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Rating:AOL Signs Up For Advice Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, November 04, 1999

AOL Signs Up For Advice

Reported by Hayley Green

America Online (NYSE: AOL) today said it has signed a two-year agreement to provide Financial Engines' portfolio forecasting and personalized online investment advice to AOL's Personal Finance Channel and Netscape Netcenter's Personal Finance Channel. According to AOL, there are 19 million members of AOL and 20 million registrants with Netscape.

Rob Shenk, executive director of AOL's Personal Finance Channel, said that Financial Engines' Forecaster will be available in the coming months to individuals tracking the more than 10 million portfolios through these AOL properties.

Investors will have access to a free investment forecast.
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In addition, Financial Engines' Forecaster service will provide portfolio risk analysis for of AOL members and Netscape Netcenter visitors.

"The Forecaster service is easy to use, yet it utilizes sophisticated methods that previously have been available only at a very high cost to the largest professional investors," stated Shenk.

"We examined a lot of different offerings. From a technical and a business standpoint, Financial Engines really stood out," an AOL spokesperson told InvestmentWires.

A visitor to AOL's Personal Finance Channel can will have the ability to find out what his or her portfolio of specific investments might be worth in the future.

"We might have a few introductory events with someone like Bill Sharpe, who is the heart and soul of the engine. We don't have plans to have ongoing chats with them," Shenk told the InvestmentWires.

"This allows us to provide our members with the ability to take their portfolios to the next level. To ask the question: is this the right portfolio for me? Financial Engines will help our members understand the appropriateness of their holdings. Not just for retirement, but for all their investments," Shenk concluded.

"It will be a nice seamless interaction," Christopher Jones, vice president of financial research and strategy, Financial Engines, told InvestmentWires. "There will be a button on the AOL service that will take the investor to their forecast."

Jones explained that the product will appear the same as Financial Engines' modules on Money.com.

"This alliance helps us in substantial ways to broaden our reach. It gives us the opportunity to provide value-added service and to build relationships with investors, not just in the 401(k) space. We think that AOL is a great strategic partner in terms of what we can do together, and we can aggressively grow our business," Jones concluded.

In addition, investors are given access to portfolio risk analysis provided by Financial Engines. Investors who want specific 401(k) advice on how to improve their forecast can subscribe to the Financial Engines advisory service at an additional charge.

Tony Pennino assisted with this article. 

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