by CI Staff
In the Fourth Quarter 2010 issue of Computerized Investing we will feature our top picks among online portfolio management and tracking services. These tools tend to be suited for those looking to track the day-to-day movements of their portfolio holdings. Generally speaking, however, online portfolio trackers tend to be less sophisticated than their software-based counterparts. This month’s Featured Download, StockMarketEye, is a unique portfolio tracking and charting application in that it comes in both Windows and Mac versions. The program is from TransparenTech, costs $39.95, and allows users to track stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), cash and currency pairs. For those interested in trying the program before buying it, there is a full-featured 30-day day free trial version.
When you first open the program you are given one portfolio and three watchlists, which are useful when trying to get a feel for the program. You can keep the portfolio and watchlists, rename them, or delete them as you see fit. Portfolios track the current market value of a collection of stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and cash. The program supports stocks from most major global stock exchanges, including the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and more, with investments displayed in native currencies. When creating a portfolio, you can specify the date each security was purchased, the price paid, the number of shares purchased, and transaction costs. A watchlist tracks securities, including currency pairs, from a starting “watch” price. If you already have a list of tickers in either CSV or Quicken QIF format, StockMarketEye allows you to import this data into a watchlist so you don’t have to enter it manually.
The program also allows you to enter dividend payments as either cash payments or reinvested additional shares to provide a more complete performance picture. You can also track the cost basis of your holdings.
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Beyond displaying the current price data for the assets in a portfolio or watchlist, you can customize the data that the program displays. In all there are over 70 data columns from which to choose, including short ratio, earnings per share estimates for the current and next fiscal years and the next fiscal quarter, cost basis per share, and percentage total return.
The program also allows you to “experiment” with the holdings in your portfolio or watchlist. By changing the current price of an asset, any fundamental data (P/E ratio, PEG, etc.) or performance data related to the current price will also change. However, I did have some trouble with the program automatically reverting back to the current price one I made manual changes. I received error messages that the program was not able to access the Yahoo! Quote Server. Granted I was doing this after-hours, so this may have been the reason. But this is something to be aware of so that you make sure you are getting the correct performance data later on.
For those wanting to see a visual history of their holdings, StockMarketEye provides simple charting capabilities. You can create the most common chart types—line, open-high-low-close bar charts, and candlestick charts. You can plot end-of-day data going back to the start of 1992 and choose from a variety of time periods, but it would be nice to specify custom timeframes. You can also choose from eight common technical indicators, including simple and exponential moving averages, MACD, and stochastics.
For those looking for a user-friendly portfolio tracking application, you should be very happy with StockMarketEye. Setting up portfolios and watchlists and navigating the program is very easy. It is also nice to be able to view selected fundamental data for your holdings instead of just seeing performance data. There is adequate online documentation to help you along should you run into trouble. The only drawback, for me anyway, is the price. While $40 isn’t unreasonable, I would have preferred getting some analytical capabilities for the price. However, many people prefer to have their portfolio data residing locally on their computer instead of having it stored on a server, which is often the case with online portfolio trackers. Luckily, there is the 30-day free trial period that should give you plenty of time to decide whether paying the $40 is worthwhile to you.
Systems: Windows XP or higher, including Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit versions) or Mac OS X; 9M of free hard drive space; Internet connection
Price: $39.95 (free 30-day trial)
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