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Financial adviser specializes on Net

Quote.com is building a portfolio specializing on its online financial information.

Quote.com, a small, three-year-old distributor of information services via email, is building a portfolio of online financial information from share prices to in-depth financial analysis for both professional investors and hobbyists.

The company wants to sell its Internet expertise to finance firms, such as its unannounced relationship with Charles Schwab & Company, the world's largest discount stock broker, and financial content to Internet companies such as Industry.Net, Infoseek, Playboy, and Sprynet. Quote.com also plans to provide financial content through fax, pagers, and Network Computers.

Today, Quote.com announced an array of new content providers for its service: Vickers Insider Trade Reports, Nelsons Publications, Zacks Investment Research, and Disclosure Incorporated. Vickers, for example, will now notify Quote.com subscribers via email anytime an insider at a company in their portfolio reports a trade.

Quote.com already offers a menu of free services, called QFree, as well as tiered subscriptions ranging from $9.95 to $42.95 a month, with additional services available for additional fees. The company has about 125,000 subscribers, about 10 percent of whom sign up for pay services.

"Our strategy is to be as competitive a free site as any, but the real value is in the pay services," Noosheen Hashemi, vice president of Quote.com's marketing and business development, said.

"This is a place where people make money," Hasheemi said of Quote.com's subscription model. "This is serious stuff. Subscribers will support this as an investment, not a cost."

To beef up those services, in recent weeks the company has:
--added new partners to distribute Quote.com content on their Web sites, including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and others.
--started selling advertising to financial services firms like Charles Schwab, E*Trade, Individual Incorporated and Strong Funds.
--launched its QLive service, which provides current stock prices and other financial information on the Web sites of publicly traded companies. Netscape Communications is QLive's first subscriber.

No single company competes head to head with Quote.com's range of services, but many provide some financial information that could be competitive. Those include Intuit, which last year acquired the Galt mutual fund site and recently bought Interactive Insurance Services; The Wall Street Journal; America Online; and Data Broadcasting Corporation, another financial data provider.

But Quote.com pursues what Hashemi calls a "promiscuous" strategy, partnering with anyone, even potential competitors. The company, for example, has opened discussions with PointCast, which downloads news headlines to Web-connected PCs as screensavers and which some consider a rival.

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