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Computerized Investing > Third Quarter 2011

Computer Investing Products

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by CI Staff

Macroaxis

Macroaxis is a free online investment management system that aims to help you optimize your portfolio using financial models based on modern portfolio theory.

You need to create an account in order to use the services offered by Macroaxis, but this is simply a matter of providing an email address, a password and your name. Then you can click on Add Portfolio from the Portfolios tab at the top of the page to create and name your portfolio and enter your holdings.

The website provides several useful features. The Positions page summarizes your holdings and shows expected return and volatility. Furthermore, this page shows your returns compared to returns of the market for the past year. The optimize and suggest sections of the Positions page are based on modern portfolio theory, which proposes that there are portfolios along the efficient frontier that provide the most return for a given level of risk (or the least risk for a given return). The optimize and suggest buttons tell the program to calculate an efficient frontier for your portfolio based on information you provide, and suggest holdings that might bring your portfolio closer to the efficient frontier. The expected portfolio values and returns, as well as asset correlations are presented.

The last feature worth highlighting is the Quick Report, which is available for each portfolio. The top of this report shows portfolio volatility, expected return, and efficiency, along with the “value at risk,” which shows the amount the portfolio might lose on a normal trading day. The asset allocation is shown next, with further breakdowns for sector allocation, equity-type allocation and market-cap allocation. Also included is a chart plotting the risk/return for the portfolio, for cash, for the market and for each holding, which can provide an

idea of how much return you are receiving compared to the risk you are taking. Finally, a detailed summary of each holding is presented.

System Requirements: Internet connection; Web broswer

Price: Free

Macroaxis Inc.
415-779-5944
www.macroaxis.com

 

Zignals

Zignals is a comprehensive trading and investment analysis website designed to make trading more profitable. It was last reviewed two years ago, in the 2009 Third Quarter issue of Computerized Investing, and since that time, it has undergone some major changes. The site offers alerts, charts, a stock screener, a portfolio manager, watchlists and news streams. There is also a new community page open to all users who sign up.

After registering with the site, you can search for a particular stock by using the ticker symbol. Data provided include simple fundamental figures such as volume, price-earnings ratio and one-year target price, along with a price and volume chart. Clicking on charts at the top of the screen will take you to a more detailed charting section that allows users to draw trendlines and analyze over 40 technical indicators. In addition, the Multiview feature allows users to open multiple charts on the same screen to compare technical indicators for different stocks.

The stock screener offered at Zignals is robust. According to its site, the screener has a universe of over 10,000 stocks with over 100 fundamental variables available. Detailed company summaries with fundamental data, analysis opinions and a chart are linked directly to each company.

Zignals also offers a portfolio manager that tracks holdings and lists transactions. In addition to basic data such as gains and losses, cash position and value, the portfolio manager also shows equity, sector and currency allocation. Furthermore, portfolio drawdown and annual returns dating back to the purchase of the first stock in the portfolio are shown in separate graphs.

There is a Premium section of the website, but it is free for all users who sign up. Three tools are available in the Premium section: PatternDNA, which assists users in developing new trading strategies; TradeTimer, which helps users test trading strategies; and StrategyStudio, which allows users to automate their profitable trading signals. Comprehensive help sections are presented for each of the premium trading tools.

System Requirements: Internet connection; Web browser

Price: Free

Zignals
2nd Floor, Manor House
Church Road
Malahide, Co. Dublin
Ireland
011-353-1-816-8882"
www.zignals.com

 

TradingSolutions

TradingSolutions is technical analysis software that combines traditional technical trading analysis with neural networks and genetic algorithms to generate patterns from historical data. The program was created to provide users with applicable trading signals in an effort to enhance portfolio returns.

The interface is clean and intuitive. The main focus of the program is the Portfolio View, located at the left-hand side of the screen. The Portfolio View lists the holdings in your portfolio, which can include stocks, futures and forex currencies. Right-clicking on any financial asset in the Portfolio View brings up a menu of options available for working with that particular holding. Below the Portfolio View is the Information View, which lists additional data for each holding, including the last price and percentage change. Charts can be displayed, and each presents the price and volume history for the previous several days along with where each trading signal occurred. Messages, Alerts and Current Tasks sections are also offered.

You can see the numbers behind each chart displayed in a spreadsheet by right-clicking on a holding and selecting Display in Spreadsheet. Fields such as close, high, low, open and volume will automatically be displayed. You are also able to create new fields in the spreadsheet by selecting Add/Change Fields in Spreadsheet and working through the Calculate a Value Wizard.

Trading signals are displayed next to each financial holding and can range from “enter long” to “enter short.” You can quickly analyze each of these signals by right-clicking on a signal and selecting Analyze Signal; this will display the Entry/Exit Signals page for the holding. This page enables you to compare the annualized return, annual trades and percent wins of all the signals created for the holding over a given time range. The overview tab provides an equity curve that graphs the value that a trading signal produces above (or below) a simple buy and hold.

Several advanced features are also available. The ability to write custom functions and create correlation analyses enhances the capabilities of this program. TradingSolutions also allows users to create technical indicators and apply them to holdings to see the difference between the return that the indicator would have generated and that generated using a buy-and-hold strategy. These returns are based on historical data and, needless to say, may not hold true going forward. The program comes with an extensive tutorial to help you get started. It is highly recommended that any new user go through this tutorial to familiarize themselves with TradingSolutions’ features.

