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Stock trading systems community Collective2 is bringing automated trading systems to the retail brokerage customer. Joe Shmoe can now have access to a trading system developed and practiced by an experienced broker, mad technical analyst, or possibly even a computer algorithm. The Collective2 API will make it possible for quant systems all over the internet to trigger trading in unknown numbers of retail customer accounts. Dangerous? Frightening?
(Corrects number of commission-free ETFs offered by Fidelity in 8th paragraph and title of TD Ameritrade's Michael McGrath in 21st paragraph.) Institutional investors can deploy ultra-high-speed stock trades and complex strategies cooked up by PhDs to make their market bets. How can the little guy hope to keep up? As part of an ongoing series on the latest tools and technologies available to online investors, Businessweek.com surveyed the efforts by online investing sites to equip smaller investors with advanced weapons to help narrow the gap.
Mobile apps are the obvious answer, if you’re smart about which ones you choose. The best, like those from Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book and Cars.com , stress simplicity and speed, not just beauty. The Edmunds.com app, for instance, has photos, reviews and data to help shoppers winnow their choices and negotiate. It is free on Apple and Android . Arguably the most helpful feature is Edmunds.com’s True Market Value, which lists the average selling price for a particular model, in a particular region, adjusted for options. In discussing a fair selling price with a sales representative, it is indispensable.
Just a decade ago, if you wanted to invest in a startup you had to know someone. A lawyer, an accountant, a friend of friend would give you a referral to a company looking to raise money, or they’d invite you to invest with them. That’s how you got in the door. You had to have a lot of money to play – often $50,000 or more. And the startups you’d see were from your geographical region.
Update: When the markets closed on August 10, 2011, Apple ended up as the company with the largest market capitalization in the world ($337.17 billion), surpassing Exxon Mobil ($330.88 billion). This generated a new flurry of discussion about what "market cap" really means, so we felt it appropriate to re-publish our primer from earlier this year on the different ways to judge corporate valuation. Please note that we have not updated the data in this feature (originally published in February 2011), but we think the principles discussed in the piece are worth highlighting. So the order came down from the Orbiting HQ, and I'm here to make it happen: Make people a little more smarter than "DURR HUGE MARKET CAP DURRR!" The data that follows was culled from Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poors, is current as of February 4, 2011, and reflects results over the last 12 months unless otherwise noted.
You credit card number may look like a random string of 16 digits but those digits reveal a little more than you think. You credit card number may look like a random string of 16 digits that’s unique in the world but those digits reveal a little more than you think. The first digit of the card represents the category of industry which issued your credit card. American Express is in the travel category and cards issued by them have 3 as the first digit. If you have VISA or MasterCard, your card’s first digit should be either 4 or 5 as they are from the banking and financial industry. The first six digits of your credit card number identify the institution that issued the card to you.
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photo: AMagill December is a significant time for most of us, when we get to celebrate the holidays with cheer and maybe a touch of chaos. It’s also when we take stock of the past year and start thinking about our financial and personal goals for the following year. The winter season sets the tone for reflection and contemplation. Most of us look back on the months behind us with a heart grateful for the wonderful things that have happened, as well as with a mind that’s been made aware of mistakes made, lessons learned and a hope and resolve that we’ll do better going forward. This form of reflection can help us tie up the loose ends of the past year and allow us to prepare for what’s ahead.
photo: TheTruthAbout… When President Obama signed the Credit CARD Act into law last May, industry analysts predicted that tighter, consumer-friendly regulations would force banks to hike credit-card interest rates for everybody. They were, of course, right. In the months leading up to February 2010, it seemed the banks had engaged in a rate-hike race in preparation of the new credit-card rules , which would prohibit “any time, any reason” interest-rate increases.
By PUI-WING TAM And GEOFFREY A. FOWLER (Please see Corrections and Amplifications below .)