MSN Money Central is an online hub for personal finance and investing information. Powered by the Microsoft Network, MSN Money Central joins Yahoo Finance and Google Finance as one of the premier personal finance portals on the web. Besides an in-depth section for research, MSN Money Central includes advice from some of the best financial writers available and up-to-the-minute news and data.
MSN Money Central Basics
MSN Money has always ranked among the top personal finance sites. The broad amount of information available on the site is the main reason. The main tabs cover news, investing, personal finance, taxes and small business. Other sections include a My Money section you can customize. The investing section features powerful research tools that allow independent investors and traders in-depth data about potential investments. To tap into this research, the investor just needs to add the ticker symbol of your stock or ETF in the quotes box.
Writers and Gurus
MSN Money Central is more than a center with a bunch of financial statistics. Writers add solid advice and offer opinion that can guide your investment decision-making. Jim Jubak is one of the most popular MSN Money Central columnists. Michael Brush is an expert in the investment category. Another advantage of MSN Money Central is that it serves as a connecting point to leading financial news services like the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine,
Powerful Investing Tools
While MSN provides solid information for the beginning investor, it also contains some heavy-duty research tools for investors who are ready to go beyond the simple price-to-earnings ratios that are available on most sites. For instance, type in the ticker symbol (the symbol that represents a company's stock) and an overview of the financial status will come up. On the left-hand navigation, you'll notice a section called Fundamentals. This section allows you to drill down into company reports, SEC filings, and insider trading activity. Click on Financial Results, and you can track the company's performance over time.
Money Central Secrets
MSN Money Central has several hidden gems for investment research. In the financial results section (discussed above), you'll notice a "key ratio" screen. This lets you compare performance of your country to its industry and performance and the S&P 500 in several categories including sales and income. Click on "profit margin"--a key performance factor--and you can see how your company's profit margin stacks up against the industry and S&P 500 averages. One more secret: Warren Buffet often rates a manager's performance as an integral asset in the company's success. In MSN Money Central, you can click on "management effectiveness" and review metrics that cover the effectiveness of a company's leadership.
Tips For Beginners
For beginning investors, MSN Money Central provides an education center. A beginner's guide steps you through the entire investment process--from deciding how much to invest to opening an account. There's also plenty of advice from experts in easy-to-understand articles and videos.
Matt Swayne is a journalist, writer and author with 15 years experience. He also wrote a book called "Haunted Valley... The Ghosts of Penn State." His works have appeared in newspapers, blogs and magazines, including Playboy Online.