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Welcome to OZ INVESTOR - A guide to clever investment for all Australians

Investing in Shares

Closing stock prices supplied by Sanford Securities

Per capita, Australians are the biggest share investors in the world. Investing in shares provides great growth, but also high risk. As such, it is always safer to diversify your portfolio by investing in several stocks, spread throughout several market sectors. Also, while day traders will tell you that there is a great deal of money to be made in the short-term, shares are best when held over a long-term period.

This section will detail strategies adopted by successful share investors, and is aimed at those looking to maintain their own share portfolio. This requires more on-going research than most investment options, and is recommended only for those willing to keep track of general market trends. If you do not wish to make this sort of time investment, or if you have yet to build enough wealth to invest in at least a dozen stocks, then a safer bet for you would be placing youir money into managed funds.

Choosing a Broker

Your Broker offers objective, feature and price-based comparisons between all Australian-based online brokers, as well as most major offline brokers as well. If you have yet to choose the broker that is right for you, this is a great place to start.

If you'd prefer to compare the services yourself, feel free to follow the links below. They represent the most popular online brokers in Australia. (listed alphabetically)

Picking Shares

Traders Circle has educated thousands of people on how to profit from the Stock Market. Get started with a free 2 hour seminar and achieve your financial freedom today.

HomeTrader is currently offering free 2 hour classes on trading the share market. Visit their site to book online today and you'll also receive a free Robert Kiyosaki book as your reward. Only valid in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane.

Shares Daily is the website equivalent of the Shares print magazine. It provides a wealth of invaluable information regarding market movements and share-picking tips.

Trading Room provides Australian investors with access to a range of market data and news to help them make informed investment decisions.

ValuEngine provides chart and trend-based analysis tools and commentary. This information can assist in guiding an investor towards identifying those stocks that contain great value.


Sophisticated Investments
It's a new financial year and with the volatile 2009/2010 behind you it is time to start looking at ways and means of improving the performance of your investment portfolio into the future.

Insurer's Rush Puts Promina On Back Foot (Sydney Morning Herald, 2nd May, 2003)
The task of successfully floating general insurance and financial services group Promina was made even harder yesterday by AMP's decision to immediately raise $1 billion from institutional investors.

It's All Downhill From Here (Sydney Morning Herald, 8th February, 2003)
Australia weathered the last two global economic crises, but this time will be harder, writes John Garnaut.

NY Employers See Recovery in 2003 (eMarketer, 23rd December, 2002)
The New York Times Job Market reports that 76% of employers think the US economy will recover in 2003, still a number of factors are necessary before they begin hiring in the new year.

Restoring Investor Trust Won't Be Easy (SiliconValley.com, 10th December, 2002)
In the wake of massive sales of stock by insiders during the economic boom, reform advocates have called for numerous changes in rules for corporate governance and executive compensation to restore investors' faith.

EchoStar-Hughes Terminate Merger (internet.com, 10th December, 2002)
Conceding to the FCC and DOJ, EchoStar will pay $600M cash to terminate proposed deal between nation's two largest satellite TV companies.

SEC Slaps Wall Street Over E-mail (internet.com, 3rd December, 2002)
Five Wall Street broker-dealers have been slapped with fines totaling $8.25 million for violating guidelines for e-mail record-keeping.

Federal Judge OKs Partial WorldCom Settlement (internet.com, 26th October, 2002)
Federal Judge Mark Rakoff signs off on a partial settlement between WorldCom and the SEC, under which WorldCom will pay an unspecified fine and submit to a court-appointed monitor.

SEC Upgrades Vivendi Probe to Formal Investigation (ITWorld.com, 20th October, 2002)
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has turned its inquiry into Vivendi Universal SA into a formal investigation, the French conglomerate announced.

Will Consumers Play Grinch? (CNN Money, 16th October, 2002)
Consumer spending has helped keep the U.S. economy afloat amid a heavy downturn in the value of its markets. But it may not be enough to save the holiday season.

Investors of the World, Unite! (Salon.com, 25th September, 2002)
Former chairman of the SEC Arthur Levitt declares the time is ripe for fighting back against Wall Street.

