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Internet proves investor boon

THE Internet is proving to be a powerful tool for those investors who can use it to the full.

Self-proclaimed small investor Andrew Callaghan said there was a wealth of current investment information available on the net for those prepared to look.

“The good thing about the Internet is you can get company news as it happens,” Mr Callaghan said.

In fact, servers can be programmed to email mobile phones to alert the owner of certain company information such as the release of a new report or a particular stock’s price reaching a certain level.

“A few years ago investors relied on what their brokers told them. You could only get buying and selling prices and not a lot more,” Mr Callaghan said. “Now you can get virtually the same information on your computer screen as brokers do.

“One thing you don’t get is the broker numbers attached to trades. If you have the broker number, you can tell if a sudden large share trade has been sparked by a particular company’s broker.

“No broker can watch your stock as closely as you can watch it yourself.”

Mr Callaghan said it was safe to trade on the Internet providing the steps were followed carefully.

He said some brokers had filters built into their trading systems to pick up clients’ anomalous trades, such as the purchase of an unusually large amount of stock or at a price much higher than the current stock price.

Mr Callaghan said reading share trader Internet chat pages was no different to talking to people in a pub.

“A lot of my bad trades have come from talking to people and buying the stock they recommended without researching it first,” he said. “And you can’t always believe what you read on websites. You need to make sure the information is current.”

Mr Callaghan said those active on the Internet started to build up informal clubs. He has about twenty people in his ‘club’ who keep each other informed of happenings on the stock exchange.

“I’ve never even met a lot of these people,” Mr Callaghan said.

He said finding information on the Internet could evolve into a career.

In the past, Mr Callaghan has been approached informally by the Australian Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for Internet-based information. He also conducts web searches on behalf of other companies.

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