Document Type



The rise of the Internet opens up new possibilities and creates new challenges for investors. The possibilities include ease of use, cheaper trading costs, and greatly improved access to information. The challenges include information overload and a temptation to overtrade. The present paper discusses how brokerage firms can improve their web site designs in order to meet these challenges and opportunities and to better facilitate the needs of individual investors. Specifically, the paper discusses how an objectoriented information representation system can be used to enable both investor-specific information, such as risktolerance level, investment time horizon, and tax status, and more general information from the financial markets themselves, such as company P/E levels, to be integrated into a consistent web presentation that will facilitate the investor’s making more intelligent investment decisions. Such an information representation system would be structured hierarchically, with the investor-specific information at the top of the hierarchy, driving the application of market-level, then industry-level, and, at the bottom of the hierarchy, company-specific information. Finally, the paper discusses the feasibility of implementing such a system and some of the promises and pitfalls that may arise from its implementation.