £2,500. Once you are accepted as a client, there are no administration fees and you will be charged a flat £25 for deals in shares listed on the London Stock Exchange and also on the Alternative Investments Market.

So far, so ordinary, the service is not expensive but nor is it cheap. So what is myBROKER'S edge? It takes real-time price quotations a stage further and, it claims to allow private investors to have exactly the same kind of constantly updated data on screen as the market professionals.

Several existing online brokers give you a real-time price with a countdown. Once you pass that time you need to ask for the price again. What myBROKER offers is "live time". That means you can call up a share price on screen and watch it constantly update on a live basis, on a par with the city's finest (braces not supplied).

Executing your trade is getting easier but nobody has yet come up with a fool-proof method of judging the right time to buy or sell. But there are tools available on the Internet which may help you make a more informed decision.

Stock Alerts has picked up 10,000 subscribers in less than four months since its launch. The site does not offer real-time prices or a news feed but it will tell you when your shares are on the move, based on prices running 15 minutes in delay.

As a user of Stock Alerts, you may define trading conditions for your current stocks or "watch list" which, if met, trigger an instant free electronic e-mail alert or, for a fee of £50 for 200, the alerts may be channelled to a pager, mobile phone or similar hand-held device, to anywhere in the world. The system is not limited to the UK market but also covers shares traded in Europe and on the US Nasdaq-Amex and NYSE markets.

Those who are more interested in longer-term share price trends should check out the latest addition to the Moneyworld website ­ a service which allows you to chart the prices of around 3,500 shares.

Users of the Moneyworld Portfolio service will be able to generate graphs for individual shares over periods of time ranging from the current day to the last decade and beyond. You can also compare the actual price performance against moving averages, offered from five-day to 250-day, and compare those share price performances against other shares, sectors or market indices.

 

Robin can be reached at RobinAmlot@aol.com

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