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Technology Provides Online Options

Using new technology provided by w-Trade Technologies of New York,, also of New York, became the latest online brokerage firm that will allow investors to purchase and redeem mutual funds using a range of wireless electronic devices, according to Richard Franco, a spokesperson for w-Trade.

"With Fidelity and some of the other folks, you're limited to one specific electronic device," Franco said. SURETRADE will enable investors to gain access to their accounts through a whole range of wireless devices, he said. Devices like Palm Pilots, cell phones and two-way pagers can be used through w-Trade's technology, which is currently undergoing a patent review, Franco said.

Other w-Trade customers offering mutual funds online include Dreyfus Brokerage Services of Beverly Hills, Calif., Wall Street Discount Corporation of New York and Firstrade Securities of Flushing, N.Y., he said.

Mutual Funds offered through SURETRADE will be available to handheld electronic device-users in April, according to Charles Salmans, a company spokesperson. All 3,000 mutual funds offered by will be available, he said. The service will cost $30 a month and will include commissions starting at $7.95 per transaction, he said.