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Finding a niche in financial sites

Instead of just editorial content and links, ClearStation allows investors to build portfolios that they can then share with the rest of the site.

In a move that proves yet again that financial sites are one of the hottest properties on the Net, a new site that attempts to take the mystery out of buying stock will launch today.

Executives at ClearStation realize they are charging into an already hot market with financial sites emerging daily and portal sites beefing up financial areas on those sites.

Kris Skrinak, president and CEO of ClearStation, like most CEOs who jump into the business, thinks he has a unique plan.

Rather than simply providing editorial content and links to stock tickers, ClearStation has set up a system where investors build portfolios that they can then share with the rest of the site (users must go through free registration).

Those portfolios, built specifically to share, are rated according to how well they perform and then shared with members.

ClearStation also has a program it uses to identify stock trends.

While financial sites abound, Skrinak, a veteran of Wall Street, says his site makes sense of the information.

"The problem is you can't use any of these sites to make money," he said. "The only way to make money is by identifying trends. Our site is targeted to the average investor online."

While it might sound counterintuitive for investors to share their own proprietary information, Skrinak said that the Web gives them a new outlet to talk about their passion: trading stocks.

"Investors formerly were a lonely lot," he said. "This really just engages people in the process."

ClearStation, which does not host trading, is privately financed.

Skrinak, a former president of start-up Capital Technologies, has worked on Wall Street including with Fisher Black at Goldman Sachs, Solomon Brothers, Swiss Bank Corporation, and Bank of America.

Doug Fairclough, one of the founding engineers at HotWired, founded the site.