Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
IThe National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC) has released the latest version of its portfolio management and investment tracking software, Portfolio Record Keeper 4.0. The program, designed for individual and professional investors alike, creates various reports for personal and tax purposes, offers tax planning functions, and allows the import of SSG files (which are included on the CD of AAII’s Stock Investor Pro software).
The portfolio section of the program tracks unrealized short- and long-term gains, as well as information on the portfolio yield, price-earnings ratio, and beta. The year-to-date section includes information on realized gains and losses (short- and long-term) and investment income. An investment income section is divided into interest, dividends, and distribution totals. A final section shows the current holdings in the portfolio as well as a detailed history of portfolio transactions.
Historical prices can be retrieved via the Internet for the generation of various reports. The method of classifying stocks has been improved allowing more accuracy when creating diversification reports. Price alerts automatically alert the user whenever a security crosses a user-defined price target.
One of the benefits of Portfolio Record Keeper 4.0 is the ability to track individual purchases and sales. Identifying each transaction with information on lot size, date, and cost can be beneficial when it comes time for tax filing. Users can specify minimum dollar gain, maximum dollar gain, first in first out (FIFO), average cost, or specific identification when entering shares sold.
Portfolio Record Keeper 4.0 provides various reports that can be helpful both for investment decisions and filing taxes. The appraisal report values a portfolio or grouping of portfolios and includes cost, market price and values, percent of portfolio, unrealized gains and losses, investment income, yield, price-earnings ratio and beta. The income received/reinvestment report helps to organize all of your investment income for tax records. Information found in this report includes taxable/nontaxable income and short/long-term capital gains distributions. Other offerings include a securities sold report for tax purposes and a valuation report for fundamental ratio analysis.
Screamer is a real-time streaming stock quote system supported with data streams from four exchanges: NYSE, Amex, Nasdaq, and OPRA (options price reporting authority). OPRA is responsible for the processing of market information created by trading option securities in the U.S.
Screamer provides monitoring of a set of portfolios on a tick-by-tick basis. The program can handle up to 500 securities across a multitude of portfolios. Functions include a time and sales option that provides the share volume traded for any specific point in time and real-time options tracking. Up to 50 studies can be performed using historical and intraday charts.
The sector tracker feature provides a view of the 10 sectors that make up the S&P 500. A Market Heat option provides a performance measure of the markets through a color scheme method that shows which stocks are hot and which are not.
The Market Meter tool gives the user a quick gauge of market strengths and weaknesses. The meter provides information on the performance of stocks, indexes, and the overall market.
Other features of the Screamer program include the ability to customize personal stock information, unlimited instant quotes, direct links to on-line brokerage accounts, and the ability to run multiple applets at once. For example, the user can run the Screamer and “Live Charts” and “Time and Sales” functions simultaneously.
Premarket and postmarket indicators are provided for market-specific functions. Real-time charts and a market countdown clock are also available.
Screamer allows the user to edit and rearrange columns and data fields. The program is also fully customizable as to color and layout options. The applications are resizable with point-and-click functions, and the portfolio snapshot page can be printed.
MarketWise, a subsidiary of broker Terra Nova, is an education service for the active trader. The company offers on-line, interactive classes on day trading using the Terra Nova RealTick Platform. Admission to each class provides a link to the MarketWise Web site where the day’s notes can be viewed and printed out. The course is taught in an on-line conference fashion. A free on-line trader profile quiz is available to determine if the user fits the profile of a successful trader. Tuition for one class is $199, a package of three classes is $499, and a package of seven classes is $999.
Ameritrade will now provide its Apex subscribers with a Webcast series, featuring topics that range from product demos to educational seminars with celebrity guests. Apex is an active trader trading platform from Ameritrade available to traders who trade 10 times per month over a three-month period or have a $100,000 account balance. Monthly Webcast sessions will include Q&As and an on-line chat with other clients. Apex clients will be able to access both live and archived Webcasts. Stock transactions on Apex cost $10.99 (no extra charge for limit or stop orders).
Bollinger Band Toolkit
John Bollinger has developed a new software package for MetaStock, Equis International’s technical analysis and charting software. The Bollinger Band Toolkit includes 42 indicators, three chart templates, nine example systems, six explorations, and four experts. The trading strategy in the Toolkit is customizable and includes a 50% off coupon for John Bollinger’s book, “Bollinger on Bollinger Bands.” The software is recommended for use with MetaStock 8.01 or higher. MetaStock Pro (real-time) is $1,695, and MetaStock (end-of-day) is $449. The Bollinger Band Toolkit can be purchased for $299.
Yahoo! Analyst Accuracy Ratings
Yahoo! Finance currently offers free stock analyst ratings. The ratings are provided by Starmine and are based on a five-star scale. The scale is created by analyzing the earnings estimates of thousands of analysts and then comparing each analyst’s performance against his peers. Analysts awarded a five-star rating are thought to make estimates appreciably different from and more accurate than fellow analysts. To find analysts’ ratings at the site, type in a stock ticker symbol, click on “more” from the list of choices below the current quote, then select “Top Analysts.”
Blue Collar Dollar
Blue Collar Dollar is a personal finance site that presents materials in a conversational format. Areas of focus include mutual funds, bonds, mortgages, IRAs, 401(k)s, and insurance. The discussion on mutual funds, bonds and stocks provides commentary on investing style. A bond glossary defines more complicated terms. In the insurance area, a quick guide describes various types of insurance. Links to various financial calculators are also provided. Use of the site is free.