Members Of Rigas Family Indicted (The Washington Post, 24th September, 2002)
Three members of the Rigas family, which controlled Adelphia Communications Corp. for 50 years, were indicted yesterday on charges of conspiring to defraud investors out of more than $250 million and failing to disclose $2.3 billion in loans to the family.

The Face of Web-Trading Begins to Change (ElectricNews.net, 18th September, 2002)
As the number of on-line investors grows in Europe, their profile will change dramatically, forcing banks and financial institutions to change with them.

FBI Opens Corporate Fraud Hotline, Website (SF Gate, 6th August, 2002)
Hoping to weed out more corporate fraud in Silicon Valley, federal authorities set up a telephone hot line and Web site Monday that will solicit tips about suspected financial crimes.

How to Fix a Broken U.S. Economy (Salon.com, 24th July, 2002)
Judging by his performance to date, President Bush can use all the help he can get. Here are some expert suggestions.

A Fool's Paradise for CEOs (Salon.com, 23rd July, 2002)
It's not just the numbers that don't add up for today's corporations. The products they sell are usually broken, too, thanks to a focus on 'making things happen' over the traditional 'making things work' ethos.

WorldCom's Day of Reckoning (internet.com, 22nd July, 2002)
Hemorrhaging cash and beset by investigation and anxious creditors, the troubled telecom files the largest bankruptcy petition in U.S. history.

Deregulation's Big Lie (Salon.com, 16th July, 2002)
American FCC chairman Michael Powell says the WorldCom debacle may result in more telecom mergers. So who ends up losing? We all do, explains one industry expert.

Capitalists without a Clue (Salon.com, 13th July, 2002)
Once all-seeing captains of industry, America's CEOs are now playing the Sgt. Schultz dumbo card, braying "I know no-thing, no-thing!"

Invest Time Before Money (CyberAtlas, 10th July, 2002)
Finger-pointing investors admit to not doing their homework, but few share the blame for their stock market losses.

Mad Stock Disease (E-Consultant, 23rd May, 2001)
This year has seen some interesting action in the markets, and the general economy, with aggressive rate cuts and conflicting analyst forecasts the order of the day. With signs of a recovery in sight, this article ponders the immortal question, when is the best time to start increasing one's exposure to the markets in order to best capitalise on the gains made from a recovery?

Pounce: For a smooth ride (Personal Investor, February 2000)
With the economy showing signs of continued slowdown, Personal Investor has tracked down 6 quality mid-cap stocks that they expect will provide good returns in this environment.

Hot Tips for a Bountiful 2001 (NineMSN Money, 13th Dec, 2000)
Money Magazine reports on the favorite stocks pursues by some high-profile analysts and money managers leading in to 2001. The general concensus suggests that, while one should be cautious during a rough bear market such as this, there are growth opportunities to be had.

Tech Stocks

China: The World's Fastest Growing IT Market (eMarketer, December 23rd)
Though IT spending growth has slowed to single-digit growth in North America, government and corporate investments are aiding China's development.

You’ve Got Questions (MSNBC, December 16th)
They got the message. AOL Time Warner executives knew investors weren't happy and wanted some clear answers to the company’s problems. So during a four-hour presentation to Wall Street last week, company brass packed in enough announcements to fill a screen with pop-up ads.

AOL: Anatomy of a Long Shot (BusinessWeek Online, December 16th)
An inside look at how the troubled AOL Time Warner unit forged its make-or-break broadband plan.

U.S. Firms Move IT Overseas (CNET News.com, December 11th)
Under pressure from overseas rivals, U.S. companies selling information technology services have a new mantra: If you can't beat them, join them.

HP, Microsoft Reaffirm .Net Ties (CNET News.com, December 9th)
Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft on Monday tightened their partnership to promote the latter's .Net software initiative.

IBM to Buy Rational Software for $2.1 Billion (internet.com, December 6th)
IBM Friday moved to pick up its largest software acquisition since it nabbed Lotus in 1995 when it agreed to buy Cupertino, Calif.'s Rational Software for $2.1 billion in cash.

Judge Backs Sun, 'Kneecaps' Microsoft in Java Hearings (internet.com, December 6th)
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz made some unusual analogies in his court when he said Microsoft's tactics against Sun were akin to Tonya Harding's 'knee-capping' of rival Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan.

