Web18-owned financial information portal Moneycontrol.com has launched a real-time investment alert service called Investment Watch, which intends to provide real-time market alerts and updates about their portfolio, reports IndiaDigitalReview.

The service also intends to offer stock quotes, commodity prices, currency rates, information on Indian and global market indices as well as the ability for the user to track the ups and downs of stocks in their portfolio. Moneycontrol.com says that users can receive these alerts through SMS, Emails or notifications through their desktop app and also customize them based on their preference.

Offerings: We checked the service and found that the service currently offers seven different packages catering to the various aspects of the financial markets. These include Stock Watch, Portfolio Watch, Market Watch, Commodity Watch, Mutual Fund Watch, Global Index Watch and Currency Watch. Users can opt for either of the packages by logging in with their Moneycontrol account credentials. Alternatively, users can also login to the service using their email address or mobile number and a pin number provided by the portal.

Targeting Existing Users Only? Interestingly, we found that there is currently no way to register directly for the service, so we assume that the portal will be promoting these service to its existing customers who already keep a track of their stocks on the portal.

Speaking of services, each of the above mentioned packages offers relevant alerts and market news on the respective market section. For instance, Stock Watch claims to provide daily price updates, market news, expert views and stock buying recommendations, stock performance updates, information on rights, dividends, mergers, board meetings and customizable price & volume triggers for any stock they already keep a track on their profile, while Portfolio Watch claims to provide updates like an overview of stocks in their portfolio and its net worth among others.

Pricing: The portal currently offers two different types of subscription packages: a three month package which costs Rs 299 and an yearly package for Rs 899. Note that these costs are for each of the above mentioned packages, with an exception of Portfolio watch package which costs Rs 1,499 for three months and Rs 4,499 for an year. It’s also worth noting that the service doesn’t offer any sort of free trial offering to allow users to try the service before purchasing it.

Will users buy it? While the service is essentially meant for the existing Moneycontrol.com users, we found the pricing to be expensive for users and are a bit skeptical about users signing up for a subscription based service, considering there are so many free alternatives.

Times Internet (Indiatimes*) offers a free community sourced open information sharing service like ET Speed, which offers real-time market information and the latest news updates from within ET, and other news sources, along with views from analysts, reporters and potential or existing investors.

Bloomberg also offers free mobile apps across iPhone, iPad, Android, and Nokia smartphones which offers business and finance news alerts, market information and portfolio tracking tools. In addition, several mobile operators also offer free stock alerts through SMS.