New “AOL Finance” A Winner

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AOL Money & Finance launched its new quote and chart pages today. They are not only better than the products from Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money; they are probably better than the chart and quote pages at any of the major financial sites.

TechCrunch has already given the new product a good review, and so has Alley Insider.

The two really outstanding parts of the new product are its advanced charting features and news section. The charts allow for 25-year looks at stock performance, and make comparisons to the major indices and other stocks easy. The charts have a number of interactive features that allow users to track share performance by day, volume, and price. A "seasonal performance" section allows users to look at stock performance each year back to 2003 showing investors which year shares performed well and which years they did not.

For those of us in the news business and most investors, the Relegence news feature pulls headlines by ticker from over 3,000 sources. Relegence was bought by AOL over a year ago. Google Finance has a similar but more primitive news section. The Relegence product allows headlines to be sorting into six segments including regional and blog coverage. The user can also set the news feed to bring in a very broad set of stories on a stock or focus more narrowly on headlines which have only very specific bearing on the company. Relegence may be the "killer app" for AOL Finance. It is certainly much more advanced than any competing product.

Navigation at the new AOL Finance is clean, easy, and usually intuitive. New features include short interest in stocks and other data that fairly few financial sites carry. The entire package taken as a whole is like having a Bloomberg terminal for consumers.

AOL Finance is close to catching Yahoo! Finance in total US pageviews as 24/7 Wall St. pointed out recently. The new product and its features increase the chances that AOL can move into first place.

Douglas A. McIntyre