New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
Portfolio Manager 1.94
Portfolio Manager, as the name aptly implies, is a portfolio management program with a simple, intuitive design. The program tracks all your stock data in one place, including transactions and associated dividends. The program is very easy to set up and use, and there is a comprehensive help area that does a good job of reviewing each section.
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Setting up an account involves creating a portfolio and adding trades. Trades can be added using the “add trades” button at the top left of the program screen. The main screen offers all the information needed to manage and track your portfolio. The portfolio overview data on the left-hand side displays information on the entire portfolio, showing total value, profit, dividends and daily change, among other figures.
Three tabs are available on the main portfolio page—Open Trades, History and WatchLists. The Open Trades page details information such as cost, current value and profit by default. The displayed columns are fully customizable. Users can choose to display any of the available columns, including target price, disaster stop (the stop-loss value you set for the stock), risk/reward ratio and rating. The History page lists the account transaction history, and the WatchLists page provides fundamental data on stocks you specify as possible investing candidates.
Four main reports are also provided by the program. The tax report is designed to collect the required information for tax purposes. It includes every stock that was sold during the financial year so that capital gains and losses can be easily calculated. Furthermore, it includes any dividends received. The profit-loss statement shows a history of trades for a user-defined period of time. Users are also able to filter the report for certain stocks or accounts. The dividends report lists any dividends that you have received. Lastly, the open trades report displays all open trades currently in a portfolio and includes the unrealized profits and losses.
Overall, the program is simple to use and does an adequate job of keeping track of your investment holdings. Portfolio Manager costs $29.95, and you can download a free 30-day trial.
System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Server 2008/7, 5MB free disk space
Price: $29.95 (30-day free trial)
93 Newlands Road
MarketSmith was founded by William O’Neil, who also founded Investor’s Business Daily. MarketSmith software is designed to help investors generate and evaluate investment ideas. It evolved from the Daily Graphs Online investment research service. The website has a community where investors can share their investment methodologies with others.
The main tool launches in your Web browser. There are several areas and features of MarketSmith that are especially worth noting. MarketSmith’s screener is advanced and covers over 6,500 stocks and almost 8,800 funds. There are over 120 data fields available in the stock screener and about 80 in the fund screener. In addition to fundamental data fields, the screener includes some simple technical data fields, an interesting addition. Available fundamental data includes earnings and growth rates, and technical data includes relative strength, moving averages and average true range. Furthermore, descriptions are provided for each data field.
In addition to screening capabilities, MarketSmith provides useful charting tools. The charts display price and volume data for the selected date ranges. The charting tool can also display a comparison line against the S&P 500. Stock splits and dividend data can also be presented. Users can switch between minute, daily, weekly and monthly charts by toggling the buttons at the top of the page.
The community features are among the strongest offered by MarketSmith. Blogs and forums are available on the website, enabling investors to share ideas. Furthermore, MarketSmith allows users to share screen filters and lists. After creating a screen, you have the option of sharing it with the community. Other investors using MarketSmith may rate or comment on shared screens. Shared lists work in much the same way. Users can share their watchlists with other members of MarketSmith, providing a great tool for the exchange of ideas.
MarketSmith is on the pricey end, costing $112.25 per month or $999 per year. The main upside to the pricing is that it should ensure that the MarketSmith community includes serious investors.
System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.8 or above or Windows XP Service Pack 2 or above; Internet Explorer 7 or above, Firefox 3 or above, or Safari 3 or above
Price: $112.25 per month or $999 per year (three-day free trial)
My Money 2.0
My Money is a personal financial management software that runs on both PC and Mac. The program is able to track bank accounts as well as investment accounts. MTH Software, the creator of My Money, also offers Portfolio Analyst, a portfolio management tool that is a light version of My Money meant solely for investment management use.
My Money’s home page includes six tabs by default—four for personal finance, one for investment management and one with a calendar. The checkbook records the details of the checks you write. You can manage your bank accounts, bills and deposits, all from the account manager. The list manager tracks your payees, transaction categories and financial institutions.
To get started, simply create a new file upon starting the program for the first time, or select “new” from the File drop-down menu. My Money allows you to set up accounts for banks, brokerages and credit cards, as well as for homes, vehicles and employee stock options. Each account, along with its balance, is listed in the Account Manager.
My Money offers a feature that helps users reconcile an account. To get started, select the account you wish to balance and click Reconcile this Account in the left pane. The Reconcile dialog box requests the date, starting and ending balances, bank service charges and interest earned. The balance screen is used to compare bank statement transactions with ones in the program. You can mark off each transaction after it has been located, and the transaction’s status will reflect that it has been reconciled.
The portfolio manager is also fully customizable, allowing you to change which columns are displayed and how stocks are grouped. Security prices can be updated by selecting “update prices” on the left-hand side of the portfolio manager page (prices are updated using Google Finance).
Several reports can be generated, including reports for all transactions, categorized transactions and tax-related transactions. Charts of net worth and balances over time can also be created. In addition, users can specify time periods for reports.
My Money costs $49.95 for a single user and offers a free 60-day trial.
