Market Dynamics is a technical charting tool for point & figure charts. Clay Allen is the program creator and also provides the program support. Allen is a CFA charterholder with 40 years of investing experience.
Point & figure charts consist of columns of X’s and O’s that represent price movements. However, they remove the effects of time from the analysis process and filter out insignificant price movements.
The idea behind the program is to quickly identify changing patterns and trends that might offer potential entry and exit points for investors. Allen uses long-term relative strength (versus the S&P 500) point & figure charts to do this.
Allen recommends using 80% fundamental data for purchases and 80% technical analysis for selling stocks. He believes that underperforming investments can drag down an entire portfolio. Market Dynamics is designed to help investors identify and eliminate problem investments.
To use the program, simply enter any ticker symbol or company name. The chart shows the relative strength versus the S&P. You can add bullish support and bearish resistance lines along with trendlines.
Performance alerts are automatically generated based on four technical analysis sell rules. You can read about these in the program’s tutorial. You can print and save the charts for later use.
Allen sends E-mails to subscribers with updated data for the program, which must be manually installed. You will also receive weekly essays and new charting patterns that Allen is working on.
Along with fully functioning versions of the program for stocks, exchange-traded funds and mutual funds, the CD-ROM includes a PDF copy of Allen’s book “Winning the Performance Game” and a complete collection of weekly essays.
System Requirements: Windows 98 or higher
Price: $500/yr.; free three-month trial (request by E-mail)
7325 S. Jackson Street
Centennial, CO 80122
Personal Finances Pro is a downloadable software program that helps users track their finances. The program groups expenses and income into categories to help determine where money is flowing from and to.
The program allows for multiple accounts (checking, savings and credit cards) to be created. Adding income and expense transactions to each account is simple using the program’s wizard. You can set up recurring transactions as well as label, tag and assign each transaction to a specific family member. A button called “QExpense” brings up your commonly used expense labels so you do not have to re-enter them each time.
A checkbook-like register shows the expenses and income sources over each month as well as the balance of various checking accounts and credit cards. A calendar view provides a quick look at your remaining balances for each day or week of the month.
Additionally, you can create a budget that divides spending goals into various categories like clothing, entertainment and food.
A reconciliation tab allows you to balance your transactions with your reported cash balance, as you would balance your checkbook against a bank statement. The system will perform the reconciliation automatically and alert you of discrepancies. You can make changes as needed.
You can generate reports showing income versus expenses as a whole or broken down by category as well as trends over various time periods. The reports can be customized by chart type and time period and can also be printed and saved.
System Requirements: Internet connection
Price: $34.95, personal license; $44.95, family license (for use on up to three PCs). Also offers a Home version (no advanced budgeting or account reconciliation): $24.95, personal; $29.95, family; and a free version with limit of 200 transactions.
AbleTrend is a program for charting end-of-day or real-time data. If you are using real-time data, you must have a subscription with a compatible third-party vendor.
Creating new charts is simple: Enter the ticker symbol, timeframe, chart type (open, high, low, close; line; or candlestick), color and weight of the lines, and the tick spacing.
By clicking the STM icon, you can add AbleTrend’s trend one (buy and sell signals), trend two (dynamic support and resistance) and 10-day exponential moving average trendlines to the chart.
The “An” shortcut button is used for adding technical indicators. Available indicators include: six proprietary indicators, Bollinger bands, moving averages, percent ranks, relative strength indexes and more. You can add multiple indicators at once and customize the line colors and weights. Indicator templates can be saved to use on additional charts in the future. You can create multiple charts at once and save them as one workspace.
Chart settings can be customized by choosing the background color and font and inserting a grid.
Right-clicking the chart allows quick access to chart formatting and editing. You can also use this feature to draw lines and denote crossovers and certain points on the graphs. For more detailed information about a specific bar or point on the chart, you can choose the “Inf” button.
The Web site provides a instructional video with information on how to install and use AbleTrend. You can also get one-on-one support (including during the trial period).
System Requirements: Windows 2000 or higher; Internet connection; Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. For real-time data, you need a subscription to a third-party data feed. For a list of compatible feeds, go to: www.wintick.com/home/requirements.
Price: $2,076/yr., end-of-day data; $2,758/yr., real-time data; 30-day pay trial
20954 Corsair Boulevard
Hayward, CA 94545
MadScan is a software program that alerts active traders of technical indicator movements within milliseconds of the event happening. After you download and install the software, you can configure the alerts you would like to receive.