IDC: PC Shipments Will Surge in 2003 (internet.com, December 6th)
Research firm IDC Friday predicted a surge in PC shipments for the latter half of 2003, which would lead to projected growth in worldwide shipments of 8.3 percent for the coming year.

The New HP Way: World's Cheapest Consultants (Forbes.com, December 5th)
Tech giant Hewlett-Packard has seen the future of technology consulting. It's on the other side of the globe and it's really, really cheap. "We're trying to move everything we can offshore," HP Services chief Ann Livermore told Wall Street analysts at a meeting Wednesday. "We're aggressively realigning our resources." Short term, that means adding to the software and services personnel HP already has in India. Further out, HP expects China to also turn into a major consulting center.

Sony Dumps Microsoft for StarOffice (CNET News.com, December 5th)
Sun Microsystems announced a deal Wednesday to install Sun's StarOffice software on some European Sony PCs, marking another defection from dominant Microsoft products.

eBay Says Outlook Bright with Better Margins (Reuters, December 5th)
Internet auction powerhouse eBay Inc. said on Thursday its business continues to fire on all cylinders and it expects to meet profitability targets and boost cash on-hand.

Wi-Fi on the Verge of Mass Market Impact (internet.com, December 4th)
A standards group Tuesday said the wireless technology known as 802.11 or Wi-Fi should completely enter the mainstream by 2004 and has the potential to equal the sales of the most successful name brand consumer goods.

Back to Basics, On to Broadband for AOL (internet.com, December 3rd)
At its highly anticipated analyst day, America Online plans to map out its turnaround with new broadband growth strategy but the company also warned that advertising and commerce revenues will plunge 40-50 percent in 2003.

AOL: On the Road to Recovery? (BusinessWeek Online, December 3rd)
With the giant's old media businesses showing strength, the long-term outlook may offer investors some new hope.

Stocks That Rocked in 2002 (E-Commerce Times, December 3rd)
With the stock market wobbling unsteadily toward the 2002 finish line, producing gains that are modest at best and nonexistent at worst, good investments are few and far between. Even so, a few savvy investors have found some high performers amid the carnage.

Can Amazon Tune Up CDNow? (internet.com, November 26th)
German media group Bertelsmann, which has been steadily backing away from e-commerce, outsources the handling of its online music store to the e-tailing giant.

Will Sun Rise Again? (BusinessWeek Online, November 25th)
While investors worry about the company's very survival, CEO McNealy is plotting a path to supremacy.

E-Commerce Goes on a Roll (internet.com, November 25th)
Despite the IT downturn, a ravaged stock market and the threat of war with Iraq, the e-commerce economy in the United States keeps growing, to the tune of a 34 percent year-over-year increase for the third quarter, government figures show.

Tech Stocks for the Long Haul (E-Commerce Times, November 22nd)
Wall Street has battered tech stocks for more than a year, so one might think the Nasdaq would be littered with bargains. But recent gains in the tech sector have wiped away many of the best opportunities, and few stocks are still undervalued, according to analysts, who suggested that even over the long term, tech is unlikely to pay dividends.

Will Microsoft Play Nice Now? (E-Commerce Times, November 20th)
IDC research director Al Gillen said internal changes have produced a new sense of responsibility at Microsoft, and he credited the DOJ settlement with making the company more accountable.

IBM Inks $290M Supercomputer Contract (internet.com, November 19th)
The Department of Energy tabs IBM over the likes of Sun, HP and Cray to build two powerful supercomputers for research and nuclear weapons simulation.

A Shift in Focus for Hewlett-Packard Ads (NY Times, November 18th)
Carleton S. Fiorina, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, has brought her confident marketing touch to the company.

Gates Unveils ‘Smart Gadget’ Strategy (MSNBC, November 18th)
Innovation continues despite the high-tech industry's downturn, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates said Sunday as he unveiled a strategy to push 'smart' computing technology into everyday gadgets such as alarm clocks and pens.

Microsoft: Show and Tell at Comdex (internet.com, November 18th)
The software titan uses the Comdex trade show to unveil a new Windows XP Media Center PC manufacturers and issue a slew of product announcements, including target dates for the release of the final beta of Visual Studio .NET 2003 (code-named 'Everett') and Windows .NET Server 2003.

