Quicken.com, Intuit’s e-finance site, has launched several new features, including two different ways to access key financial info — such as portfolio data — through the Web site itself and via an e-mail summary that goes out after the stock market closes.
“The market’s been in terrible shape over past 12 months,” Product Manager Charlie Vestner told MacCentral. “Even before that, consumers were looking for brand names they could trust. The revised Quicken.com is designed to address three problems of its users: the time crunch, wasted money, and a lack of confidence.”
According to Intuit, the average consumer spends 155 hours annually managing their finances. American households waste over $100 billion a year due to financial mistakes. Seventy percent of Americans have no expert help when it comes to managing their finances. Intuit hopes the revamped Quicken.com will address some of these matters.
The new QuoteTracker, accessible from the Quicken.com investments portfolio page, lets investors keep a small version of their portfolio open on their desktop, so they can use their browser for other things — or even close it altogether. Unlike other portfolio products, the Quicken.com QuoteTracker allows consumers to instantly access news, alerts, and other analysis with a fly-over of the mouse, according to Product Manager Laura Aaronson.
“Daily e-mail updates provide consumers with pertinent information about their investment portfolios at a glance, then lets them drill down into any additional info in order to put the day’s activities into context and even to identify investment ideas,” Aaronson said. “Consumers continue to struggle with an increasingly complex financial life while they’re under more and more time constraints. Whether on the road, in the office, or at home, Quicken.com provides consumers with access to key information when they want it and where they need it.”
Quicken.com Mobile enables consumers to see their investments portfolio from mobile devices, giving investors a new choice of when, where and how to monitor their investment accounts. Just like the Portfolio Email updates, Quicken.com Mobile allows consumers to access the same personalized portfolio they’ve set up in Quicken 2001 or on Quicken.com, eliminating the headache of setting up or maintaining different portfolios in different places, Vester said. Quicken.com Mobile, available for wireless Palm OS devices and Web-enabled mobile telephones, provides integrated news and alerts with clickable icons to help mobile users stay on top of their investments.
“Quicken.com Mobile offers the key features of Quicken.com, including portfolio, stock quotes, news and alerts related to consumer stocks and portfolios, to a wireless device, such as a personal digital assistant (PDA) or wireless Web telephones,” Aaronson said. “Quicken.com is the only mobile offering where a consumer can go to a single place to receive all of this information.”
The Web site has also beefed up its news sources. News from TheStreet.com, New York Times, CNET News.com, and The Motley Fool, has been added. Plus, original editorial content and tools has been added to provide ideas for investors.
Today Quicken.com today also released four months of index-stomping performance results from stocks identified by use of the site’s One-Click Scorecard. Quicken.com’s One-Click Scorecard provides consumers with free access to the insight and expertise of leading investment strategists, Vestner said.
One-Click Scorecard is the only free online stock research tool that applies the stock analysis methods of the leading experts to any stock that an investor is interested in, with just one click, he added. The addition of the Motley Fool’s “Foolish 8” analysis method now lets consumers make smarter, more confident decisions regarding small-cap growth stocks. The One-Click scorecard also helps consumers find new ideas for investments, by identifying the top stocks from the entire stock market that rate “strong interest,” according to the experts’ approaches, Vester said.
There are several other changes to the Quicken.com site. An Invest Now feature on all quotes-related sections of the site lets investors link directly to their preferred broker in order to make a trade, or open an account from Quicken.com while researching stocks or funds. This feature also automatically remembers the investor’s preferred broker, without requiring any set-up or registration.
Updates to MyFinances take the hassle of getting started, and gives consumers faster access to key account info. With account discovery features, consumers can now set-up a view of their credit card, banking and brokerage accounts quickly and accurately in less time, Vester said. Once setup, the option for consumers to store all their financial institution passwords under a single PIN makes it even faster to gain access to their data, he added.
Small Business Channel
has been completely revamped to make key information easier to find. A significant number of Quicken.com users are also small business owners, Vester said. Recent improvements to the Small Business Channel on Quicken.com not only makes the site useful for small biz owners to manage their investments, but for managing their overall business, as well, he added.
Content on the Small Business Channel is now arranged in local areas, such as “gain customers,” “manage employees,” and “run your office.”
Quicken.com now has a free resource for small business owners to evaluate their businesses. Through an alliance with Palo Alto Software, provider of business planning software, consumers can come to Quicken.com to evaluate their current business plans, or access plans for a new business idea. This plan walks the small business owner through 10 steps where they can set objectives, define a mission, determine the break-even, and identify keys to success.
Small business owners can now turn to Quicken.com for relevant advice on how to run their businesses. Through an agreement with Nolo, publishers of “how to” books for small businesses, consumers have access to articles designed to help them understand ways to better run their businesses.
“With about two trillion dollars lost on NASDAQ alone in the past 12 months, people are finding it harder and harder to find good value in today’s economy,” said Roy Rosin, Quicken.com’s director of marketing. “All the new features on Quicken.com are designed to help consumers make smarter, more confident investment choices.”