Chaikin Stock Research LLC offers a desktop and mobile application, Chaikin Power Tools, which provides users with an easy way to access and understand investment information. The company was founded by Marc Chaikin, a recognized expert in stock market analysis, to deliver professional-quality stock tools to individual investors.
The Chaikin desktop widget is a powerful, simple-to-use, easy-to-understand and very responsive tool for monitoring a portfolio and individual stocks. Since the program is a widget, it can run continuously anywhere on a user’s desktop without using too much computing power. This is useful for individuals who want a quick, up-to-date snapshot without having to load any data-intensive programs or search the Internet.
After downloading the program, users are prompted to register. Registration is required, but it is free and easy, as users can register directly through the widget with only an email address and password. No credit card is required. This same login information can be used with the iPhone and Android Chaikin mobile apps.
Once logged in, users will notice a white “Enter stock symbol” box followed by a list of stock symbols. To add a stock to the list, simply type the stock’s ticker or the company’s name into the white box; this will display predictions. The predictions are useful if a user cannot remember an exact name or ticker. To delete a stock from the list, move the cursor over the stock and select the X that appears to the right.
The list window contains four columns: power gauge, symbol, last, and change. This data is not updated in real time; however, it is only delayed by about one minute and it updates automatically.
The widget’s unique feature is the power gauge, which shows the stock’s current trend in a quick glance. A green power gauge means the stock is bullish, red means the stock is bearish, and yellow means the stock is neutral.
To get more details on a stock, select a stock in the list or select the arrow to the right of the stock list to open a more detailed power gauge. This window shows the company name on top and the overall gauge, but also gauges of four more specific components: financial metrics, earnings performance, price/volume activity, and expert opinions.
This feature is outstanding in terms of how easy it is to use and understand; however, it does not explain the reasoning behind the power gauge rating. For that, users must subscribe to Chaikin’s Power Gauge Reports for $9.95 per month, though there is a 30-day free trial. Clicking the Research button toward the bottom of the widget will open the website’s Power Gauge Reports login page, where users can subscribe and find reports. Subscribers get access to in-depth analysis on 5,000 stocks, which are broken down into a very easy-to-follow format that clearly and concisely explains the reasoning behind each power gauge rating and more. Shown here is an example of an old Power Gauge Report’s financial metrics breakdown for Apple (AAPL).
When viewing the power gauge window for a particular stock, users will notice a Chart button just below the company’s name. Here, users can view the company’s one-day and six-month charts. Below the chart, users can scroll though the company’s fundamentals, performance, earnings, ratios, and description by clicking the left and right arrows.
The last feature is the Trading button located to the right of the Research button. Here, optionsXpress customers can trade directly from within the app. (Users who are not optionsXpress customers will not be able to trade through the widget.) However, the widget’s slight delay makes it impractical for active traders, who rely on split-second trades. For fundamental investors, the widget does not provide enough data to make investment decisions. Therefore, the widget is best used as a tool to quickly and easily monitor a portfolio or individual stock rather than as a trading tool.
For a desktop widget, Chaikin Power Tools is powerful and offers quite a bit of useful information. The most valuable features by far are the widget’s easy of use and its ability to provide a quick, up-to-date snapshot of a stock and portfolio. Since the widget and mobile apps are free to download and use, the program is definitely worth a try. Users who would like more information and analysis, which is still very easy to understand, might want to try Chaikin’s previously mentioned Power Gauge Reports subscription. Keep in mind that the 30-day free trial subscription requires a credit card or PayPal account.
Chaikin Power Tools
System Requirements: Windows or Mac operating systems; Adobe AIR (free download)
Price: Free; $9.95/mo for Power Gauge Reports (30-day free trial)