Financial planning and the Web

Sneaking peeks at your stocks online from work - and still asking your financial adviser if you made the right moves? You're not alone.

According to recent research by the Forum for Investor Advice, online investors don't abandon their financial advisers in favor of the Internet. "While 71 percent of investors who use advisers and the Internet conducted financial activities on the Internet, only 15 percent bought or sold stock or mutual funds online in the past year," says Barbara Levin, the forum's executive director.

The study found that investors say they prefer the one-on-one relationship with advisers, their validation of investment decisions, and tailored advice - perks they don't receive from the Web. Other findings from the study focused on how investors used the Web in January and February:

*73 percent accessed financial news or information.

*58 percent obtained research on investments owned or being considered.

*54 percent obtained quotes on stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

*21 percent used financial planning or asset-allocation tools.

*8 percent visited chat rooms about investing, or attended an online lecture.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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