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Thursday, December 04, 2008

The FICS is in at Fidelity

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Fidelity is rolling out a new Web page designed to keep investors better informed of the latest market news. No, the Boston Behemoth is not adding teams of reporters to compete with Dow Jones, Reuters and others (at least so far as we know), rather the site will aggregate news and commentary.

Even so, Fidelity has turned to a portfolio company to run the site. Fidelity Interactive Content Services LLC ("FICS") is headquartered in New York City and will select and oversee the content.

The site (see it here) will link to news stories from 19 media outlets and more than 20 popular personal finance columnists.



New Fidelity.com to Offer Robust Financial News & Insights, Expert Commentary and Personal Finance Content in Addition to Existing Content, Tools and Functionality

Fidelity Investments today announced it will soon begin the rollout of a new home page for Fidelity.com. The re-designed page will provide real-time financial market news, expert commentary, and timely personal finance content, helping investors to better manage though ongoing market fluctuations and make more informed decisions about their personal finances.

"Investors today need timely and reliable financial information to make smart investing decisions, especially in times of market and economic uncertainty," said Sean Belka, senior vice president at Fidelity. "By bringing independent personal finance information and real-time market insights to Fidelity.com, we can now provide investors with more of the information they need to effectively manage their financial lives in one online destination."

Today more than 55 million U.S. households are going online for financial news and investing insights and that number is projected to increase to 72 million by 2014(1). In fact, average daily visits to Fidelity.com in late September and early October, increased by more than 50 percent(2), with more than a quarter of a million investors proactively accessing news and market-related data that is currently on the site. During this same period, customer calls into Fidelity increased 30-40% with many investors seeking guidance and reassurance to help them understand the changing market conditions.

Investors told Fidelity in a research effort undertaken in September that in fluctuating markets like these, the information they find most valuable is: market insights from leading experts, up-to-the-minute financial news stories and easy-to-view market indices. All of this content will be featured in the new home page design. This more comprehensive and timely news and information will be selected and published by Fidelity Interactive Content Services (FICS), a new Fidelity (FMR LLC) company. FICS will oversee the content on Fidelity's new home page, including third-party news feeds, personal finance articles, special financial reports on the markets, and even custom-built technology tools that allow users to better understand how their financial behaviors compare to others.

On a daily basis, Fidelity's new home page will prominently feature links to hundreds of news stories, continuously updated from 19 well-known media sources, and including timely commentary from more than 20 popular personal finance columnists. The page offers visitors six informative sections:

-- Today's Highlights: Up to the minute financial news from leading sources, including breaking business and market news, when appropriate.

-- Personal Finance: A collection of articles from many industry-leading financial columnists to help answer investors' questions across a broad range of topics, presented with tools, calculators and other resources by topic (e.g., retirement, saving & spending, college).

-- Investing Tips and Tools: Investing ideas from the industry's top sources, presented with links to planning and assessment tools.

-- Expert Insights: Ongoing commentary and insight from a wide variety of financial experts from both external organizations and Fidelity.

-- Play & Profit: New, unique tools, quizzes and interactive features, including a peer assessment tool to help investors better understand how their spending and saving habits measure up against other investors, both nationally and by zip code.

-- Markets: Expanded market data, including news and commentary on both U.S. and international financial markets, and a ranking of the day's market movers. In addition to robust content, Fidelity's research has found that easier, more intuitive navigation capabilities is one of the top three critical components investors want from their financial Web site. As a result, Fidelity's new home page will offer investors enhanced contextual navigation capabilities, making it easier to find relevant information in a timely manner.

For example, investors can mouse over a company's ticker symbol within an article to view the last stock price or click right through to a comprehensive research section with independent research reports and comprehensive fundamental data to learn more about the company. The introduction of the new Fidelity.com home page will be completed in phases, rolling out simultaneously to both customers and non-customers, over the next six months.

About Fidelity.com

Fidelity Investments Information Center on the Internet was launched in February 1995 to provide investors with information about Fidelity's products and services. At that time, it was the first online site to be established by a financial services company. Since then, Fidelity has continually updated the site to meet the evolving needs of investors, including the addition of many industry-leading enhancements such as real-time online account statements, interactive online guidance tools and customer service via online chat. Today, Fidelity.com provides more than 2.4 million visitors per week with news and information, customer resources, tools and information on Fidelity's products and services, including brokerage, retirement, investments, insurance, annuities, and college savings.

About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services, with custodied assets of nearly $2.7 trillion, including managed assets of over $1.2 trillion as of October 31, 2008. Fidelity offers investment management, retirement planning, brokerage, and human resources and benefits outsourcing services to 24 million individuals and institutions as well as through 5,500 financial intermediary firms. The firm is the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans, the largest mutual fund supermarket and a leading online brokerage firm. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.

About Fidelity Interactive Content Services Fidelity Interactive Content Services LLC ("FICS") is a Fidelity company with main offices in New York, New York. FICS seeks to present users with objective news, information, data and guidance on personal finance topics drawn from a diverse collection of sources including affiliated and non-affiliated financial services publications and FICS-created content. FICS is a Fidelity company and is affiliated with other Fidelity companies, such as Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC ("FBS"), an SEC registered broker-dealer and member NYSE, SIPC. FBS makes available a full range of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to individual and other investors through retirement and non-retirement accounts. FBS services its customers through local investor centers, regional telephone service centers and the internet. 

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