INVESTools Inc. (OTCBB:INVS): Stock Market Education Leader Upgrades Investor Toolbox (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comments (0)

INVESTools Inc. (OTCBB:INVS), my tool of choice for stock research and analysis, recently announced the relaunch of its Investor Toolbox Web site. As a long-time user of Investools, it was nice to see that they finally decided to redesign the Investor Toolbox from top to bottom. The new toolbox is supposed to be much more powerful, convenient and customizable. The transition will take approximately 45 days for all users to experience the new area.

I have already been converted over to the new toolbox and so far I've been impressed with the new features. My favorite new feature is the ability to save customized searches, running them quickly and displaying the results to show thumbnails of the stock chart along with phase 1 and 2 scores. The custom search feature allows investors to select from a list of over 700 unique criteria, including Phase 1, Phase 2 and Big Chart scores, in a matter of minutes using a simple series of pull-down menus. This is incredibly powerful and saves a great deal of time when a user wants to quickly filter through thousands of stocks looking for the next big opportunity.

Some of the other new and improved features now available through the toolbox include:

1. A more attractive and intuitive interface that you can personalize the way you want
2. A greatly enhanced search engine, including the ability to save custom searches
3. Powerful, flexible and highly customizable charting with ProphetCharts, which replaces the Interactive Chart
4. The full version of MarketMatrix, a portfolio management tool with the power of a professional trading workstation
5. Superb features for options traders, like Bid/Ask charting, streaming greek data and targeted searches
6. Helpful educational features that point out where to go and what to do next
7. Vastly improved data feeds
8. Consistency between watch lists and portfolios
9. Pre-market and after-market quotes
10. Upgraded analyst coverage

Overall I am very satisfied with the upgrades and it did not take me long to grow accustomed to the new look and feel of the site. One thing that I would still like to see is the option to view thumbnails of stocks within a certain sector without having to do a workout that involves copying all the stocks over to your portfolio first.

On a side note, I had a chance last week to talk with the head of customer relations at Investools about the idea of "student discount pricing." Despite their agreement with me on it being a great idea, they do not have any plans to implement such discounts into the current $2000 initiation plus $60/month price structure. This is unfortunate to many college students interested in the market and this product who simply cannot afford it, even for limited education use. I think Investools should take a closer look at software giants like Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and many others whose student discount pricing comes without question.

Although I certainly do not base my investing decisions only on Investools, I do find it a useful source of information and I look forward to using this updated feature more in the future.

Investor Term of the Day: Monetary Reserve
A government's stockpile of foreign currency and precious metals. Monetary reserves are useful both for settling transactions involving foreign counterparties and for undertaking trading in foreign exchange and commodity markets. In general, the larger the monetary reserve, the better the country is able to engage in trasactions with foreign countries.
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