Wang Retires From CA, Kumar At the Helm (internet.com, November 18th)
Charles Wang, the founder and Chairman of Computer Associates, has resigned, effective immediately. Wang had stepped away from the day-to-day running of the business for months, and CA CEO Sanjay Kumar, 40, replaces him, as the company's new chairman.

HP Trumps Dell's PDA Entry (internet.com, November 18th)
Dell officially announced its entry into the handheld PDA market, lifting the wraps off a pair of Axim X5 devices running on Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 software. Dell's PDA plans, leaked in the press in recent weeks, puts the PC maker right in the Pocket PC thick of things, forcing market leader Hewlett Packard to release two new iPAQ models -- one matching Dell's $299 price point.

Capellas Takes WorldCom Reins (internet.com, November 15th)
The former HP president and COO (and Compaq CEO) takes charge at the disgraced and bankrupt telco.

Is eBay's Stock Too Hot to Touch? (BusinessWeek Online, November 15th)
It has a dizzying p-e ratio and appears priced for perfection, a promise that the online auctioneer may not be able to fulfill.

IBM Dips Toe Back Into the Handheld Waters (InfoWorld, November 15th)
Shunning the two largest handheld platforms, Palm and Pocket PC, IBM will announce Friday it has inked a deal with Sharp to create a new version of Sharp's Linux-based Zaurus handheld to be named the Enterprise Edition Zaurus.

Financial Turmoil Intensifies at Interpublic Group (NY Times, November 14th)
Third-quarter results at Interpublic came in far lower, and a restatement of past earnings far higher, than had been estimated only a month ago.

Legal Wars Have Changed Microsoft, CEO Says (Washington Post, November 13th)
Microsoft Corp. chief executive Steve Ballmer said yesterday that his company has "changed and grown" as a result of its lengthy antitrust battles and that it is "super-focused" on full compliance with terms of the settlement of its case with the Justice Department.

Microsoft to Invest in India (internet.com, November 12th)
With $400 million earmarked for software and business development in India, the software giant will make the region its largest non-manufacturing investment outside of the U.S.

HP's Capellas Departs Leaving Fiorina in Charge (internet.com, 11th November, 2002)
Six months after the completion of the largest high-tech merger in U.S. history, the former head of Compaq leaves HP, reportedly for a Worldcom gig.

Asia-Pac Claims Biggest Chip off Semiconductor Market Block (eMarketer, 5th November, 2002)
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) group reports in October 2002 that global semiconductor sales will increase by 2.3% in 2002. The group also notes that its estimates for the market in 2003 has been updated downward -- from $173 billion to $166 billion -- due primarily to lower expectations for discrete semiconductors and microprocessors. Nonetheless, global semiconductor sales will rise, according to WSTS, by 16.6% in 2003 and 19.2% in 2004.

IBM Starts Think-ing (internet.com, 5th November, 2002)
Big Blue says it will re-brand its PC line and related services with the 'Think' motto that's been the company's byword for nearly a century.

Judge OKs Microsoft Settlement (CNN Money, 1st November, 2002)
A federal judge on Friday approved most of the provisions of an antitrust settlement between Microsoft Corp. and the Justice Department, largely setting aside concerns by some states that the sanctions were too light on the software titan.

The New Leader of I.B.M. Explains His Strategic Course (NY Times, 31st October, 2002)
Samuel J. Palmisano declared that I.B.M. was making a $10-billion bet on a strategic shift toward what it calls "on-demand computing." Meanwhile, some analysts suggest that as long as IBM perceives on-demand computing as something that its customers get only from Big Blue, its products and services will fall short of its vision, as explored in this column.

AOL Time Warner to Restate 2 Years (internet.com, 23rd October, 2002)
AOL Time Warner said it would restate financial results for eight prior quarters as part of an internal probe of accounting practices from AOL's dot-com heyday during the late 1990s and early 2000.

Preparing for the Powell Factor (ISP Planet, 18th October, 2002)
FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell says the best remedy for the US telecom sector's economic woes is to undo the very regulations that helped bring about innovation in the first place.