System Requirements: 60MB free disk space
Price: $49.95 (60-day free trial)
MTH Software Inc.
P.O. Box 1073
Marblehead, MA 01945
Stock Spy is an interesting program designed to help you stay abreast of news items for stocks of interest. Although the program looks like a technical analysis tool at first glance, it really excels in helping users determine what news is driving the price movement of a stock.
After opening the program, select the ticker symbol you wish to chart from the symbol drop-down menu in the top-left corner. A price graph for the date range specified appears at the top of the page, with a volume chart at the bottom. In between, there are two news graphs. The price and volume charts are very standard, but the news chart is a rarity. The top news chart tracks items by categorizing them into 20 different keywords called “finance terms.” For instance, earnings are tracked in orange, analyst reports in brown and downgrades in pink. Taking a quick look at the top news chart shows you which announcements were made on each date. The bottom news chart shows the quantity of news released along with the news outlet, such as Yahoo! Finance.
Each date on a given chart corresponds with that on the other charts, meaning that you are able see news that was released during large price and volume movements. Hovering your mouse over a certain date shows how many news items were released and what type of news items they were. Furthermore, if you highlight a period of time using your mouse, the program displays all the news that occurred during that period. Highlighting a large price drop or increase sheds light on news items that could be connected to the price movement. The news items appear at the right-hand side of the screen. If no period is highlighted, the most recent news articles are displayed. Additionally, clicking on any news item in the program links you directly to the piece on the Internet.
Overall, Stock Spy is an outstanding way to keep up with recent stock news. It also assists users in researching news articles that may have led to large price movements. The program is free to try, but users can only choose from a specified list of stocks. Only the paid version allows users to enter their own stock symbols.
System Requirements: Windows (all versions); 1GHz processor speed; 128MB RAM; high-speed Internet connection
Price: $199 (free limited trial)
New Dow Jones Commodities Indexes
Dow Jones Indexes has announced the launch of the Dow Jones Global Commodity Equity 100 index, the flagship of a new index series that measures the stock performance of companies engaged in the exploration or production of both scarce and renewable commodities. In addition to The Dow Jones Global Commodity Equity 100 index, the series includes four sub-indexes—Dow Jones Global Equity Agriculture index, Dow Jones Global Equity Energy index, Dow Jones Global Equity Scarcity index, and Dow Jones Islamic Market Global Equity Commodity index.
TD Ameritrade Launches Trade Architect
Trade Architect is a new trading platform from TD Ameritrade. It is PC- and Mac-compatible and offers an extensive selection of free features, including premium news feeds directly within the platform (such as Dow Jones real-time news and streaming CNBC), position and profit & loss graphing that allow users to visualize their risk and potential return, and probability analytics to help users gauge the likelihood that a stock or exchange-traded fundmight fall within a certain price range. Trade Architect is available free for account holders.
New Retail Forex Offering From TradeStation
TradeStation Group Inc. is now offering TradeStation Forex Inc., a new retail foreign exchange dealer registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and a member of the National Futures Association. TradeStation Forex, using what is commonly referred to as the “agency broker model” for retail forex, will own and operate the company’s forex business for all existing and new customer accounts. The platform’s fees are assessed by a mark-up to currency spreads.
Chaikin Power Tools App Updated
Chaikin Stock Research has announced upgrades to its Chaikin Power Tools iPhone app for stock research and online trading. The version 1.2 upgrade features the addition of options trading through Chaikin Stock Research partner optionsXpress, a “modify order” button to cancel and replace open orders, and improved speed and clarity in the orders display. The app is free of charge.
OANDA Now Compatible with MetaTrader 4
OANDA Corporation provides online forex trading and currency data services. Its services are now available to traders who use MetaTrader 4, an electronic trading platform with automated trading capabilities. OANDA has licensed MetaTrader software to be used with OANDA Spreads. The OANDA fxTrade foreign currency trading platform bridges directly to MetaTrader, bypassing third-party fees. OANDA fxTrade’s fees are assessed in the form of spreads.
SAM and Dow Jones Launch DJSI Nordic Index
SAM, an investment group focused exclusively on sustainability investing, and Dow Jones Indexes announced the launch of the Dow Jones Sustainability Nordic index (DJSI Nordic). From the largest companies in the Nordic region, the new index tracks the top 30% based on sustainability. The DJSI Nordic includes 29 sustainability leaders from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The index is calculated in euros and dollars and it will be rebalanced annually in September.
New Version of MetaTrader 5 Available
MetaQuotes Software Corp. has released a new version of the MetaTrader 5 Mobile Terminal for iPhone. The new MetaTrader 5 iPhone gives mobile traders the ability to track price dynamics in real time. The app supports fully fledged charts for all financial instruments that are available for smartphones and tablet PCs. MetaTrader 5 also allows users to see previous values. The MetaTrader 5 app is available free of charge.
New Bollinger Bands DVD Released
This two-DVD set was taped at a two-day seminar taught by John Bollinger on his technical trading bands. He introduces the Bollinger bands and the basic tools of band analysis. He also shares new indicators and variations on the bands. Finally, he teaches strategies for integrating these tools into trading systems. The price is $395.