Investools Buys

Investools Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIM) has acquired, an online social networking platform for investors. No financial terms were disclosed. MyTrade had raised VC funding from Knight's Bridge Capital Partners. 




Investools Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIM) today announced the acquisition of, an online social-networking content platform for investors at all experience levels. mytrade aggregates news and market data searchable by ticker, insight from over 200 top financial blogs, charts, watch lists, streaming audio and video market commentary and investor education content in a user-customized interface. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Users can default to a home page which dynamically presents the most popular modules (or pods) of imported content or they can register and build their own customized web pages to support their unique investment needs. mytrade's user-customized platform enables users to create their own experience instead of relying on static content presented on traditional web sites which cannot be altered to suit relevant investor needs.

In addition to serving the needs of the growing base of investors who are seeking a flexible, Web 2.0 financial content aggregation platform, mytrade will be the first, but not the exclusive, platform to have access to thinkorswim's innovative new thinkPod trading technology.

thinkPod is a simple web-based application (also known as a “plug-in” or “widget”), for order entry, order tracking and portfolio management. The thinkPod widget will allow current and prospective thinkorswim customers to place live trades directly from mytrade.

Active thinkorswim customers are automatically enabled to log in to mytrade using their current username and password so that they have seamless access to place trades from the top-ranked thinkorswim software application, the web-based trading application, and now directly from their customized mytrade page. Investools Online, which is used by over 100,000 active students for analysis and investor education, will embed the thinkPod widget on key pages of its site during the second quarter of this year.

“Today's investors are seeking validation of trade ideas not just from traditional sources of financial information and analysis, but also from independent sources and each other. The flexibility of the mytrade platform allows users to define what content and information is important to them and create an experience to match, thus leapfrogging competitors in the brokerage, education and financial information verticals that cannot provide this content or flexibility on a single site.” said Lee K. Barba, Chairman and CEO of Investools Inc.

“To complete this experience, Investools will extend its unique investor education content, analytics and web-based trading platform onto, creating a single, customizable website on which users can research, discuss and trade stocks and options via widgets of thinkorswim's Web-based trading application, to be branded thinkPod. The acquisition of mytrade is consistent with our strategy of providing complementary, integrated education and transaction platforms that meet the needs of each investor segment in order to increase qualified customer acquisition at modest incremental marketing expense,” Mr. Barba added.

Later this year, mytrade will launch additional community-based functionality, as well as an API to permit developers to create mytrade pods for use by all users, to encourage viral content referrals and distribution.

In addition, thinkorswim anticipates securing distribution partnerships for thinkPod widgets so that thinkorswim trading capability can be accessed directly from many of the websites that thinkorswim's prospective and current clients are already using each day.

The customized content and tools mytrade users select can be easily drawn from any of thousands of different sources on the Internet with information ranging from stock charts to portfolios to financial stories and beyond. Users will soon be able to choose to share their unique amalgamation of investor information with other mytrade users who can adopt the same page with a single mouse click. The updated release of the mytrade site will be launched to users in March of 2008.

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For a quick look at the features of mytrade, you can watch the following video: l

To learn more about thinkPod, you can watch the following video:

About Investools (Nasdaq: SWIM)

Investools Inc. offers market-leading investor education and brokerage and related financial products and services for self-directed investors. Investools Education Group offers a full range of investor education products and services that provide lifelong learning in a variety of interactive delivery formats, including instructor-led synchronous and asynchronous online courses, in-person workshops, one-on-one and one-to-many online coaching programs and telephone, live-chat and email support. thinkorswim Inc., Investools' financial technology pioneer and industry-leading online brokerage firm, is focused on providing services to self-directed options traders and active traders. thinkorswim offers customers a broad range of products including equity securities, fixed income, index products, options, futures, other derivatives and foreign exchange. thinkorswim provides unique front end trading platforms that allow its customers to trade electronically and provides sophisticated trading tools and analytics, including tools for implementing complex, multi-leg options strategies. The products and services offered by Investools Inc. have received numerous accolades from third parties including thinkorswim's ranking by Barron's as its top rated software-based online broker and best for options traders (2006 & 2007), and Prophet's top Barron's ranking for best technical analysis tools (2001 through 2006).