Signal alerts are numerous and range from price (open, close, high and low over varying periods), candle patterns and moving averages, to multiple additional technical indicators, trend reversals and custom alerts. You can learn about each alert type at the Web site. The alert window displays all of your alerts at once.
You can also create filters that will exclude any alerts that don’t meet specific criteria. Filters again range from technical indicators to news, earnings announcements and analyst actions. For example, you can filter for news that was posted within the last hour.
The Elite version includes streaming real-time news and charting tools with the ability to display four charts at once. News comes from a number of sources including popular newswire services. There are a number of drawing tools including arcs and Fibonacci retracements.
For each program, you have a choice of exchanges (Amex, NASDAQ or NYSE). Historical data is available also. Alerts are generally used only for real-time data.
System Requirements: Windows 2000; Internet connection
Price: $64.99/mo., Standard; $89.99/mo., Elite version; $1 per month for each exchange added; free 30-day trial
3109 Sterling Road, Suite 201
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
As of June 30, 2009, Microsoft Money Plus is no longer available for purchase. If you have purchased this personal finance software product, you must activate it prior to January 31, 2011. Microsoft’s decision is based on a changing need for the product due to the number of banks, brokerage firms and Web sites that provide similar personal finance services.
SignalWatch Live is a free trading tool that provides investors with live trading signals, news alerts and an on-line community. The application must be downloaded and installed on your computer. Once installed, users can listen to market commentaries and news as well as hear audible alerts on index values. Users can also exchange investing ideas and techniques. Optional paid content includes watchlists, live stock alerts and industry analysis.
SimpliFi is a Web site that helps with personal financial planning and goal setting. The site’s virtual advisor, Sophie, walks you through a four-step process to create a plan, map out your goals, connect your goals to your actual spending, and choose and implement an appropriate plan. The site does not ask for bank account numbers or access codes, but does need estimated balances of your assets and liabilities to make accurate assumptions in creating a plan. Access to SimpliFi is free.
Discount broker Scottrade has introduced an enhanced mobile trading site.
Customers can manage their accounts and make trades from any Internet-enabled mobile device; there is no application to install. Real-time research, news and information are also provided. Scottrade customers can access the site for free by going to m.scottrade.com on a mobile device.
TraderPlanet is a social networking site for active traders and investors. The site has been redesigned and enhanced to include improved navigation, photo management, and sign-up and profile-editing processes. It also features a newly organized blog directory and message board, as well as expert market commentary that is updated daily and arranged by category. The site also recently launched a new daily advice column for members to ask questions of “Trader Ed.” Access to TraderPlanet is free.
ICLUBcentral has upgraded Toolkit 6, its stock analysis software. More than 20 improvements, enhancements, and corrections have been made.
A new header for the Stock Study displays sector, quality and the date of the last price update. The data entry screen now allows you to enter the company’s sector, quality, and target return. R-squared values are given for historical earnings per share and sales. Additional customization tools have been added. Implied earnings per share growth rates are now reported.
Toolkit 6 costs $179.99 for new users or $119.99 to upgrade.
Psydex provides services that search and analyze the world’s real-time information sources. The company’s latest addition is called PsyngBot, an instant messaging companion.
PsyngBot is an application that works with AOL’s AIM instant messaging service and provides traders with access to newswires, blogs, social media feeds and TV news closed captions as they’re published. PsyngBot scours the Internet in real time to detect news events. Currently PsyngBot is free, but only for a limited trial period. The company has yet to determine a price structure.
MUTUALdecision is a Web site that uses models to make forecasts of mutual fund performances. The models use fund performance data going back to 1986 to isolate statistical indicators for forecasting future returns. The latest addition to the site is the Fund Rank, which ranks more than 3,000 equity mutual funds based on various models. The models include: Return Gap, Active Share, Judging Funds Manager and Forecasting Alphas. Access to the site costs $5.95 per month; a free 14-day trial is available.
On-line broker Charles Schwab has released several upgrades to its active trader tools. New tools include charting tools for options-specific technical data; new capabilities for the options screener including covered call, delta and implied volatility; and historical option price charts and profit/loss charts. Active trader tools are available to Charles Schwab traders who make at least 30 trades per quarter.
Nokia has launched a financial service called Nokia Money, designed to let consumers pay bills and send money to friends and family using their cell phones. Nokia said the service is designed to operate with different networks and financial institutions. It can also work with any cell phone, not just Nokia models.