Last week's initial public offering by the Palo Alto, Calif., company, a retirement plan advisor co-founded by a Nobel Prize winner, affirmed investor belief in a business model offering low-cost sophisticated retirement advice to individual investors.

In its debut, Financial Engines' shares were originally offered at $9 to $11 each, but priced at $12, and closed Monday more than three times their initial estimate at $18.55. "The market is looking for quality," said Bill Buhr, an IPO strategist at Morningstar.

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