Money 2007 Premium vs. Quicken 2007 Premier
by Wayne A. Thorp
Investors basking in the relative prosperity of 2006 over 2005 may look to 2007 as the year to get their financial households in (better) order. Those looking to manage all of their financial accounts under a single canopy or hoping to get a better handle on their spending or debt may be in need of a personal finance software package. These types of programs help users answer key financial questions: What do I have? How am I doing? and, How can I do better? Today, the personal finance landscape is dominated by two heavyweightsIntuit and Microsoft. Both companies offer several flavors of their popular Quicken and Money programs, respectively; the most robust versions are Money 2007 Premium and Quicken 2007 Premier.
This article walks you through the key offerings of both programs, including the most significant changes that have taken place since our last review of the 2005 versions. At the end, we tabulate an overall winner based on a check-box scoring system. Points are awarded with functionality and ease-of-use in mind.
In this article
- New Features in 2007
- Getting Started
- Program Navigation
- Personal Finance Features
- Portfolio Management Features
- Companion Web Sites
- The Bottom Line
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New Features in 2007
The 2007 versions of Quicken Premier and Money Premium both lack any eye-popping new features. While Intuit claims that it has made over 120 improvements to Quicken, the most useful change to the program this year is the completely redesigned home page that offers users a cleaner, more intuitive picture of their current financial situation. With Quicken Premier 2007, the focus has shifted from providing lists of alerts and upcoming transactions to projecting future cash flows. This is done with the new In, Out, and Whats Left boxes, which allow you to see your cash inflows and outflows, see if you have enough money to cover expenses, and track your spending patterns. The new home page also allows users to access a wider array of data and information without having to dig deep into the program.
One other improvement in Quicken 2007 Premier worth mentioning is improved handling of digital documents related to transactions. The documents may be check images copied from your bank Web site, statements, receipts, bills, warranty information, etc. The 2006 version first allowed users to attach digital documents to transactions, but Intuit has improved upon the process. Quicken now has scanner integration, which allows you to scan and attach multiple images directly from a scanner. Users can also now attach multiple images to a single transaction, attach multiple pages of a document, and copy and paste images to and from the Windows clipboard. It is perhaps surprising that Microsoft has made no attempts to offer similar functionality in Money 2007.
Compared to the work Microsoft had been doing in recent years in terms of offering new features and enhancements, it appears that the company let things slip a bit with Money 2007. It may be that Microsoft chose to focus its efforts on the newest offering in the Money product lineMoney Essentials. This program appears to mimic the Essential mode that made a brief appearance in Money 2005 and is intended for those intimidated by personal finance software or looking for an extremely simplified means of examining their finances. Frankly, I am not sure that offering such a basic product to the apparent detriment of the more robust and full-featured Money programs makes sense. I only hope that this does not signal Microsofts surrender to Quicken at the upper range of the spectrum in order to focus on the lower end.
The most significant addition to Money 2007 Premium is the new Savings & Spending Budget. This tool follows the budgeting strategy developed by the editors at MSN Money, which advocates holding committed expensesrecurring expenses that arise every month such as mortgage or rent paymentsto 60% of gross income and allocating 10% each to irregular expenses, savings and debt, retirement, and fun money. However, users can choose the percentages that best fit their situation. To help you see how well you are staying within your budget, there is the new Spending Tracker by Budget Group. This tool graphs your spending behavior within the high-level categories (committed expenses, savings and debt, etc.) as well as within more specific spending categories that you specify.
Over the years, both Money and Quicken have improved upon the ease of using their programs right out of the box. The number of steps it takes to set up Quicken has dropped from 26 steps in 2003 to 10 in 2007. Within minutes I had the program installed and the latest updates to the program downloaded and installed as well. The only complaint I had with the installation and setup process for Quicken Premier were the four unwelcome start-up icons that appeared on my desktop relating promotional services offered to Quicken 2007 users. It would be nice to have the option to decline the added desktop clutter.
Installing Money 2007 Premium was also hassle-free, as was the downloading and installation of program updates. However, be aware that if youre buying Money for the first time, 2007 versions will only run on Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed. Quicken 2007 Premier, on the other hand, will run on Windows 2000 and XP. In addition, Intuit offers a Mac version of Quicken, although it is not as full-featured as Premier. While installing and registering Money 2007, I strongly suggest that you uncheck any boxes that may land you on unwanted mailing lists.
