AOL, S&P; in Deal to Offer Advice

From Reuters

America Online Inc. announced a deal with Standard & Poor's Corp. that will allow investors to gain access in cyberspace to tailored advice on their portfolios.

S&P; Personal Wealth, launched in January, is one of the newest and biggest providers of specific recommendations to investors who type in their stock holdings, financial goals and risk tolerance.

Standard & Poor's Consumer Markets, a division of McGraw-Hill Cos., which owns Business Week magazine, is allowed to give the investment advice because the service is produced under the status of registered investment advisor.

"For $8 a month for AOL members, they get an online broker, which is really an amazing deal," an AOL spokesman told Reuters.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

AOL, the world's leading online service, usually has its partners either pay AOL to use its services, or arranges a revenue-sharing agreement without payments, according to an industry source. S&P; was not believed to have paid AOL for this deal, the source said.

The S&P; Personal Wealth service will be featured on AOL's Personal Finance Channel, the companies said.

AOL, based in Dulles, Va., operates two online services: America Online and CompuServe.

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