Messages: What Members Are Asking On-Line
by CI Staff
In November 2006, Microsoft “upgraded” their portfolio manager product and simultaneously dropped support of Windows 98 clients. When you attempt to view your portfolio from Windows 98, you are told Microsoft no longer supports Windows 98 client systems. You have two choices—revert to the “basic” portfolio tracker or upgrade to a newer version of Windows (2000, XP, or Vista). In my opinion, Microsoft is being narrow-minded and self-serving in only offering its portfolio manager to people using Windows 2000, XP,
CI Editor Responds: Our apologies for the frustration and inconvenience you have experienced. When testing Web sites, we use a variety of Web browsers to see if the viewing experience differs greatly from browser to browser. In addition, we look for differences across the Windows and Mac operating systems. Unfortunately, we did not think to test across different versions of the Windows operating system. We will consider this in the future, especially with the recent launch of Windows Vista.
CI Editor Responds: One free service we like is the Briefing.com Web site (www.briefing.com). When you go to the site, click on the Free Content button in the Investor Index box. From there, type in the ticker symbol and the site will provide you with future event dates, including the next quarterly earnings announcement, as well as past earnings announcements and company earnings guidance.
For more on this site and others that track dates of upcoming corporate announcements, see the September/October 2006 On the Internet column, available in the CI archives at AAII.com.
I have found information about investing in individual bonds, but could find nothing about bond mutual funds.
CI Editor Responds: The AAII Web site (www.aaii.com) has numerous articles regarding bond mutual funds that can be accessed by typing bond funds in the Search box that is at the top of every AAII.com page and clicking the Go button next to it.
In addition, the Investing in Bonds Web site (www.investinginbonds.com) is a good source of information. The Bond and Bond Funds area of the site’s Strategies section discusses the risks of bond investing, as well as the basics of bond funds and the types of bond funds that are available.
I am trying to recreate James O’Shaughnessy’s Tiny Titans screen. Is there somewhere that I can find the screening criteria for it?
CI Editor Responds: The Tiny Titans screen is one of the 50-plus stock screening methodologies we track on AAII.com. To access these screens, along with the current list of passing companies and monthly performance statistics, click on the AAII Stock Screens link under Portfolios at the top left-hand side of the AAII Web site. At the top of the AAII Stock Screens landing page, click on the All Screens link for a listing of all the approaches we track. For each of the screens on this list, there is now a link to its screening criteria.
I am a typical “long-term” investor who invests several times a year and does his own research. I think your members may be shortchanging some brokers, such as Wells Fargo and perhaps Banc of America. I deal with Schwab and Wells Fargo and have had a long-term relationship with TD Waterhouse and TD Ameritrade.
How can you beat zero commissions with Wells Fargo (and maybe Banc of America)? All you need is a modest amount of investible funds.
In addition, Well Fargo’s support is outstanding compared with TD Ameritrade and Schwab.
CI Editor Responds: Thank you for your comments regarding the brokers included in our annual comparison of discount brokers (most recently in the January/February 2007 issue of CI). We always welcome AAII member comments regarding personal experiences with brokers as well as opinions on investment software packages and Web sites. Feel free to send your comments (or questions) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have just registered and am taking my first look at your Web site. I would like to know if it is possible to have a historical report of the AAII Sentiment Survey.
CI Editor Responds: Members of AAII can participate in our weekly Sentiment Survey, which measures member bullishness and bearishness in the market for the next six months by clicking on the Sentiment Survey link under Tools on the bottom left-hand side of AAII.com. Also from this page, you can download an Excel spreadsheet with the complete history of the Sentiment Survey since its inception in 1987.