New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
Edge is a subscriber area on the Bollinger on Bollinger Bands website that is designed to highlight days of expected strength or weakness in a stock or index. After choosing a stock to buy or sell, it is natural for investors to wonder what the best time would be to enter or exit the position. Edge attempts to answer that question by providing information on how the security has behaved, depending on the day or time of year. After you enter a symbol and date range, Edge shows patterns that the stock has exhibited based on the day of the week, the end of the month, up/down sequences and market holidays.
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The day-of-week chart shows the price change of the tradable security from Monday through Friday over the period of time you specify. For each day, it reports the overnight, intraday and daily gain or loss percentages.
End-of-month charts use historical data for the 10 days prior to and the 10 days after the last day of each month, showing the gain and loss percentage for each of the days. A blue line is included on the chart; it provides the price change for five days before and after the third Friday of the month.
Reporting on the pattern of up/down sequences is an interesting concept. This page shows the percentage of days the stock had a price change upward and the average gain/loss for the next day after a particular sequence. For example, if you choose four as the sequence length, the site will show the next-day price incline probability and the average next-day gain/loss after each four-day sequence, such as down, down, down, down; up, up, up, up; and down, up, down, up.
Lastly, the holiday section provides value changes for a stock or index three days before and after each major holiday on which markets are closed. The data is shown in both a table and a chart.
System Requirements: Web browser and Internet connection
Price: $25 per month; 30-day free trial
Bollinger Capital Management
P.O. Box 3358
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Quote Sentinel is a Web-based stock monitoring program that alerts you via e-mail or text message when your stock reaches certain price levels, saving you time while making sure you have updated figures.
After signing up, click on the settings icon at the top of the page and input the e-mail address and phone number where you want the alerts to be sent (if you do not want alerts sent to your phone, do not enter a phone number). Next, click on the monitor icon at the top and enter the symbol of a stock you want to track in the box at the left of the page. The price of the stock will be automatically generated. Directly under the symbol and price are two cells where you can enter a high and low price, which serve as your alert points. For instance, if you are interested in tracking Microsoft and would like to be alerted if it drops to $22 or rises to $27, enter MSFT into the symbol cell, $22 into the low cell and $27 into the high cell. Going forward, an e-mail and/or text message will be sent to you if Microsoft hits these levels. The monitor screen lists the companies that you are tracking, as well as the current and alert prices. You are able to change these values or delete companies and add new ones at any time.
Quote Sentinel offers a range of pricing options. In their plans section (www.quotesentinel.com/plans), you can select from personal, investor, trader and professional plans. The personal plan is free; it allows you to monitor 10 separate companies and provides 10 e-mail and text message alerts a month. The investor plan costs $8 a month and includes 20 company monitors, 50 e-mail alerts and 20 text message alerts per month. Their most popular plan is the trader option: It costs $13 a month and includes 60 company monitors with unlimited e-mail alerts and 120 text message alerts per month. The highest selection, the professional plan, costs $39 a month and comes with unlimited monitors, e-mail alerts and text message alerts.
System Requirements: Web browser and Internet connection; phone, if receiving text alerts
Price: personal plan, free; investor plan, $8/month; trader plan, $13/month; professional plan, $39/month
AceMoney is a personal financial management program designed to help you keep track of your bank, credit card, investment and loan accounts in one location. The downloadable program is very intuitive and the interface is straightforward. A free version called AceMoney Lite includes all the features of AceMoney but only allows you to enter two accounts.
The program’s home page lists all of your accounts. You add accounts by entering all relevant information and the opening balance. The Pay Bills button on the home page shows your current bill schedule and allows you to add recurring and one-time payments. As long as all transaction information is entered, the program will automatically deduct these expenses from your bank accounts at the appropriate times, keeping your balances up to date.
In addition, AceMoney presents a fairly comprehensive investment performance section. After entering all the pertinent data for your investments, the chart lists the securities’ tickers, names, last prices, quantities and totals. Prices are automatically updated throughout the day and can be manually updated at any time by selecting Download Prices. The investment transactions section further records buys, sells, dividends and capital gain distributions. Also, AceMoney shows your allocation by investments, accounts and types.
The categories section comes pre-loaded with 120 categories for separating your income and expenses into groups and presenting the aggregate of each. You are able to add categories that are not in the program and delete ones that you will not use.
AceMoney also makes several reports available; the most useful are the cash flow, spending by categories, spending by payees, performance by investments and budget reports. These reports provide an overall idea as to how your money is being used and areas where your budget is not being met. Each report breaks down income and expenses; you are able to further filter the reports by date.
Overall, AceMoney offers many features while maintaining its ease of use. However, there are now personal financial management programs and websites that link to your bank account and automatically incorporate your transactions without demanding that you manually enter them. However, AceMoney does allow you to enter recurring transactions that are automatically debited from your account, a convenient feature.
System Requirements: Windows; 3.4M free space
Price: $30.00; 30-day free trial; AceMoney Lite available free
Fund Manager 10.8
Fund Manager 10.8 is a portfolio management software program that features automated price updates, graphing, numerous reports, price alerts and multiple currency support. The program is not difficult to use, but it may take some time for you to become familiar with its considerable number of functions.
