Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
Sageworks, Inc. specializes in investing tools for financial advisors and analysts. However, its Web-based ProfitCents Public can be a useful tool for individual investors. This program offers unbiased analysis of publicly traded firms by using ratio analysis, trend analysis, and industry comparison analysis. It summarizes company financial statements in a written report.
ProfitCents Public’s database includes all publicly traded companies, excluding financial institutions. The service is very straightforward, requiring only login information to access. Once you have logged in, simply enter a ticker symbol or search for a symbol by company name. You can choose between a basic and analyst analysis of the company. The analyst report is much more in-depth. Reports can be generated for year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter comparisons. Data is updated weekly.
The analysis reports are broken down into categories, including liquidity, profits and profit margin, borrowing, assets and raw financial statement data. An analysis of the company’s numbers and ratios for each category is provided with explanations of important financial terms, how the numbers are calculated and what the numbers mean. The report also includes industry comparison data. You can E-mail the report, download it to a Word document, or print it out.
Some other analysis programs—Morningstar.com’s Data Interpreter, for example—use a predefined format for presenting raw data, which can lead to jumbled and sometimes confusing data and explanations. ProfitCents Public, on the other hand, outlines topics discussed, but each report is unique and includes thoughtful analysis.
Because this site only evaluates a company’s financial statement data, it is wise to check other sources for any recent news stories or industry trends that may affect the business.
GuruFocus.com tracks the stock picks of a number of investing “gurus” and provides tools for users to analyze and implement the stock picks. The home page is a little cluttered, but the data and tools offered are fairly unique.
GuruFocus.com tracks 32 stockpickers in its “Guru Hall of Fame.” Gurus include Buffett, Dreman, Greenblatt, Muhlenkamp and Dodge & Cox. GuruFocus also tracks 16 money managers who have not met management performance, size and turnover criteria, but are still considered great investors and stockpickers.
For each advisor, you see a profile, summary of investing philosophy and portfolio holdings. The free membership carries stock-pick data with a one- to four-month lag. Premium members can access “real-time picks,” which have a one- to two-week lag. A current holdings list shows each stock in a guru’s portfolio with actual number of shares, current value and the number of other gurus that currently hold that stock. Premium members can export this information to Excel.
The Guru Consensus section lists the most-active stocks based on buying and selling by numerous gurus for the last three, six and 12 months. Also, a list of Guru Bargains shows stocks that are down more than 20% since the advisor bought or recommended it, and a Scoreboard provides a summary of how well the gurus have fared over varying investing periods.
GuruFocus.com has five model portfolios developed from various guru stock picks, updated once per year. Premium members have access to detailed portfolio information.
Additional tools available to premium members include: the ability to build a personalized guru portfolio; analyze guru trends based on sector, market cap and domestic versus international picks; and view all guru picks based on various criteria such as market cap and sector. In addition, premium members have access to the Guru Screener, which allows you to scan the stock picks and current holdings using various criteria such as sector, industry, market cap, region, price change, portfolio impact and the number of guru holders.
Making Bread is a new Web site focused on helping women learn about trading and investing. The site is run by a British woman with more than 15 years of experience who is now a home-based currency trader. The site is free and provides information on major U.K. and U.S. stock markets, as well as data on options, currency trading technical and fundamental analysis and investing on margin.
National Futures Association
The National Futures Association (NFA), a self-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry, has introduced a free, quarterly electronic newsletter that discusses futures and commodity trading and provides current news on these markets. Investors can subscribe to the E-newsletter at the NFA’s Web site in the Investor Learning Center.
eSignal’s financial content Web site, Quote.com, offers worldwide data from the New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo exchanges. Recently, the site added a new section that is dedicated to financial quotes, market data and business news from the United Kingdom. Additionally, delayed quotes, news and charts can now be accessed with handheld devices at http://Quote.mobi.
InstantBull, a free financial information Web site providing investors with access to message boards, blogs, news, and stock data, has introduced a “Message Board Buzz Matrix.” The Buzz Board displays a matrix summary of all the latest postings from stock message boards, giving users access to millions of postings from Yahoo! Finance, Raging Bull, InvestorVillage, MarketWatch and more. Additional upgrades include: shortcut buttons, new and customizable viewing and sorting of message boards, and a comprehensive search feature.
InvestmentNews has improved its site with a new design; improved navigation for quick content search; easier access to articles; an enhanced archive search tool; a comprehensive stock, mutual fund and ETF look-up feature; a list of the week’s most viewed andEmailed articles; printer-friendly and E-mail links; expanded number of pictures; and RSS feeds. A subscription to receive the print version costs $29 per year. A subscription also allows access to archived issues.
Yahoo! Finance has enhanced its technical charting tool. The charts are now fully customizable and interactive. You can choose from a variety of technical indicators and adjust the timeframe to a user-defined period. Charts can be configured to show dividends and splits. Also, a chart can compare any exchange-traded stock to an index or a company’s top competitors (provided). Delayed data is free and Premium members have access to streaming real-time chart data. Premium membership costs $10.95 per month.