Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
Quicken Medical Expense Manager
Quicken is probably best known for its money management software programs, but Intuit also has software and on-line programs for a variety of other everyday issues such as health care. The company is currently advertising a free on-line program called Quicken Health, which will be available soon. However, Quicken Health will be for members of UnitedHealthCare and CIGNA HealthCare insurance plans only.
Currently, Quicken offers a Medical Expense Manager software program for managing insurance plans from any provider as well as Medicare. The program can be downloaded from the Quicken Web site or installed via CD-ROM.
Quicken Medical Expense Manager includes a cost calculator that provides a detailed look into your medical bills and spending, allowing for comparison of your options as well as budgeting for future expenses. You can also track your medical claims and payments from multiple insurance companies.
If you get a bill and are unsure what your next step is, Quicken’s program can help you decide the correct action: Pay the bill, wait for insurance to pay, ask your insurer questions, or other options. You can also manage installment payments and track the total bill until it is paid in full.
Quicken Medical Expense Manager has the ability to search for and help you fix billing errors such as duplicate billings. There is a pre-written letter of dispute form you can fill out and send to your insurance company.
A deductibles report tracks the progress of your insurance deductibles by individual and family. If you use a Flex Spending Account for medical expenses, you can also track your expenses and contributions. Finally, the program can help you at tax time to make sure you claim the proper medical expense deductions. Quicken Medical Expense Manager also acts as a one-stop storage place for all your important medical records including contact information, prescriptions, medical history, doctor’s visits, immunizations and more. A reminder tool can send alerts for upcoming medical appointments.
ICLUBcentral’s Stock Prospector
ICLUBcentral’s Stock Prospector is a stock screening and selection program. You can create a custom stock screen from over 120 criteria and search a database of over 7,000 stocks.
There are two ways to create screens: You can either use a wizard that walks you through the process step-by-step, or create an entire screen on your own. The wizard allows you to choose from seven predefined screens including one focused on Dow Jones industrial average stocks; screens looking for growth, quality, safety and value companies; as well as two proprietary screens.
The custom screen creation is simplistic, making it easy for beginners to use. First, rank four criteria (growth, value, quality and safety) based on importance to you (from least to most). Then you can rank the companies passing the criteria by a number of criteria in ascending or descending order. The list is displayed along with some statistics on each stock. A great “What’s This” feature gives a definition for each data column and is accessed by right-clicking on a column heading.
To create your own screen from scratch, you can choose from a variety of criteria including risk measures, performance, earnings growth and more. Creating your own screen is also easy: Select the appropriate criteria from the list, choose “Add,” and then pick a comparison value.
Once the screen has been run, you can customize the columns (called a Report) displayed and rank the securities by any of the columns. Data can also be printed and exported. In order to get updated price and company data, you must subscribe to an additional data feed.
Scottrade Mutual Fund Center
Scottrade, most widely known for its low-cost stock trading, has launched a new and improved Mutual Fund Center. New features include a mutual fund screener, Lipper Leader ratings, expense and performance information, real-time customizable charts and a comparison tool for use with up to five mutual funds at once. Basic versions of some of the new tools are available to the public for free, but full use versions are only accessible to Scottrade customers.
Intuit Ends Support of Quicken 2005
As of April 30, 2008, users of any Quicken 2005 products will no longer receive technical support from Intuit. Users of the older Quicken version can upgrade to Quicken 2008 at a discounted rate. You can call 800-843-0012 for more information.
Reuters Stock Buzz
Reuters has added a new, free feature to its site called Stock Buzz. Reuters partnered with SocialPicks to create this on-line social network for stock investors to share investment ideas, exchange market research and track relative investment performance with respect to the experts and their peers. Stock Buzz includes: Today’s Top Picks, a look at the day’s top stock selections made by investors in the network; Rock Star Investors Next Door, a ranking of top-performing investors in the Stock Buzz community; SocialPicks Ask, where investors can initiate discussions and share market insight; and SocialPicks Suggests, a list of stocks that might be of interest to individual users based on individual portfolio preferences. Finally, users can track their portfolios compared to professional analysts and stock-picking gurus like Warren Buffett and Jim Cramer.
Market Probability Ends Support
Market Probability is no longer offering its market data and tools to individual investors. Only authorized institutional staff can access the Web site.
Quote.com, a site that provides individual investors with free market data including quotes, charts, news and educational information, has been redesigned. The site now includes improved interactive and customizable technical charting, additional market data analysis tools, a customizable portfolio management tool and a new educational area.
eSignal Updates LiveCharts
eSignal, a provider of streaming, real-time financial market data and news, has upgraded its LiveCharts. LiveCharts now has the ability to collaborate between numerous financial service platforms, uses a customizable interface, and includes international exchanges as well as data on the Forex spot currency market and more. LiveCharts’ add-ons include the ability to chart options, get in-depth market data and news, and use the feature with a mobile device. In addition, a more advanced charting feature allows for an unlimited number of indicators and lines. A subscription to LiveCharts costs $19.95 per month.