Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
AceMoney is a basic personal finance program used to organize and manage finances. The program can manage multiple accounts of different types including checking, savings, credit cards, loans, debt accounts and a user-customized account.
While AceMoney is not a financial planning tool or a sophisticated portfolio tracking program, it can be used to create and manage budgets and track simple investment plans. Users can set up budget limits for over 100 predefined spending categories and track differences between actual and budgeted values.
AceMoney can track 401(k) investments, stock options, employee stock purchase plans and other investment activities. The program will also download stock quotes from the Internet. The software also supports more than 150 different currencies and automatically downloads exchange rates from the Internet.
Users can also generate customized spending reports and download or import information from on-line banks in QIF and OFX formats. Additional features include debt planning and mortgage payment analysis, financial tools and calculators and password protection for all sensitive information.
AceMoney Lite is a free software program that has the same features as the regular version but only supports one account.
Morningstar Principia Asset Allocation
Morningstar’s Principia Asset Allocation module can help investors analyze their portfolios with a view to reducing risk and increasing returns through added diversification. The program takes into account factors including inflation, taxes and savings when creating an allocation plan for users.
The Asset Allocation Module can be a complement to other Principia programs or purchased as a single program. First, users must input current portfolio holdings. Then, users have the ability to change capital market assumptions including inflation, allocation percentages and correlations. Risk tolerance is assessed through a risk questionnaire. The program will assign a risk category based on questionnaire answers. Users can then set asset allocation limits for 13 different asset classes.
Next, the program shows how actual allocations stack up to target allocations. The results are graphed on an “efficient frontier” for further analysis. Using the efficient frontier graph, investors can see how the level of risk of their current portfolio compares to their rate of return. Finally, investors are given suggestions for possible ways to lower risk without sacrificing return or increase return without increasing risk.
Principia’s Asset Allocation module also allows for Monte Carlo simulation. Various market scenarios can be tested to forecast wealth based on a variety of inputs including cash flows, taxes and time horizon.
Users can also import a list of securities and use an auto-allocate feature that puts the securities into a diversified portfolio based on a target allocation. An action plan can be created to assist with implementing the suggestions in the real world.
Fox News has launched FOX Business, a finance-related cable news channel and an accompanying Web site. The new Web site offers a variety of videos from the cable channel as well as updated news stories and articles. You can get individual stock information and see how the overall market is performing as well. Access to the Web site is free.
ChartFilter.com, a site that provides technical and fundamental analysis tools and financial statements, is now offering its StockTools subscribers a free StockScreener. The newest addition allows investors to perform end-of-day searches for stocks on any North American or London stock exchange. A subscription to StockTools includes various stock analysis, tracking and monitoring tools and costs $19.95 per month; a free two-week trial is available.
NASDAQ has introduced the NASDAQ DataStore, which provides investors with a variety of data products to improve market transparency, data gathering and market research. Products include the BookViewer, Daily Share Volume, NASDAQ Last Sale, Net Order Imbalance Indicator, NASDAQ Pre, and Velocity & Forces. Each product is priced separately. See the Web site for more detailed product information, including a pricing guide.
ValueForum is an on-line investment discussion and collaboration community for value and income investors. The forum has over 1,400 members, over 125 discussion topics and a stock ratings system with over 1,000 rated stocks. Members can also participate in quarterly and year-long stock-picking contests, group polls, shared portfolios, and other on-line collaboration tools. Rates start at $74.99 for a three-month pass.
Sageworks has enhanced ProfitCents Public, an on-line company analysis platform, by adding a valuation section. The new section supplements existing reports by differentiating a company’s intrinsic value from its market cap, as well as providing additional commentary and graphical comparisons on earnings and relative value in the market. Unlimited access to ProfitCents Public’s company reports costs $499 per year.
StockFetcher is a text-based stock filtering system that allows you to use plain-English phrases to build custom stock screens. The concept behind simple text filters is to provide a way to tap into technical analysis features available on StockFetcher. The StockFetcher home page shows several pre-built screens. Also, a sector and industry drill-down feature gives you the ability to find the best- and worst-performing sectors, and then view the individual stocks in each. For examples of how to use the StockFetcher screening language, you can click the “Show Filter” link to see the actual filter text. Membership costs $8.95 per month.