what makes your world go round? The High-Tech Investor
what makes your world go round?


by Mathew


The acknowledged leader of the online stock discussion game is Silicon Investor. Started by two brothers in their bedroom, it grew dramatically and now has close to 5 million posted messages in thousands of different groups, and was recently bought by Go2Net for $33-million US.

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A site that combines stock investment discussion with some interesting model portfolios and tutorials is The Motley Fool, which was also started by a couple of brothers several years ago. It has some interesting groups, as well as a discussion of investment theories such as the "Dogs of the Dow" method.

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This is a constantly evolving collection of the Web links I've found that have to do with investing, both in stocks and mutual funds. Part of my interest comes from the fact that I'm a business writer with The Globe and Mail, although obviously I don't speak for them, in the same way that they don't speak for me. If you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate to tell me about it.

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In addition to pornography, one of the most popular attractions on the Web appears to be anything related to stocks and investing -- from online chat groups to stock quotes and online trading. Investors are looking for sources of information to use in making their own decisions, instead of just paying some advisor a fee to do it for them and then forgetting about it, and the Internet is a vast resource. However, it is also a double-edged sword. While stock chat areas promote discussion between average investors, for example, they also exaggerate hype and rumour, and there is no way of judging the truth of anything posted -- that hot tip could very well come from someone with a hidden agenda. Many small companies pay promoters to spread the good word about their company to investors, and the Net is the perfect medium.

In just one example, the discussion on sites like Silicon Investor and Stockhouse helped drive the frenzy of rumours that surrounded Bre-X Minerals during its dying days. Professional traders are the only ones who make money on such volatility -- not the average investor. "The higher trading costs used to prevent people from doing something insane," Randy Befumo, an analyst at the Motley Fool, told Wired News in an interview recently. "Now, the low commissions cause anyone with a PC to think they can compete with the major trading firms and beat the market. And they're going to lose a huge amount of money." Burnham compares online trading to another Web boom industry: gambling.

Online Trading
Online Trading


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