MENLO PARK, Calif. - E-Trade Group Inc. has enhanced the two-year-old Bond Center on the "Destination E-Trade" section of its Web site.

Bond Center is aimed at customers who want to diversify their portfolios and preserve their principal through fixed-income investments.

The redesigned Bond Center, brought online Wednesday, includes more bond offerings, real-time market data, and unique research and analytical tools, E-Trade said.

E-Trade now offers up to 7,500 fixed-income securities through more than 25 dealers making markets in a wide selection of all major fixed-income products, including Treasuries, agencies, corporates, municipals, and certificates of deposit.

The Bond Center carries informational content from SmartMoney.com and the Bond Market Association. Calendars, economic indicators, commentary, and tutorials on bond investing from "SmartMoney.com University" are meant to help customers build a bond investment strategy.

The company is also promoting commission-free trading on Treasuries through April 31. Customers usually pay $40 per transaction on small trades.

"With the launch of our newly enhanced Bond Center we're democratizing the bond market for individual investors in the same way that we democratized the stock market five years ago," said Mitchell H. Caplan, chief banking officer.

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