Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Foliofn - Window Trading at it's Best

Foliofn allows individual investors to maintain folios of up to 50 stocks, complete 100 trades per month, and all for a fixed $19.99 per month or $200 per year. It is essentially like running your own mutual fund. Stock trades can be made twice a day at 11 am and 2 pm. Most securities are available as "window" trades, and if not, at a low trading fee of $4.

Investing only a few thousand dollars may not be worth the monthly fee, but the service offers significant savings when investing $10,000 or more. I use the service to manage my IRA, which I rolled over from the 401(k) plans I had left with prior employers.

The link to the site is foliofn.com. Here is what they have to say about their service:

FOLIOfn's system offers the first real alternative to individual stock picking and mutual funds, allowing you to easily own a portfolio of securities or other securities without the complexities, risks, and costs of building it one security at a time.

A Folio is a group of securities that you can purchase in a single transaction using the FOLIOfn system. FOLIOfn offers all kinds of Folios. You can select a "Ready-to-go" Folio or build your own from scratch. A Folio can hold anywhere from one to 50 securities, but Ready-to-go Folios generally have 20 to 30 securities. Some Folios focus on a particular sector or industry while others are more broadly based. You can customize any Folio to meet your preferences.

FOLIOfn combines benefits of mutual fund investing (diversification, simplicity) with advantages of stock investing (tax management, corporate voting rights), while eliminating many of the disadvantages of both.

When you invest in a Folio you may:

  • Buy and sell up to 50 securities in a single transaction
  • Place orders in dollar amounts
  • Trade commission-free in our daily windows
  • Control your taxes, maximizing after-tax returns
  • Control risk by specifying the risk profile of your Folio

Click here to see a list of Ready-to-go Folios and the securities in each Folio.

From Forbes.com, which votes foliofn as one of their "best of the web" favorites:

The magic keyword here: customization. Foliofn believes mutual funds are archaic; instead the site lets you create and invest in your own fund portfolios containing up to 50 stocks. Choose from aerospace stocks to retail REITs. Not sure where to invest? The Folio Wizard can help you pick stocks based on your expectations and risk level and lets you take a test drive with "play" money. You can also choose from nearly 100 pre-established folios that range from the typical (i.e. consumer staples) to ones with a socially responsible bent (for example, companies with women board members). Foliofn also acts as a traditional online brokerage: Choose from four plans that vary in fee structure based on how much you trade. There's no account minimum and you can purchase stock in fractions.

BEST: Lets you diversify to your heart's desire.

WORST: Site assumes visitors are intermediate to experienced investors.

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