One bothersome feature of Money is the need for a Windows Live (formerly Passport) account to even open the program.
Upon opening Quicken 2007 Premier, I was immediately impressed with the clean new home page. The gap that had been narrowing in recent years in terms of ease-of-use and navigation between Quicken and Money has once again split wide open. The intimidating register is gone from the home page, although it is still available for individual accounts. From the Quicken home page, you can monitor scheduled bills and deposits and see projected inflows and outflows for the month, data you used to have to go further into the program to see. The new In, Out, and Whats Left boxes give you a quick projection of your income and expenses for the month so that you can see if you will have a cash shortfall or surplus. The calendar is now also visible at the home page, providing access to any accounts you are tracking with the software as well as scheduled bills and deposits. If you are not satisfied with what is displayed on the home page, you can also create and save your own custom views.
Compared to Quicken Premier, Money 2007 Premiums default user interface is cluttered with links to various topic areas of the program. However, the Web-like layout is easy to navigate when trying to access your accounts, bills, budgeting, reports, investments, planning, and tax resources. As with Quicken, the Money 2007 Premium home page is customizable.
Overall, Quickens new home page significantly improves the programs overall ease-of-use and navigation. Money, while not difficult to manage, tries to give you access to everything all at once, which could be a little overwhelming to new users.
Personal Finance Features
Personal finance software helps you to examine your current financial position and provides a framework for achieving various financial goalsdeveloping a budget, reducing debt, planning for retirement, etc. For many, the list of personal tasks is long and varied. Both Quicken and Money can serve as mere recordkeeping diaries that track your income and expenses, or they can function as planning applications that consider only your net worth and focus on generalized long-term goals and objectives.
When examining individual accounts such as savings, checking, credit card, etc., the focal point is typically the account register, or merely the register. Data that is downloaded from financial institutions into the register or that you enter manually flows into budget accounts, updates net worth values, and helps estimate tax liabilities, just to name a few possible actions.
Financial Account Setup & Transaction Downloading
Like most finance- and investment-related programs, data is required in order to perform the desired analysis. In the case of personal finance programs such as Quicken and Money, the required data relates to your financial accountssavings and checking, credit cards, mortgages and loans, and investment accounts. While you have the option to manually enter transaction information for various accounts, both programs allow you to download transaction data directly from the respective financial institutions.
With Quicken, setting up my primary savings and checking accounts, credit card account, and investment accounts went effortlessly. You type in the institution name and Quicken attempts to match it. If the institution is supported by Quicken, you indicate the type of account it is and then enter your custom ID and password information. If you have already set up on-line accounts with your various financial institutions, chances are you will use the same log-in information with Quicken99% of the 4,400 banks, credit card companies, and brokerage houses accessible by Quicken (up from 2,700 in 2006) support this one-step data update.
Setting up these same financial accounts with Money 2007 Premium, while relatively easy, is not nearly as straightforward. Unfortunately, there is the annoying need for a Windows Live (formerly Passport) ID in order to connect on-line to your financial accounts. This is because all of your financial data that is used by Money is stored on Microsoft servers, and you need the Windows Live account to access the servers. Undoubtedly, some potential users may be turned off by the fact that their financial information is housed on Microsoft servers, although the data transmissions are encrypted. This is in stark contrast to Quicken, where all of your information is housed on your own hard drive.
Once setup is complete, downloading data from financial institutions is also extremely easy with Quicken 2007 Premier. The programs express Web connect automates the process of downloading transaction data from all your financial accounts at the same time. Furthermore, the programs PIN Vault protects this vital account information in an encrypted, password-protected folder that is inaccessible from outside of the program. After I downloaded the transaction histories for my accounts, it was also reassuring to see that the balances displayed within Quicken matched what I found on-line for each institution.
One complaint I have when it comes to downloading financial transactions with Quicken is the apparent lack of ability to specify the time period you wish to download. It appears that Quicken defaults to roughly 90 days of transaction data. Money 2007 Premium, on the other hand, allows you to specify how far back you wish to download, provided the institution makes that data available for download.
Microsoft Money, similar to Quicken, uses the same user names and passwords when accessing on-line accounts in order to download data from financial institutions. The softwares Password Manager also allows you to save this information so you do not need to re-enter it each time you wish to download the latest account data. However, I found that I had to keep re-entering my log-in information for one account.