Fund Manager allows you to retrieve your portfolio positions and transactions by connecting to your brokerage account. A large number of brokerages are compatible, allowing you to upload data by entering the user ID, password and account number. Positions and transactions can be manually input as well. Portfolio updating is not automatic; you need to click Update Pricing to download the newest pricing data from the server of your choice. Most of the commonly used functions are all quickly accessible as buttons on the main page.
After entering your portfolio holdings and transactions, the main screen shows your assets in a price and volume chart. Fund Manager can create numerous graphs for portfolio evaluation, including pie charts, stacked value graphs, and portfolio value charts, along with cost and gain charts for individual investments. Graphs can be customized as to date range and minimum/maximum values. The various graphs and graphing options available provide users with the ability to analyze their holdings from a technical standpoint if they choose to do so.
The true value of Fund Manager lies in its reports section. The program provides reports for portfolio value, investment performance, return on investmentyield, time-weighted return, capital gains, asset allocation, bond summary and income schedule, among others. Running a report involves choosing the portfolio, how the report is listed and your preferred dates. The report calculates the figures between the starting and the ending dates that you specify.
A comprehensive help section is available in Fund Manager, and the website offers video and text tutorials to assist you with the program.
System Requirements: Windows; Internet for portfolio retrieval and price updates
Price: $69; 30-day money-back guarantee
1161 N. Dustin Lane
Chandler, AZ 85226
Using Quickrank on Morningstar.com
Morningstar’s Quickrank tool provides a simple method of ranking stocks, mutual funds and, for premium subscribers, exchange-traded funds (. For stocks, you select a sector and a ranking field—such as year-to-date return, return on equity or three-year earnings growth—and Morningstar provides a list of stocks in that sector sorted by the chosen field. When ranking mutual funds, you select the fund category and a ranking field—such as total return, lowest-cost five-star fund or volatility—and Morningstar will rank the funds accordingly. The ETF Valuation Quickrank is a premium product, and it provides a valuation rating for each ETF that Morningstar covers. The ratings, which range from undervalued to overvalued, are based on Morningstar’s valuations of the ETFs’ underlying holdings. Morningstar’s premium service costs $19.95 per month.
Quant IX Releases Investment Account Manager
A replacement product for the BetterInvesting Portfolio Manager (formerly Portfolio Record Keeper) has been developed by Quant IX Software. Called Investment Account Manager, the new program is a near clone of its predecessor. All of your current portfolio data is fully compatible with the new service. Users may continue using their current version of the BetterInvesting Portfolio Manager and still receive technical support, but no additional maintenance updates will be released.
Morningstar.com Launches ETF Screener
Morningstar.com offers an ETF screener that allows users to filter exchange-traded funds on expense ratio, performance criteria, growth rates, risk and valuation measures, portfolio style, and sector and region weightings. A distribution graph for each criterion allows the user to easily tighten or loosen the range. The list of passing ETFs provides several useful pieces of data and a link to the comprehensive Morningstar.com review. The ETF screener is free to use with registration.
New Mirror Trading From Tradency.com
Tradency.com is offering a mirror trading strategy that allows users to select trading strategies developed by experienced foreign exchange traders and apply it to their own brokerage accounts. Tradency.com tracks buy and sell signals from strategy developers, allows users to select strategies that most closely match their personal goals and preferences, and applies these strategies without the need for user intervention. Although the strategies are developed by experienced traders, foreign currency trading is risky and should only be undertaken by seasoned investors.
SmartMoney.com Offers Valuation Calculator
SmartMoney.com’s Price Check Calender gives a quick valuation estimate for a stock by simply entering the ticker symbol. SmartMoney.com automatically shows numbers in data fields such as earnings per share, earnings growth rate and benchmark return, based on average analyst estimates. Users can change each of these data fields to see how the valuation is affected. Furthermore, there are several advanced data fields that can be modified, such as risk-free rate and beta. This tool is free to use and does not require registration.
Educational Videos Available at DailyFX.com
The DailyFX.com website offers free educational video clips for beginning foreign exchangeinvestors. The videos are only available to clients, but DailyFX.com allows users to open micro accounts for just $50 and also offers a 30-day trial period. The website provides videos for beginners and advanced users and goes into several trading strategies. Furthermore, videos are provided that help you get started using the site to trade currencies.
Google Releases Stock Screener
Google has released a new stock screener that, although still in its infancy, has a few useful features. It includes all the usual ratios, valuations and growth rates, but it also shows the minimum and maximum value and a distribution chart for each criterion you choose. This feature allows you to quickly see where most companies fall for an individual data field. In addition, the screener allows you to filter only for companies that trade on certain exchanges. The stock screener’s major downside is that the universe currently includes only 3,360 stocks.
Vertex42’s Loan Amortization Calculator
Vertex42 offers a loan amortization schedule for Excel that does simple calculations allowing the user to know exactly how much each payment would be for certain loan terms. Furthermore, the loan amortization schedule allows you to enter additional payments and shows the impact these would make on your repayment schedule. The schedule is easy to use and provides your rate per period, number of payments, total payments, total interest and interest savings (from prepayment). Each field is automatically calculated when you enter or make adjustments to the loan terms.