National Discount Brokers, a largely on-line brokerage, unveiled a link between its Web site and that of the Center for On-line Addiction.
Investors who trade through www.ndb.com can now use it to access www.netaddiction.com. The center was founded in 1995 by Dr. Kimberly Young, a clinical psychologist.
One section of the site focuses on on-line trading. The site poses questions aimed at establishing whether a person is an "obsessive on-line trader," including:
Do you need to trade with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement?
Have you jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of on-line trading?
The site recommends that investors who answer "yes" access its "virtual clinic" or contact Dr. Young.
National Discount Brokers unveiled the link to the site last week. Dennis Marino, chairman and chief executive officer of the Jersey City- based company, said it is just another service to customers. "A lot of what we do is to provide customers with the necessary tools to help them to be self-directed," he said.
Those tools include what the firm calls NBD University, a personal finance educational program on the company's Web site.
National Discount Brokers has 130,000 on-line customers, who represent 65% of its business. It charges $14.75 per trade.
Mr. Marino said providing access to self-help counseling was not prompted by recent regulatory concern over the volume of investors using the Internet to buy stocks.
On-line trading accounts for roughly 25% to 30% of all trades, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is said to be examining some of the top companies to ensure that investors' rights are being protected.