Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
Meta Stock 8.0
Meta Stock 8.0 Equis has recently released a new version of its MetaStock technical analysis and charting software. MetaStock 8.0 is a full-version upgrade from its predecessorversion 7.2. Equis has added a host of new features to this version, including a completely overhauled system tester that now enables the individual investor to run multiple systems testing against multiple securities. The new system tester also offers more customization than before with the ability to change and edit variables in testingsuch as entry and exit points, commissions and slippageto help create a more realistic picture of the trading scenarios results.
Other features include an on-line explorations section, which gives users the ability to scan end-of-day historical data and determine which securities match their personal trading preferences without downloading any data. Users can also perform searches based solely on volume. The on-line explorer allows the user to place up to 6,000 securities in a folder, and to analyze securities with Equidistant Channel Line Study.
MetaStock also introduces Power Pivots Trading Systems. Power Pivots consist of three trading systems and two indicators that help evaluate the markets current trend, momentum, and key turning points. The Power Pivots system is broken down into three basic parts: The System Trader helps determine how to trade by allowing users to backtest various trading systems and conditions on a universe of securities. The Explorer helps determine what to trade by inputting your trading scenario and then listing the securities that meet those criteria. Lastly, the Expert Advisor tells the investor when to trade by providing bar-by-bar analysis that suggests trading actions.
Beyond its new technical features, MetaStock version 8.0 also allows for greater personal customizationsuch an accessible color palate for chart and graph customization.
Financeware.com Financeware.com offers a range of financial planning tools for the individual investor and financial advisor. Free registration grants users the ability to create a retirement plan that is constructed through a series of questions covering issues such as desired retirement age, current annual income, financial position and the target value of your retirement plan. More specifically, Financeware.com asks questions concerning inflation assumptions and asset allocation, as well as logistical questions for tax purposessuch as the state in which you reside. There is also a contribution section where you can enter in different types of retirement contributions either in dollars or as a percentage of income. When all of this information is entered, Financeware.com creates a quick report, or a detailed report that breaks down what you need to do to achieve your desired financial position at retirement.
The planning goals section handles the full range of considerations, from leaving an estate to early retirement. The system uses personal information and goals to determine the likelihood of meeting predefined retirement goals given a wide range of applied random scenarios.
Financeware.com then analyzes your method and retirement plan by running a historical audit that compares your asset allocations, target spending needs, and other account contributions and withdrawals to a series of historical market conditions. This gives you the ability to see how your financial strategy would have fared in historical market periods. The site also has a wealth simulator, which simulates possible outcomes for a particular financial strategy by randomly applying historical data from 1926 to the present for all allocation classes. This simulator is based on the notion that markets produce returns similar to one year returns throughout history in different patterns. The final simulation is the Monte Carlo, which uses random samplings to execute simulations for forecasting financial strategies. Its unique feature is that it takes mortality tables into account.
Financeware.com also offers other services to the individual investor such as editorials and an advisor directory. A one-week free trial of the service is available.
Financial Data Calculator
Financial Data Calculator has released a free upgrade of FDC, a market research toolbox for managing and analyzing data to create chart predictions of the future course of the markets. The upgrade enables indicators and studies to be adapted to changing market conditions. A new function called BIN allows the user to organize data into bins and assign values to those bins. This function can be used, for example, to turn the values of an indicator into integers for an adaptive moving average.
R.S. & Associates, a European trading and technical analysis research organization, has announced the launch of an arbitrage program called McSpread. McSpread is Java-based and is designed to find optimal arbitrage possibilities between selected financial markets, stocks, futures, foreign exchanges, indexes, and single-stock futures. McSpread can also be used as a risk management tool to protect portfolios with financial hedging instruments. The program is capable of reading ASCII formats, including Excel and ASCII data from major world data vendors. The early release of the program is available for use with end-of-day data for $950.00; a real-time version is set to be released in the near future for a fee.
GreenTraderTax.com and Armen Computing have released Version 3.2 of GTT TradeLog, a software program designed to help active traders keep track of trades and match gains and losses for tax purposes. The new version makes it easier for traders to report wash sales, the buying and selling of a security in a short time frame. It also provides a list of wash sales that satisfies the IRS requirements for Schedule D. The program costs $345 for new users.
SmartMoney.com Adds Fees
Smart Money has announced that it will no longer provide free real-time information on its Web site. For access to real-time quotes, users will have to subscribe to Smart Money Select for $99 a year. Subscription includes access to commentary from Smart Moneys columnists, as well as investor tools such as stock and fund screeners.
Family Records Organizer
Kiplingers Personal Finance magazine has created an interactive CD-ROM, Your Family Records Organizer, that allows you to store a compilation of key documents and information. With the program, you can store documents, legal information, medical records, lists of how to contact key advisers, as well as financial data such as cash assets, insurance policies, and investments. Cost is $10.00.
TraderProfile has introduced new software that is designed to help investors find trading opportunities by monitoring prices in stocks and indexes. The software, Alert Scanner, provides more than 30 different alerts based on indicators including moving averages, Bollinger bands, momentum and breakouts, and sector movements. Subscriptions are $50 per month.