Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
Easy ROR Pro 9.0
Easy ROR Pro was created to calculate the rate of return of portfolios. Reports show the rate of return, either before or after taxes and fees, achieved by both individual portfolios and groups of portfolios over a specified time period. Methods of calculating rate of return include internal rate of return and various time-weighted methods such as daily valuation modified Dietz. Both total yield and annual rates are based on either daily or annual compounding.
The program requires only deposit, withdrawal and balance information to calculate portfolio rate of return. Automatic allocation of deposits and withdrawals between equity, fixed income, cash equivalents and cash is provided for those portfolios that are designated to employ asset allocation. Rate of return calculations for such portfolios show the performance of each asset classification as well as the total portfolio.
Database files may be written to ASCII files, which may be imported into editor, spreadsheet or word processor programs.
Version 9.0 has added volatility and risk/reward analysis, including beta, standard deviation, r-squared and Sharpe ratio. It allows a portfolio’s beta to be calculated against any index, and offers a Sharpe ratio comparison using three- or six-month T-bill rates, which are automatically downloaded. Report customization abilities have also been improved.
OmniTrader, from Nirvana Systems, is an automated trading system. The software automates the analysis process and provides trading signals based on the analytic tools. Users are shown the basis of the signals and can specify system parameters. OmniTrader has over 60 preinstalled trading systems and you can create your own systems, indicators, and exits.
There are three versions of the program—stocks, futures, and real-time. The stocks edition handles stocks, mutual funds, and options on an end-of-day basis; the futures edition adds the ability to track futures, also on an end-of-day basis; and the real-time version combines the functionality of both the stocks and futures editions with real-time analysis capabilities. OmniTrader supports end-of-day data feeds such as OmniData, eSignal, QCharts, Telescan, and DTN Interquote and supports intraday data feeds provided by eSignal, DTN Interquote, and QCharts.
The 2007 version of the program offers a new tool called Portfolio Simulator, which not only helps traders decide when to get in and out of the markets, but also helps decide how much to invest.
The Portfolio Simulator is configured with inputs to define your personal risk tolerance. You can establish “Largest Loss” and “Worst Drawdown,” which aid the program in recommending an optimal allocation method for trades.
You can also evaluate actual trades you have made with the new “import portfolio” feature. This can be used to see how you could have improved your performance. When you are ready to trade, the Trade Size Calculator will suggest an optimal trade size.
Other product improvements include enhancements to the OmniScript feature, which allows you to create customized entry and exit conditions, and a new Risk: Reward tool that assists in establishing profit and loss stops.
Fidelity Investments has enhanced its strategic trading technology, Wealth-Lab Pro, at no charge to its active trader customers. The trading tool now has 10 years of historical macroeconomic data, including gross domestic product and consumer price index data. Trendline trading, right-click trading off charts, and a new “sell all” trading rule are also included in the update. A free 30-day trial of Wealth-Lab Pro is available by choosing “Investment Products,” then “Trading.” Next choose “Active Trader Services” and finally “Design and Test Strategies.”
E*Trade is now offering its active customers the ability to input trades using conditional orders such as trailing stops, contingent orders, one-cancels-all, one-triggers-all, and one-triggers-one-cancels-other. See the Web site for more information about these types of trade orders.
MSN Money and CNBC.com
As of November 17, CNBC and MSN Money now have independent Web sites. Both sites are free. CNBC content—such as guest alerts, market dispatches and stock picks from the investing experts on CNBC—are now exclusively at CNBC.com. You can also register your MSN Money portfolio with CNBC.com. MSN Money Video will continue to offer related financial clips for download from CNBC.com. MSN Money has also been upgraded to include larger charts with additional technical analysis indicators such as Bollinger bands, price channels and moving averages. A new quote detail page includes a redesigned news area with three sections: recent news, press releases and MSN Money editorial commentary. However, the MSN Money site no longer supports Windows 98.
MarketWatch.com has increased the speed of user searches in addition to making changes to its keyword search. For example, if you search for the words “Best Buy,” the site will now identify those words as a company name and display quote information. Also, tabs have been added to allow you to toggle back and forth between searches. Finally, the new search tools allow you to search for various types of content on the site including podcasts, blogs and videos.
This site provides a constant feed of market information including news, analyst recommendations and important company events. It’s geared toward professionals, but used by individual investors as well. Subscription rates range from $15 to $25 a month, depending on your news needs.
H&R Block’s TaxCut has been updated for 2007 tax filings. The company is offering TaxCut Online Basic for $9.95, which includes the ability to e-file federal taxes. In addition, TaxCut Online Basic can import data from last year’s TaxCut Online and TurboTax Software and guarantees accurate calculations.