I hit a snag with Money 2007 Premium when trying to download data for my retirement account with Vanguard. When attempting to track my positions and transactions with Vanguard, I was never able to arrive at an account balance that matched what was shown at the Vanguard Web site. The only way I found to do this was to merely track my positions and bypass tracking the accounts transaction history. Also, I repeatedly had trouble downloading data from an account through a well-known credit card company, with all attempts being unsuccessful.
Given all of the unique data both programs use, it is not surprising that both pay a good deal of attention to data backups, although the programs take two very different approaches. Money takes more of a brute force approach, asking if you wish to back-up your data every time you exit the program. This is despite the ability to specify a back-up schedule. You can back up your Money data to your hard disk as well as to a CD, DVD, or floppy disk.
Quicken is a little less intrusive with its backups. Users are asked every three times they close the program if they wish to back up their data to a floppy disk, CD, or DVD. New this year is the option of backing up your Quicken data files on-line using Quicken Online Backup. For $9.99 a year you have access to up to 100M (megabytes) of on-line storage for all your Quicken data files. Additional storage space is also available1G (gigabyte) for $49.99 per year and 10G for $149.99 per year. This is a feature Microsoft Money is currently lacking.
Automated Transaction Entry
When you download transaction data for your various financial accounts, both Money and Quicken attempt to automatically categorize them into specific spending categories, with varying degrees of success. Categorizing transactions, while seemingly mundane, allows you to get a more accurate picture of your spending habits since both programs allow you to view expenditures within individual categories.
Intuit claims to have improved Quickens auto-categorizing, which in my testing did do a better job of accurately categorizing transactions compared to Money 2007 Premium. If a transaction is miscategorized, or if you wish to use a different category for a transaction, Quicken and Money allow you to change the category. In addition, both programs are able to remember the categories for a payee for future entries.
Bill Scheduling & Payments
For bill management and payment, the Scheduled Bills & Deposit report that is now at the Quicken 2007 home page provides easy access to pending bills along with those that have been paid. From the home page, users can now see how their overall cash balance will be impacted by future expenses and income. The on-line Quicken Bill Pay service is also fully integrated with Quicken 2007 Premier, so users can schedule payments directly from their account register or from the Quicken Bill Pay Web site. These same payments are then synchronized with the Quicken software. You enroll with Quicken Bill Pay directly from the software. First-time users of Quicken Bill Pay can sign up for up 20 free payments during the first month, after which Bill Pay costs $9.95 per month for up to 20 transactions and $2.49 for every five additional payments.
With Money 2007 Premium you can also pay your bills on-line. However, you must first enroll in your banks on-line bill payment system or with a bill payment service provider, a process not quite as efficient as Quickens. However, some banks offer free on-line bill payment, so paying bills on-line with Money 2007 could be cheaper than using Quicken Bill Pay, depending on the service you use.
Budgeting & Financial Planning
Beyond being able to track your financial accounts, personal finance programs strive to help you better manage your finances to plan for the future. As discussed earlier, both Money 2007 Premium and Quicken 2007 Premier allow users to assign budget categories within account registers. Taking the time to categorize your transactions accurately allows Quicken and Money to maximize their budgeting capabilities. If you do not categorize your transactions, the budgets and plans developed by these programs may not accurately reflect how much money you actually spend.
Money 2007 offers two budgeting optionsthe Essential Budget and the new Savings & Spending Budget, which we covered in detail earlier. The Essential Budget is designed to handle day-to-day budgeting and tracks income versus expenses. Users can choose specific expense categories to monitor, or they can create their own. The program will then issue alerts when you have exceeded your budgeted amount. Money 2007 also provides a budget summary so you can monitor your progress in following your budget. The Savings & Spending Budget allows you to plan for a long-term goal such as retirement or college tuition as well as plan for irregular expenses such as a vacation or major car repairs.
Beyond these two budgeting tools, Money 2007 Premium also offers planning tools to reduce debt, create a lifetime financial plan, plan for retirement, and save for a specific goal.
The Quicken 2007 Planning Center offers tools to help you reach a number of long-term goals, such as retirement, college, buying a home, reducing debt, or making a special purchase. Quickens auto budget module allows you to manually enter the amounts you spend each month on various budget categories or the program can create a budget based on your past spending patterns. Once again, however, the accuracy of this and any other budget is dependent on the proper categorizing of your financial transactions.
