Learning the Stock Market Ropes

Learning the ropes of the stock market can be as daunting as the first day of kindergarten. But just as schools provide the resources children need to learn the basics of reading and writing, the Internet offers beginning investors the tools and resources they need to learn the fundamentals of investing.

Armed with the vast online financial resources, novice in-vestors can approach the stock market with the confidence and knowledge to make smarter financial decisions. One personal finance service available online is CNBC onMSN Money from Microsoft. The site offers powerful tools, such as the Research Wizard, StockScouter and Stock Screener that make learning the investing ABCs easy and convenient.

Analyze the essentials: Beforemaking financial decisions, savvy investors consider the fundamentals of a stock: How much have other investors been willing to pay for the stock?; How much are investors likely to pay for the stock in the future?; What catalysts will change investors’ perceptions of the stock going forward? The Research Wizard helps the investor find the answers by guiding them through an evaluation of the price history, price target and catalysts.

Be prepared with a reportcard: After learning the funda-mentals, investors analyze and rank the return expectations of stocks. Previously only available to professional money managers, the StockScouter stock rating system helps investors to quickly assess a stock’s potential for out performing the broader market within a six- to12-month period. The rating system ranks stocks on a scale from 1–10, making it easy to know which stocks get the best grades.

Condense the options: Equipped with a list of the smartest investments, seasoned investors determine the stocks and funds that best meet their individual investing objects and style—whether they are short- or long-term investors. The powerful StockScreener scans a database of some 16,000 stocks and mutual funds and was designed with only one purpose—to help investors make smarter decisions. Choose from pre-defined searches or customize your own screen with more than 550 search criteria. Consumers can find the stocks with the greatest price momentum during the past month or locate funds with low expensesand historically high returns. CNBC on MSN Money is located exclusively on MSN. To learn more about services available through this unique site, visit http://www.money.msn.com, http://www.cnbc.com or MSN at http://www.msn.com.

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