Online investing makes it easy for the regular Joe (or Jill) to take control of their finances and investments — as long as the wealth of financial information out there (both good and bad) doesn't prove too overwhelming. Here's a list of quick online investing tips that are definitely golden needles hidden in the World Wide Web haystack:

  • Quickest way to get stock information. If you're in a hurry and want basic information about a stock, fast, hit the search engines. Enter a stock's ticker symbol into the search blank in all the popular search engines, including Google, Bing.com and Yahoo. You'll immediately get the basic information about the stock, including a chart of the stock price, price quote, and market value. If the company's ticker symbol is a word, such as Caterpillar and its symbol CAT, you may need to enter "quote:" and then the symbol. Using Caterpillar as an example, you would enter "quote: CAT" into the search engine's search box.

  • Going off the beaten path for stock information. WolframAlpha probably isn't the most famous search engine, but it's pretty useful for investors looking for quick answers. Just enter a stock symbol in the search box and WolframAlpha gives you a page chock full of summary data about the company. You'll also find a handy chart that compares the stock's risk and expected reward against other leading companies in the industry.

  • Instant access to Yahoo Finance and Google Finance. You can access these popular investing sites by visiting their front pages and clicking the appropriate links. But here's a better and more direct way: Just type "finance.yahoo.com" for Yahoo Finance and "finance.google.com" for Google Finance.