TradingMarkets.com is going live this weekend with a Web site aimed at helping banks preserve their relationships with retail customers bitten by the Internet trading bug.
The Los Angeles on-line information company hopes banks will offer its mix of on-line trading courses, commentary, and up-to-the-minute market observations to their on-line customers.
That can help banks and their on-line brokerage affiliates hold on to those who want to trade more aggressively, said Steven Monaco, director of business development at TradingMarkets.com.
"If banks don't address [these needs], their customers are going to take $25,000 or $100,000 out of their accounts and put it in Schwab or E-Trade," Mr. Monaco said. "We help banks and other institutions educate people to be ready to trade."
Mr. Monaco said TradingMarkets.com - which until recently went by the moniker TradeHard.com and served a day-trading audience - stands apart from the trading information pack because its information comes from hedge managers and other professional traders, not from journalists and analysts.
"We believe the only people who should suggest where somebody should put money at risk are people in the trading community," Mr. Monaco said.
Among TradingMarkets.com's contributors: Kevin Haggerty, former head of trading for Fidelity Capital Markets; Mark Boucher, manager of the Midas Trust hedge fund; and Robert Pisani, a University of California at Berkeley professor and professional trader who developed many popular options pricing models.
A big part of TradingMarkets.com's mission is education, said Raul Pallares, president and chief executive officer. "We're teaching people how to fish, not handing them the fish," he said.
Mr. Monaco also said the Web site stands apart from other sites with news and information because its commentaries, courses, and news are focused on the strategies of short-term traders, not hyperactive day traders nor buy-and-hold investors.
The company decided to broaden its target market to this in-between group because it sees more consumers joining its ranks, Mr. Monaco said.
The site generates revenue from selling on-line advertising and from subscriptions, which range from $120 a year for basic commentaries and news to $300 a year for the basic information plus real-time market advice from professional traders.
The company will negotiate bulk discounts with banks that want to offer their customers its services, Mr. Monaco said.
TradingMarkets.com expects to find a buyer or go public this year. It has not sought venture capital, Mr. Monaco said, because that has not been necessary. "We're profitable now," he said.