by CI Staff
Internet Quotes Assistant ( is a basic, yet useful program that helps users keep track of their investment portfolios. The program allows users to create multiple portfolios to track the prices of stocks, mutual funds, currency exchange rates ( , options and futures. Users can download detailed historical quotes (i.e., open, close, high, low and volume) through the program, record their transactions, graph performance and export everything to Excel. IQA also contains an automatic currency conversion feature that converts an investment into any currency using the latest exchange rate. By default, IQA uses free servers, such as Yahoo! Finance, which has a 15-minute delay. However, tech-savvy users with access to a real-time feed can configure the program to automatically download real-time quotes.
Although there are programs that provide more information, such as ratios and multiples, IQA is like a breath of fresh air that allows users to focus on their investments with minimal clutter. For those who would like more analytical functions, IQA’s export feature makes it easy for Excel users to gather essential portfolio and investment data, such as detailed historical quotes, and perform their own analysis. Moreover, since IQA can also export the user’s investment history and transactions, the program makes it easy for investors to analyze their performance in Excel.
To add an investment to a portfolio in IQA, simply select the New Item icon and enter a name and symbol. If desired, users can also add notes, choose a download server, set an automatic currency conversion, import historical quotes and record transactions. To get historical quotes for a certain time frame, go to the Quotations tab in the New Item window and select Import Historical Quotations. Historical quotes can either be downloaded from the Internet or from a local file, if the user already downloaded the historical quotes to his computer.
The Investment tab of the New Item window allows users to record their transactions, but it also contains some other useful features. As transactions are entered, IQA will automatically calculate the breakeven point of the position in each investment, taking into account commission, taxes and dividends, which many investors tend to overlook. The program will also set a hypothetical sell transaction, which displays the return an investor would realize if the investment were sold at the current market price. Moreover, users can set limit warnings for an investment, which will display an exclamation point next to the investment when the limit is breached. For instance, if an investor’s strategy is to sell an investment whenever it differs more than 15% from the breakeven point, he or she can be notified of that by setting a limit warning.
Internet Quotes Assistant is a useful program, but since its features are rather basic, potential users should consider other services already available to them before purchasing. Many programs and services, such as those provided by a broker, already offer similar features.
Marcos S. Rocha
System Requirements: Microsoft Windows 7/Vista/XP/2003
Size: 4 MB
Price: Approximately $20; free 30-day trial