Both programs offer a long-term planning tool, which looks at your total current financial situation, including current income, savings and investments, assets such as a home or rental property, loans and debts, and expenses. Based on assumptions such as expected inflation, rates of return on your investments, expected contributions to retirement accounts, increases in your income, and any expected pensions, the programs will give you an idea of the amount of money you will have at your desired retirement age.
Given the depth of tools both programs offer for budgeting and financial planning, as well as their relative ease-of-use, users of either program would be well served in their endeavors.
Looking at column after column of numbers can eventually become mind-numbing. In addition, many people respond to or interpret graphical information more easily. For this reason, reports are a key component of any personal finance program. They allow the user to pull their financial plan together in an easy-to-understand visual format.
Within both Quicken 2007 Premier and Money 2007 Premium there are a bevy of reports that provide a coherent and useful breakdown of your financial information into a variety of specific categories. Quicken 2007 has an improved Reports Center that offers six new reports and now allows users to customize reports before they are generated, organize saved reports in folders, and create toolbar shortcuts within the program for quick access to frequently used reports. In all, Quicken 2007 Premier has over 40 reports for individuals covering banking, spending, investing, and taxes. I am especially impressed with the EasyAnswer reports that show you where you are spending your money, what your savings habits are, what your net worth is, and how well you are sticking to your budget. You can export report data from Quicken to spreadsheet programs and to PDF format.
Microsoft Money 2007 Premium offers its fair share of reportsover 30 in alldealing with income and expenses, investments, assets and liabilities, and taxes. The programs monthly reports allow you to compare your income and spending for one month to the prior month. These reports show you how much you saved for the month, break down spending by budget categories, and tell you how your spending within these categories differs from the prior month. The monthly reports also display your net worth over the last year, how well you are sticking to a debt-reduction plan suggested by Money, and the performance of your investments held in your various accounts. Users can customize reports to cover specific time periods and also create favorite reports for easy access. In addition, you can export report data to an Excel spreadsheet for additional analysis.
Overall, I liked the setup and look of the reports in Money 2007 Premium more than those in Quicken 2007 Premier.
Since taxes impact your finances, they should also play a role in the budgeting and planning process. Personal finance programs can help you review pending tax liabilities and can offer suggestions and adjustments to potentially reduce your taxes or to modify your tax withholdings. Quicken and Money link to tax preparation programs such as TaxCut from H&R Block and Intuits TurboTax; data entered into Money and Quicken can also be exported for tax analysis and calculation. Both Money 2007 Premium and Quicken 2007 Premier also have entire sections devoted to tax-related issues. However, it is worth mentioning that both Quicken and Money fall well short in their management of student loans for tax purposes.
In Quicken, you can set up your paycheck within the program as well as tax-related expenses such as federal income tax and Medicare deductions. Quickens Deduction Finder can help you identify additional tax deductions to lower your tax liability. Just like the diligence needed in assigning budget categories to your transactions, it is important to set up your gross pay and deductions to get the most out of the programs tax-related tools. Once you have done this, Quickens Tax Planner can estimate you current-year tax liability. Then, you can adjust your payroll exemptions, if necessary. The Tax Planner offers additional tools that allow you to perform what if analysis to judge the tax implications of certain tax-related financial actions, including selling stock or buying a home.
Quicken offers a better array of tax-related reports, including a capital gains report, a tax schedule displaying tax-related transactions subtotaled by tax form line item, and a tax summary with tax-related transactions subtotaled by category. The program can also generate IRS Schedules A, B, and D. It also offers seamless integration with its tax counterpart at IntuitTurboTaxas well as the TurboTax Web site. Within Quicken there is information on exporting data to TurboTax and importing last years TurboTax data into Quicken.
Like Quicken, Money 2007 Premium is equipped with a deduction finder that suggests potential deductions after you answer a set of questions. Once you have set up your deductions, Money can monitor your tax-deductible expenses in order to estimate your tax liability. This helps you know whether you are having enough taxes withheld from your paycheck. When it is time to file your taxes, you can print reports to refer to while filing by hand, export your data to a tax preparation program, file your return with the IRS via the Internet, or even E-mail your information directly to your tax preparer. Money is a bit lacking in the reports it offers, but you can print reports displaying tax-related income and expenses, capital gains or losses, loan interest, or an itemized list of tax-deductible expenses.
