Investors like portals, study finds

A majority of US consumers managing financial information via the Web prefer Internet portals over brokerage sites, according to a study by Cyber Dialogue and Booz-Allen & Hamilton, based in New York. Internet users represent about 30% of the US population but account for almost half of all mutual fund assets. Among those Internet users who manage their investments online, 32.5% said they use America Online Personal Finance most often.

A majority of consumers managing financial information via the Web prefer Internet portals over brokerage sites, according to a study by Cyber Dialogue and Booz-Allen & Hamilton, based in New York.

Overall, Internet users represent about 30% of the US population but account for almost half of all mutual fund assets, according to David Howe, vice president at Booz-Allen.

Among those Internet users who manage their investments online, 32.5% said they use America Online Personal Finance most often. Five times as many used AOL as opposed to the most popular electronic broker, Charles Schwab & Co. The second-most-popular finance site was Quicken.com, at 13.5%, followed by Yahoo! Finance or My Yahoo! at 10.8%. After Schwab at 6.1%, Fidelity Investments came in fifth at 3.1%.

More than half of the digital investors use multiple sites to retrieve stock quotes, and almost one in five use more than one brokerage site when they make trades.

The study queried 1,000 Internet users in this year's second quarter; the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1%.

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