The Net's Buried Treasure

There's plenty of trash out there, but regulators and others offer terrific stuff for free

Online investing is growing up fast. What used to be a marginal pastime for a few devotees has become almost a necessity, particularly for investors venturing into high-tech and small-cap stocks. Internet message boards, derided as "chat rooms" in the press, can and do move markets. And though stock promoters continue to infest the Internet, sometimes via mass "spam" E-mailings, tough action by the Securities & Exchange Commission and other regulators has put the shadiest operators out of business.

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