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American Express revamps online brokerage

09 October 2001  |  3501 views  |  0 American Express revamps online brokerage

American Express has revamped its online brokerage service to allow investors to measure the risk of buying or selling positions within their portfolios before making an investment or conducting a trade.

The brokerage's new Personal Portfolio Assistant (PPA) is an online analysis tool that enables investors to evaluate their holdings against a model portfolio based on their risk tolerance and investment objectives.

The PPA enables clients to hypothetically buy and sell investments to determine how these changes would affect asset class allocation, sector allocation and risk measures. The PPA also features direct links to research tools that help clients find investments that will appropriately rebalance their portfolio.

Francois Odouard, vice president of American Express Brokerage, comments: "In today's market, investors have to be keenly aware of the risks they are taking, and they need to make sure the amount of risk they are assuming is appropriate to their goals and their financial situation."

The revamped site also features a redesigned equity research area which includes quicker access to all research reports, the ability to research specific sectors and industries, extensive stock screening capabilities, personalised watch lists and alerts and quick links to company news, charts, financial statements, and technical analysis. The new equity research area is provided by Multex.com.

Other new features of the site include:
* the ability for clients to download their account information to Quicken and Microsoft Money;
* a new FDIC-insured sweep option for uninvested cash in the brokerage account. Interest paid on this account will be tiered based on the client's cash balance;
* e-signature capability in the application process; and
* a facility allowing client's paycheques to be directly deposited into their brokerage accounts. Uninvested cash is automatically "swept" into the client's choice of 15 different dividend or interest-bearing accounts.

"These enhancements to American Express Brokerage are all designed to make it easier for our customers to integrate brokerage activities into an overall financial planning process," says Odouard.

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