Messages: What Members Are Asking On-Line
by CI Staff
What investment tracking programs do you recommend for Mac users? I am aware that there is a version of Quicken that runs on the Max OS, but I was wondering if there were others that are better for tracking investments.
CI Editor Responds: As we mention in our annual Computerized Investing Guide to Buying a PC, which begins in this issue on page 18, the Mac has been enjoying a resurgence in recent years due to the success of Apple’s iPod digital music players. However, Microsoft Windows still enjoys a wide lead in the marketplace. As a result, the choice of Mac-based investment-related software titles is limited.
The comparison articles that appear in Computerized Investing always include software-based options for Mac users, when they are available. In addition, these comparisons usually include Web-based options as well, many of which you can use with either Windows or Mac OS.
The latest comparison of software-based portfolio management programs appeared in the July/August 2007 issue of Computerized Investing and is available in our archive of comparison articles at ComputerizedInvesting.com.
Furthermore, our annual “top picks” article begins in this issue on page 9 and includes our top Mac-, Windows-, and Web-based choices in a variety of investing areas, including portfolio management and tracking.
I am looking for a stock screener with a specific set of screening variables. Where can I find that information?
CI Editor Responds: When looking at the various stock screening services available, you will find a wide range of screening variables at your disposal. Our latest comparison of Web-based stock screening services appeared in the May/June 2006 issue of Computerized Investing. The comparison grid in the article outlines the database content of each screener, including company information, earnings estimates, ratios, and growth rates. Furthermore, we compare the historical financial data each service provides. This article is available in the comparison article archive on ComputerizedInvesting.com.
[Note that Reuters discontinued its PowerScreener services earlier this year.]
Do you send out E-mail alerts when you make changes to the Shadow Stock model portfolio at AAII.com?
CI Editor Responds: Over the years, we have received numerous requests from members to send E-mail alerts when changes are made to the AAII Model Portfolios as well as when the monthly passing company lists for the AAII Stock Screens are updated at the AAII Web site. However, many people do not receive the E-mails AAII sends to members because of the spam filters most E-mail systems now use.
In order to provide a more reliable means of alerting our readers and members to changes to the AAII Web site, we now offer RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds for several content areas of AAII.com, including the AAII Stock Screens and Model Portfolios. This service, which is free, allows you to subscribe to AAII-related content and then use any of several free RSS “aggregators” to receive updates when the Web content has changed.
For more information on RSS and how to subscribe to AAII’s feeds, please visit the AAII Web site at www.aaii.com/rss.
I want to invest based on your model mutual find portfolio. However, it is my understanding that I need to invest in all of the mutual funds and I currently do not have the funds to do so. What is your advice?
CI Editor Responds: AAII’s Model Mutual Fund portfolio was conceived and is managed by AAII’s Chairman Dr. James Cloonan. Its purpose is to illustrate how individual investors, following some basic rules, can create a low-maintenance mutual fund portfolio that will outperform the overall market, with lower risk, over the long term. Twice a year, Dr. Cloonan examines the portfolio and makes changes as dictated by portfolio rules.
The Model Mutual Fund portfolio contains 10 funds, but you do not have to own all 10. The typical mutual fund, by its very nature, is diversified, so average mutual fund risk is reduced only slightly by combining them into a portfolio of funds. However, Dr. Cloonan emphasizes that you can still have too few funds, increasing your exposure to individual funds. For that reason, he recommends holding at least four different funds, and investing equal dollar amounts in each fund.
For more information, visit the Model Portfolios area of AAII.com at www.aaii.com/aaiiportfolios.