Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stocks, mutual funds by request

The Oakland Press has made a decision to limit our print listings of stocks and mutual funds to exclusively those requested by our readers.

There are a number of reasons for this policy:

1. There are too many to list in the space available and the availability of live quotes online for free make print listings largely obsolete.

2. By limiting the number of stocks and funds that we print, we can print them larger which makes the list easier to read.

3. Those who do like to read their listings in the paper are a relatively small audience made up of people who do not have a computer or Internet access, or who are in the habit of following their stocks in print.

4. Readers like to see their stocks and funds in the paper. And they like the personal service of calling up a real human being and getting a real response.

As I am that person, I can also make a number of observations.

I get the most calls to add stocks and funds when the market is up. When it is going down, I get few calls. I suspect that these readers like good news.

Most of those who call are senior citizens, and quite often I talk to them about getting live time quotes online for free. They generally do not like computers, and are unwilling to make the change.

While it is a great thing that we have loyal readers, I also think that these people are missing out. I think the Internet is a great tool for seniors and they are missing out on an important and useful device for communicating, discovering, and sharing their feelings and thoughts. And many of them have the time to indulge in this activity.

So, we will continue to print your stocks and funds, but please do yourself a favor and go to the local library and see what you are missing online.


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