Shawn Lively, an analyst with IDC, an information technology (IT) media analysis and research company headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, says that many investors are getting their online fix at portals and do not visit personal finance sites.
estimates that 7 million U.S. households use online brokerage accounts, Lively
believes many of them may not be going to their brokerage accounts daily to check their accounts.Instead they get their financial fix at a portal site, which also might give them the weather report, local sports scores and news headlines, as well as a peek at the markets.
"You need your brokerage site to make a trade and get information about your account, but your brokerage site may not be the best place to go to track your investments and stay in touch with your investments," says Lively
There is also a perceived bias factor in visiting a brokerage site, Lively points out."Schwab may be my broker," he says, "but when I go to a neutral site, it feels different.
It feels like a place with no axe to grind.The portal with general information is not an executor, it's just an information provider."
Despite the many financial sites available, most Americans, like most financial advisors, have not delved too deeply into online personal finance.In its Personal Finance Data Overview for the fourth quarter of 2000, Forrester Research
reported that although 91 percent of U.S. households have checking accounts, only 7 percent of those with checking accounts would apply for one online.Eighty-eight percent have auto insurance, but just 4 percent would apply for insurance online.