System Requirements: Windows operating system with Pentium or Pentium-comparable processor and 150MB free disk space

Price: $995; 30-day money-back guarantee

TradingSolutions
NeuroDimension Inc.
3701 NW 40th Terrace, Ste 1
Gainesville, FL 32606
800-634-3327
www.tradingsolutions.com

 

BudgetPulse

BudgetPulse is a free online personal financial management software that is a superb blend of functionality and simplicity. Recently, numerous online financial management sites have gained popularity, some boasting the ability to directly link to your bank accounts and provide updated figures. Although many of these sites offer bank-level encryption and security, there is always the threat of identity theft, which makes BudgetPulse a unique choice. BudgetPulse is completely online and requires no download, effectively using the “cloud” to hold your information. However, the site does not link to any bank account or ask for any personal account information, keeping the risk of identity theft minimal.

The Dashboard acts as the main page for the entire website. Actual and budgeted expenses and income are tracked and charted for each account. Furthermore, a list of recent and upcoming transactions are presented at the bottom of the Dashboard.

The program’s simplicity really stands out. There are only six sections in total, beyond the Dashboard, and each section has just one functional page. The Transactions page provides a detailed breakdown of your recent, upcoming and recurring transactions. In order to input new income and expenses, simply expand the categories on the right-hand side of the page and provide the necessary details. BudgetPulse also allows users to enter fund transfers on the same page.

An overview of your budgeted income and expenses is provided on the Budgets page. Once again, navigation and editing capabilities are all provided on the right-hand side of the page. The program’s navigation is its strength, offering simple expandable and shrinkable categories for checking, savings, credit cards, assets and liability accounts. Detailed breakdowns for each account you set up are located in the Accounts section. You can export account data as a CSV file and import data from OFX, QFX, QIF and CSV files.

Bar and pie charts depicting your income, expenses, income versus expenses and net worth are all offered by the service. Additionally, the Goals page helps you set target dates for goals or major future purchases.

BudgetPulse offers flexibility on par with other major online personal financial websites. It is especially useful for members wary of storing personal information online.

System Requirements: Internet connection; Internet Explorer 7 or 8, Firefox version 3 or later, or Safari

Price: Free

BudgetPulse
www.budgetpulse.com

 

Quicktakes

New Classifications by Dow Jones Indexes

www.djindexes.com

In March of 2011, Dow Jones Indexes introduced a new country classification system. Countries will be reviewed both quantitatively and qualitatively and assigned a tag of developed market, emerging market or frontier market. The frontier market classification is new and denotes markets in the early stages of development that are less accessible to foreign investors than developed and emerging markets, have limitations in their regulatory and operational environments and support a small investment landscape. Classification assignments will be formally reassessed each June by the Index Oversight Committee.

FXDD Launches FXDD OnDemand

www.fxddondemand.com

FXDD, a forex trading platform, launched FXDD OnDemand to provide a one-stop educational website for foreign exchange traders. It features the latest financial news and forex market analysis. The most useful part of the new site is the learning center, which offers educational tools and videos for traders at any level. The videos cover terminology, trading concepts, technical analysis, chart patterns and the mental aspect of trading. Furthermore, financial news, economic calendars, market analysis and trading signals are gathered at the site.

CNN Redesigns CNNMoney Site

www.money.cnn.com

CNN recently introduced a new version of their CNNMoney website, offering additional features and a fresh look. CNN states that ease of use is the main focus of their new design. The site incorporates more visuals, with high-quality graphics, interactive photos and high-resolution video. The site is also launching a tablet view, which arranges the most important stories on one screen. Lastly, a market tracker is now located on the right side of the home page. It displays metrics for world markets, futures currencies, and commodities, along with real-time price quotes.

E*Trade Debuts Community Area

www.etrade.com/community

E*Trade has debuted a social media platform for select account holders. You can securely share your holdings and performance and see other members’ activity. A top performers area allows you to follow members with the best returns and see how they achieved their results. Stocks most actively traded by E*Trade customers are tracked. A daily poll reports on community sentiment. Lastly, E*Trade has set up discussion boards allowing members to post or join a discussion regarding any topic related to the market.

Global X Funds Offers First Emerging Markets Growth and Value ETFs

www.globalxfunds.com

In a partnership with Russell Indexes, Global X Funds has developed the first growth- and value-focused emerging markets exchange-traded funds ETFs, Global X Russell Emerging Markets Growth EMGX and Global X Russell Emerging Markets Value EMVX. According to Global X Funds, the funds are designed to complement each other by capitalizing on the different performances that the growth and value styles exhibit throughout market cycles.

Fund Manager 11 Released

www.fundmanagersoftware.com

Version 11.0 of the Fund Manager portfolio management software was recently released, with versions 11.1 and 11.2 released shortly afterward. According to Fund Manager, version 11 represents a significant update that includes new monthly performance reports showing performance in a table format, a new risk/reward scatter graph plotting time-weighted returns versus standard deviation, and several new custom reports and portfolio editor fields. The program costs $69 for the personal version and $29 for users upgrading from a previous version.

Interactive Brokers Trades ETFs for Free

www.interactivebrokers.com

Interactive Brokers announced commission-free trading of five exchange-traded funds ETFs launched by Factor Advisors LLC. The leveraged ETFs combine one long position and one short position in a single fund for spread trading. The ticker symbols for the commission-free ETFs are FSE, FSA, FSU, FOL and FSG. Interactive Brokers is waiving both the flat-rate and cost-plus brokerage commissions and not imposing short-term trading fees.

FXDD Trading Apps for iPhone and Android

www.fxdd.com

FXDD, a forex trading platform, launched free mobile foreign exchange trading apps for iPhones and Android phones. The iTrader and the droidTrader are available in English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian and Turkish, with the iTrader also available in Arabic. With the apps, you can log on and obtain real-time account information, place new orders, close or modify existing positions and view account history. Real-time price feeds of currency pairs, charting capabilities and calculators are also featured.


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