Portfolio Management Features
Any investments you have will impact several aspects of your finances, including your taxes and long-term retirement plans. For this reason, personal finance programs such as Money and Quicken offer basic portfolio tracking and analysis functionality.
Buying and selling a security, receiving cash or stock dividends, and receiving interest income are the transactions the average investor will need to record. Moving beyond these standard transactions, Money and Quicken offer additional recording options such as margin purchases, short sales, and the reinvestment of dividends. Both programs also allow for three different security lot assignment methodsaverage cost, FIFO (first in, first out) and specific lot. Transactions and security lot cost basis methods are handled in relatively the same manner with both programs.
Although Money comes in multiple versionsEssentials, Deluxe, and Premiumthe Premium version is geared toward the investor, with modules to analyze investments and provide tax analysis of stock transactions. Money tracks a standard set of securities such as cash, stocks, options, mutual funds, and bonds, and the program has a special account type to track employee stock options.
Quicken 2007 Premiers Investing Center offers a variety of portfolio analysis tools, charts, and graphs. Users can see how their investments are doing relative to the market and how they have done over time; what securities are driving your portfolios performance; whether or not your portfolio is balanced; or whether you are invested in top-rated mutual funds. There is also an analyzer that helps to describe your portfolio holdings, performance, asset allocation, risk profile, and tax implications. Support for IRAs, employee stock purchase plans, and short sales is also provided. Quicken includes the basic holding and performance reports for securities and asset classes for single portfolios only. These reports can be customized and generated between periods. Quicken only generates a value-weighted rate of return.
While both Money and Quicken have significantly expanded their handling and reporting of investments over the last few years, the reality is that neither of these programs can satisfy the portfolio tracking and management needs of many investors. That being said, I believe that Money 2007 Premium is better equipped for portfolio tracking and analysis. As in past years, its tight integration with the MSN Money Web site, one of the best overall investment-related Web sites, is a definite bonus. For more information on portfolio management and tracking software and services, refer to the July/August 2006 Computerized Investing for a comparison of Web-based portfolio management services and the July/August 2005 issue for a comparison of portfolio management software; both articles are available at AAII.com.
Companion Web Sites
Despite being software-based in nature, Intuit and Microsoft also have a formidable presence on the Internet with the Quicken.com (www.quicken.com) and MSN Money (www.investor.com) Web sites. Money 2007 offers near-seamless integration with the MSN Money Web site via an integrated Web browser. In Quicken, on the other hand, the Web browser opens in a separate browser. The MSN Money site is a comprehensive one-stop investment super center, offering analysis tools, research capabilities, company reports, current and historical financial data, company and market news, advice, and educational materials. The site offers a portfolio tracker and stock and mutual fund screening that are among the best on the Internet.
The portfolio tracking module offers customizable displays and a multitude of sorting techniques. With over 12,500 funds in its database and over 80 screening criteria, the sites deluxe fund screener is a highly sophisticated free screening tool. There are also over 200 data points on each fund. The stock screener has nearly 200 criteria for screening, and over 1,500 statistics on individual stocks are provided. Both programs are highly flexible and easy to navigate. Price charts date back to 1962. Chart data, stock and fund screening results, and portfolio tracking data can all be exported to Excel.
Finally, users of the Money software can also view their accounts and bills tracked in the software on-line at the MSN Money Web site.
The Quicken Web site has had a bit of an identity crisis over the last couple of years. Once a highly rated Web site accessible to all, the site has gone from being strictly a repackager of Yahoo! Finance data to a members-only site providing some unique analysis tools and integration with the Quicken software. Quicken software users can track their bank and credit card accounts and view their investment portfolios on Quicken.com.
The sites One-Click Scorecard allows you to rate your stocks using investment strategies of some top investment expertsRobert Hagstroms The Warren Buffett Way, Geraldine Weiss Blue Chip Strategy, and The Motley Fools Foolish 8 Strategy. Lastly, the Stock Evaluator lets you review a stocks growth trends, financial health, management performance, market multiples, and intrinsic value. While Quicken.com has seen some improvements over the last two years, the MSN Money Web site continues to be in a class by itself.
Given the wealth of features both Money 2007 Premium and Quicken 2007 Premier offer, it is good to know that users have at their disposal an abundance of support resources.