Microsoft Reaps Licensing Policy Bounty (internet.com, 17th October, 2002)
Microsoft reported robust earnings Thursday, buoying the wobbly tech sector and giving a glimpse into the performance of its controversial volume-licensing software policy.

Yahoo Turnaround Looking More Secure (Reuters, 7th October, 2002)
Its days as the Internet darling with the golden touch are long gone, but when Yahoo Inc. reports earnings this week it could earn a different distinction, as the media company that pulled off a turnaround in one of the toughest business climates in years.

AOL's Miller: The Members Shall Lead Us (internet.com, 3rd October, 2002)
In his first public comments since taking the reins at America Online, CEO Jonathan Miller talks of a resurgent AOL whose strength is in its commitment to member service.

Dell Makes Its Move Into Printer Market (internet.com, 24th September, 2002)
A deal with Lexmark heralds the computer maker's attempt to shift its direct-sales model to a new market, while taking on incumbent printer giant HP.

The Economics of Apple (E-Commerce Times, 24th September, 2002)
Before Steve Jobs retook the reins at Apple Computer in 1997, many in the industry had begun to sound the death knell for the innovative but beleaguered company. But in a stunning turnaround, Apple pulled itself out of a pool of red ink and began booking positive earnings. Now, despite shrinking market share - about 4 percent compared with Windows' 95 percent - Apple is holding its own and making money.

AOL Signs on for New IBM Blade Server (internet.com, 24th September, 2002)
Big Blue unveils its latest blade server product, accompanied by a major customer win in AOL Time Warner.

SEC Stops Swapping Strategy (internet.com, 20th August, 2002)
The practice of selling bandwidth to other carriers, while buying an equivalent amount from that carrier for the same price, is a thing of the past - at least in terms of reporting it as revenue. The regulators said companies might be forced to restate its past financials as a result. The SEC is also looking at a related deal between WorldCom's UUNet unit and AOL, where the two engaged in a series of suspicious transactions that appear to have composed a revenue-boosting 'round-trip.' More on that is noted within this TechNews article.

Are Tech Companies Fraud Magnets? (E-Commerce Times, 14th August, 2002)
Stock option ownership, coupled with a booming economy, put management on a collision course with temptation. And that was particularly true in the high-tech sector, which saw the sharpest growth.

Is the Tech Recession Over? (internet.com, 31st July, 2002)
Corporate America is spending more on IT equipment and services for the first time since late 2000, indicating an end to the recession that has cast a shadow over the entire tech landscape, according to a new report.

Accounting Options: A New Tech Order (ZDNet, 30th July, 2002)
Technology companies fighting against changes in how stock options are expensed are battling the powerful chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, many members of Congress, investor sentiment and, now, each other.

AOL COO Stepping Down (internet.com, 18th July, 2002)
As the media giant prepares to unveil its second quarter earnings next week, reports say management is also preparing for the exit of AOL Time Warner's COO and interim America Online chief, Robert Pittman. A replacement is sought.

Materials Are Where to Find the Nano Action (Nanotech Planet, 17th July, 2002)
If you're looking for an eye-opener in the nanotechnology research released over the past week, you likely won't find one. If you're looking for a common thread, it's that nanomaterials provide the best near-term investment.

The New Big Blue (RedHerring.com, 7th June, 2001)
When Lou Gerstner took the helm at IBM back in 1993, few could have seen the company-wide tuirnaround that would ensue during his celebrated reign. Leading the mammoth company almost 900% above its low in just 8 years, Mr. Gerstner proved one of the most successful CEOs of all time. Now, on the eve of his expected departure from the firm, all eyes have turned to COO Sam Palmisano, who is next in line to take the throne. Does he have what it takes to manage one of the most influential companies in corporate America?

Global Chip Sales Experience Worst Year Ever in 2001 (Financial Times, 6th June, 2001)
With the sector's revenues expected to see a 14% drop this year, the domino effect spawned by the tech slide is finally hitting chip makers where it hurts. Forecasts from the Semiconductor Industry Association have suggested that the low has been met, and that this decline will be followed by strong, sustained growth during the next few years. Aside: It is worth noting, however, that one of the world's biggest chip makers, AMD, expects to post modest gains for this year, suggesting that there are still gains to be made in even the most bearish of markets.


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