Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
Stock WatchTower for Mac
Stock WatchTower downloads data and charts from multiple Web sites to help investors sort stocks based on user-defined criteria. The newly updated version, 1.2, centers on two elements of the investing process: finding stocks with good potential for growth based on certain characteristics; and providing the statistics needed for analysis. For example, a sorting technique that focuses on growth stocks looks at data from all stocks priced over $10 and then sorts the results into groups based on trends.
A newly added feature is the Smart WatchTower, which automates the grouping process and is able to hold more than 1,000 stocks. Users can customize the sorting and grouping based on financial statement numbers, stock prices, industry comparisons and much more.
Once the stocks are sorted, the program helps analyze the data. Fundamental and technical analysis tools are available, with daily and weekly charts and graphs. Stock WatchTower has the ability to jump to any of the Web sites it obtains information from as well as store articles from the Internet for later use.
The program takes one second to update one stock, which means it takes about an hour each day to update all 4,000 stocks, assuming a high-speed Internet connection is used. For the most up-to-date numbers, the program downloads the oldest data first. Any stocks entered in the detail window will be given downloading priority. The software can be used while the information is being downloaded.
Stock WatchTower is optimal for growth investors using charts to find buy and sell points; however, value investors can also find this software helpful. The program costs $49.95; a free 30-day trial is available.
OptionVue 5 is a software program that allows investors at various skill levels to analyze complex option trades on stocks, indexes, futures, commodities and convertible securities while building individualized trading strategies.
OptionVue 5 features a quotes display that shows quotes on stocks, indexes, futures, commodities, convertibles and options. This table can be personalized by choosing column information from 22 variables, creating watch lists, and setting alerts that you can see continuously. Double-clicking an asset in the table automatically opens a matrix, which shows all currently traded options for the chosen security. Current trade positions can be viewed and new trades can be proposed within each fully customizable matrix.
The matrix can generate graphic analysis that illustrates the profit and loss potential based on user-defined ranges in price, date and volatility. The graphs help traders visualize a security’s theoretical reaction until its expiration. You can also view breakeven points, probability of profit and expected return.
For those who lack the time to develop trades, the trade finder gives suggestions. Investors first identify trade parameters and select specific strategies for the simulation; trade finder then produces the best prospects based on these inputs. Additionally, trade finder can include existing positions in the analysis and suggest adjustments or enhancements.
Finally, OptionVue 5 can produce historical volatility charts—six-year charts of weekly average implied volatility are plotted with the statistical volatility of the underlying security. Each chart shows seven moving volatility averages calculated over timeframes ranging from three weeks to six years. Additionally, price charts can be overlaid, helping to identify repeatable price and volatility relationships.
OmniTrader, a technical analysis software program, introduced a new program called FOLIO Investing, which is designed to help investors efficiently find buy and sell opportunities in the market. This program has buy and sell features including entry filters that allow users to filter out unwanted signals, one-click automation to run analysis, and quick displays of recommended actions for buying and selling. In addition, the program offers signal ratings, performance statistics and watch lists. Other features include: charts and graphs, trading simulators, real-time information, and a built-in portfolio manager. FOLIO Investing costs $99 and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Prophet, a technical analysis Web site, has launched Prophet Mobile (beta version) for its members. With Prophet Mobile, investors can view quotes, news, chart toppers, portfolios and watch lists on their mobile device. Additionally, members who receive real-time data from Prophet.net can also receive the data through Prophet Mobile. Basic membership to Prophet.net is free; real-time data costs $24.95 per month.
Ameritrade brokerage service introduced a new customizable Web site. The site offers trade triggers that allow users to execute trades off-line. An order-entry screen can be detached and kept on a computer. Additionally, the site has a direct routing option that allows users to route orders through SuperMontage, a specific market maker or one of seven electronic communication networks. Real-time streaming data and Quotescope, a tool for tracking liquidity, are still available to Ameritrade account holders.
ShareBuilder, a discount on-line brokerage firm, has opted to use GainsKeeper’s automated tax lot accounting tools to help customers track and report capital gains for tax purposes. The GainsKeeper system will automatically calculate tax liabilities in ShareBuilder accounts. The program also has the ability to alert users to the impact of wash sales and other events affecting their taxes. ShareBuilder customers can download historical transactions into the GainsKeeper system. It will then automatically update the cost basis of positions to reflect wash sales and corporate actions. Depending on the level of membership, automatic scheduled investments range from $1 to $4 and real-time market orders range from $11.95 to $15.95.
Trade the News
Trade the News (TTN) is a live audio news feed that offers up-to-the-minute financial news and analysis via the Internet to active investors and professional traders. It focuses on U.S. markets, but also includes pertinent news impacting all markets. TTN broadcasts include: breaking news with analysis, conference call updates, earnings calls, press releases, analyst upgrades and downgrades, FDA announcements, and market rumors and trading desk talk. A free trial is available. A subscription costs $300 per month.