Money users have access to how-to videos and a built-in searchable users guide and FAQs. On-line you can find a knowledge base, user discussion groups and RSS feeds for support updates. Microsoft does outdo Intuit in terms of telephone support. If you are having a problem with the software, you can call, toll-free, or access free on-line support between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Pacific) on weekdays and between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Quicken, too, provides its users with an on-line knowledge base and FAQs, animated tutorials, and a 6,000-member-strong user forum. However, if you wish to speak to someone regarding anything more than the most basic of issues, be prepared to pull out your credit card, as it will cost you $24.95 per incident. Toll-free phone support for issues related to software registration, upgrading, Bill Pay, and program defects is available on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific). Free on-line live chat assistance is available 24/7, except between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. (Pacific), and E-mail support with promised 24-hour turnaround is also available 24/7.
The Bottom Line
Over the last several years, Quicken and Money have been locked in a struggle of one-upmanship as they strive to out-feature one another. For those who simply enjoy the competition between these two giants, the 2007 versions of Money Premium and Quicken Premier may somewhat disappoint. Quicken achieves some tangible separation from Money this year with its revamped home page, improved digital document integration and Express Web Connect.
That being said, Money 2007 Premium and Quicken 2007 Premier are still closely matched applications. In cases such as this, the reasons for selecting one program over another become extremely subjective, with users often simply opting for the one with the bigger name. However, here we have two programs that have established themselves as the top choices in the personal finance arena. For Mac users, the choice is quite easy, since only Quicken offers a Mac-compatible version in the form of Quicken 2007 for Mac. But many Mac users will probably once again feel slighted as this Mac version is lacking many of the more advanced features found in Quicken Premier.
It is important, however, to ignore the hype when it comes to any type of finance- or investment-related software. The overriding factors when selecting software of this ilk are whether it fits your needs and how closely it matches your computer skill level.
Table 1 provides a checklist showing our head-to-head comparison of Quicken 2007 Premier and Money 2007 Premium. Each check in the finance, portfolio management, and technical support sections rates one point. One-half point was awarded for each checkmark in the companion Web site section. A checkmark was awarded when I felt one program clearly excelled over the other in providing an easy-to-use and functional feature. In those cases when neither program held a clear advantage, both were awarded a check.
In the end, Quicken 2007 Premier emerges as this years winner. Its newly redesigned home page makes the overall program much easier to navigate, a big plus for those new to personal finance software. This is not to say that Money 2007 Premium is difficult to navigate. But compared to Quickens slick new layout, Microsoft has its work cut out for it. I feel that Money does a better job compared to Quicken in the tracking and analysis of investment portfoliosbut, realistically, one should not be looking to this type of a program to manage their portfolio. Furthermore, the MSN Money Web site is far superior to Quicken.com. Again, however, the site is accessible to everyone and should not play a significant role in swaying a person to one program or another.
For current users of either Quicken or Money, there is no compelling reason to switch programs if your needs are currently being met. Furthermore, there is no pressing need to update if you are using the 2006 versions of either Money or Quicken. However, if you are using an earlier version of either program, you may need to upgrade in order to access on-line data for your financial accounts.
|Table 1. Rating the Programs|
|Quicken 2007 Premier||Money 2007 Premium|
|Account Transaction Management Features|
|X||Transaction Data Downloading|
|Automatic Data Updating||X|
|X||Automatic Transaction Categorization|
|X||Attach Electronic Images|
|Personal Finance Features|
|X||On-Line Bill Payment||X|
|X||Cash Flow Forcasting|
|X||Debt Reduction Planner|
|X||Tax Deduction Finder||X|
|X||Tax Withholding Estimator||X|
|X||Capital Gains Estimator||X|
|X||Tax Schedule Preparation|
|X||Export to Tax Software|
|Portfolio Management Features|
|X||Capital Gains Tracking/Optimization||X|
|X||Security Lot Assignments||X|
|X||Basic Holdings Reports||X|
|Technical/User Support Feauters|
|X||On-Line FAQs, Knowledge Base||X|
|Free Phone Support||X|
|Companion Web Site|
|X||View Investment Portfolio||X|
|X||View Financial Accounts|
|Financial Planning Resources||X|
|Scoring System: 1 point per account management feature; 1 point per personal finance feature; 1 point per tax feature; 1 point per portfolio management feature;1 point per technical support feature; 0.5 point per companion Web site feature.|
Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is editor of Computerized Investing and AAIIs financial analyst.