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ADVFN is the lynch pin of every online trader's portfolio. When I signed on to the site, my main focus was on the FREE REAL TIME QUOTES provided, but I have continued to be impressed by every aspect of their service.
After a simple registration on their site, the free services which ADVFN offer include realtime quotes for single stocks, realtime monitors (which include bid/offer prices and the last price and volume of a share traded), share portfolios, alerts, charts, company information, news and bulletin boards. It is possible to upgrade the service for a small fee which gives further access onto premium bulletin boards and additional options in monitoring/charting mutiple sets of shares in realtime.
Two extremely impressive features are the portfolio and monitoring systems. Like most site portfolios, one is able to create a number of portfolios. However where ADVFN streaks ahead is the completeness of the portfolio application. When entering a stock, you are able to include additional charges such as broker fees, commission and stamp duty. Bought the same share at many different prices? No problem, just input the share at all those different prices and when the summary is displayed, ADVFN has calculated the average cost spent per share after including all the additional charges and the different prices! How incredibly clever! Thanks to their foresight, this useful application is a delight to use.
The monitoring system is an extension of following a single realtime quote. Instead, it is possible to track (numerically) the share prices in realtime. With the monitoring system, you can set alerts to either your e-mail or to your mobile ( with the help of an e-amil to sms service). Fancy viewing this information graphically rather than numerically? Again no problem, hit the 'Microscope' tab and follow the movements of those squiggly lines!!
I would argue that there are few down sides to this site. Admittedly, it takes some time to add stocks to you folio and all entries are done using epics (stock symbols) rather than stock names, such that you have to look them up in their list if you are unsure. This can take a little bit of time. As well, the site has had some down time of late normally for about 45 min from 5:30pm most days for the last couple of weeks as they are upgrading hardware. Last of all, ADVFN does not give as much financial information as is possible from other sites. I tend to use comdirect.co.uk , iii.co.uk or UKInvest in conjunction with this site, as these other sites are more informative.
This site is still growing and the superb features are offset by some temporary minor inconveniences. Bottom line? Impressive, and more than that essential. Don't settle for anything less than real-time pricing!