Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
SortWizard is a stock screening program for active traders that performs searches in real-time. The core of SortWizard is the Search Parameters Setup box where all searches begin and the specific criteria for searches are established. Criteria can include the basics such as high, open, gap, and volume. Users can also perform more advanced searches for indicator-based criteria such as Bollinger Bands, simple and exponential moving averages, and relative strength index. The program can also identify certain candlestick patterns.
SortWizard allows users to search over a dozen exchanges. You can narrow a search down by a letter or groups of letters or symbols used in a previous search, or you can import symbols from a text or symbol list file. You can also search within a particular exchange, between a certain price range, and within a certain volume.
SortWizard can be programmed to do automatic searches in intervals from every 10 seconds to every hour. Searches can also be done on end-of-day data.
The results of searches are posted in spreadsheet format and can be saved for use at a later time or exported to an Excel spreadsheet. Beyond the actual search functions, the program allows assigning certain hot keys for various functions.
There are two versions of SortWizard, the standard version and the plus version. The plus version of SortWizard allows you to set up customized formulas and includes a historical database of technical indicators.
WATS is an investment analysis platform that allows users to determine the historical success of their investment strategy by testing it against actual historical market data back to 1926. Users can calculate the historical success rates of various investment strategies and incorporate insights into their personal investing styles. WATS input items include beginning account values, asset allocation, money flows into and out of the account, and desired ending value goals. With this information, WATS runs a historical analysis and reports a historical success rate—the percentage of time that the strategy would have actually reached the ending value goal. The user sees the likelihood that his/her portfolio would indeed succeed over selected time periods. The program takes into account such factors as fluctuating rates of return and inflation rates.
The Advisor Edition of WATS also employs the black box program, which shows maximum sustainable withdrawal rates and associated asset allocations based on user-defined criteria. Users can vary the assets to consider (large-cap stocks, corporate bonds, T-bills, etc.), the time horizon, the ending value goal (don’t go broke, maintain original account value, maintain original account value adjusted by inflation), and the withdrawal schedule (same amount each year, increased annual withdrawals by some constant rate). The black box is useful for planning for retirement spending as well as planning for sustainable charitable contributions from an endowment.
WATS comes with monthly market data from 1926 to 2002 from Ibbotson’s SBBI Yearbook. The Advisor Edition also allows users to import return data from Morningstar Principia Pro and includes an internal rate of return calculator and an efficient frontier calculator.
Trade Ideas offers streaming, real-time alerts for active traders to track changes in a stock’s volume, price movement, moving average cross-overs, volume-weighted average price, and other indicators. Users can customize alert types and filters, as well as designate which stocks and/or exchanges to scan. The desired alerts appear in the browser window and can be saved for future use. The service is currently free.
Oak Trading Systems
Oak Trading Systems Inc. has recently released Oak Level II, an Internet-based trading platform. Users can see live bids and offers, as well as charts and quotes for all Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) electronically traded futures markets. In addition, users can send orders to any open outcry or pit-traded market. The program is free.
Nasdaq Liffe Markets
Nasdaq Liffe Markets (NQLX) will offer real-time, single-stock futures quotes with the launch of single-stock futures. The service will be offered as a part of NQLX’s Market AdvantEdge system and with it, subscribers receive streaming real-time stock quotes from the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, Nasdaq Liffe Markets, and Options Prices Reporting Authority (OPRA). Other features include the ability to track up to 500 stocks simultaneously across multiple portfolios, and to display more than 30 data fields. Users can also add live charts, time and sales data, and sector tracking. The service costs $14.95 a month; a free two-week trial is available.
Insider TA 5.1
Stock Blocks has recently released a new edition of this end-of-day, volume-oriented trading tool. New features include the option to configure yield-based buy and sell signals and additional price data. Existing users of the program can download the update from the Stock Blocks Web site.
TraderProfile has introduced new software that is designed to help investors find trading opportunities by monitoring prices in stocks and indexes. Alert Scanner provides more than 30 different alerts based on indicators such as moving averages, Bollinger bands, momentum and breakouts, and sector movements. The alerts can be displayed in a ticker window, pop-up window, or via audio alerts. Subscriptions are $50 per month.
FreeRealTime.com has upgraded its Web site to offer two different subscription services. The first, FRT Express, gives subscribers the ability to view unlimited New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and American Stock Exchange quotes for $89.95 per year. The second subscription option, FRT Stream, offers unlimited, streaming, real-time stock quotes from all the major exchanges as well as access to Sector Watch, Market Map, and Market Pulse. The cost is $24.95 a month or $249.50 a year (two months free).