Ashkon Stock Watch is a convenient charting program that provides users with access to EOD (end of day) quotes from a database of over 20,000 securities listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ and Amex. The quotes can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet or charted within the program, where users can apply a variety of built-in indicators and overlays, such as RSI and Bollinger bands. Users can create security watchlists, view multiple charts simultaneously and record buy and sell transactions with one click.
Although most of the program’s features can be found for free elsewhere, its strengths are its speed and ease of use. Stock Watch can download and display years of EOD data and add indicators, overlays and transactions in seconds, while allowing users to switch between securities or even simultaneously analyze multiple securities quickly and easily. For example, a discount broker may be able to tell you more about an oil company than Stock Watch, but the program will allow you to quickly and easily compare customizable graphs of multiple oil companies. Since there are multiple graphs rather than multiple companies on one graph, you can visualize and compare a variety of information, such as volume and volatility, as well as performance.
Investors who would like to visualize their own performance will appreciate that Stock Watch allows recording buy and sell transactions directly on a company’s graph. Although this can be helpful, it is perhaps the program’s most aggravating feature. Since the graph is composed of EOD quotes, users cannot enter exact transaction prices, specify the quantity of shares, record short sells, etc. To record a transaction, the user must manually select the date of the transaction on the graph and press the buy or sell arrow, which will record the transaction at that day’s closing price. This inaccuracy makes the feature useful only when approximating performance and returns or testing simple strategies. Furthermore, the program requires a sell to be recorded before the user can register another buy, which makes it difficult for those who enter and exit investments incrementally. Users cannot record reinvested dividends since that would constitute multiple buys, which means the program will severely underestimate the investor’s total return.
Despite its drawbacks, Stock Watch is a decent charting program for longer-term investors. If the program could chart real-time data, allow users to annotate charts and record transactions exactly, it would also make for a good technical analysis tool.
Ashkon Technology LLC
System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7
Size: 3.41 MB
Price: $95; free 10-day trial