PC Buyer’s Guide

by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Each year, the editors of Computerized Investing offer their suggestions for those looking to buy a new PC for investment analysis, along with the most common computer-related tasks. They issued their recommendations in the November CI Online Exclusive, which is available at the Computerized Investing website ( If you are a subscriber to CI and do not receive our monthly e-newsletter, sign in to your account at, go to the My Account area, and click on “Update My AAII E-Newsletters.” The monthly CI E-Newsletter arrives the first Friday of each month.

Define Your Needs

Before you begin looking for a new PC, it is a good idea to determine what you are looking to do with your computer and how much you are willing to spend. This will ensure you buy enough computing power to suit you for the next few years but do not spend more than you need to.

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Wayne A. Thorp, CFA is a vice president and senior financial analyst at AAII and editor of Computerized Investing. Follow him on Twitter at @AAII_CI.


Charles from Pennsylvania posted over 3 years ago:

I have been a member of AAII for a long time and am a Lifetime member. My working career was in commercial lending and my lifetime avocation has been in investing. While the Mac operating system may be more expensive at the outset, it is highly stable AND provides the flexibility to co-exist with Windows on a partitioned drive. I have a stable of PC which I am currently converting to Macs, as time and money permits. I see no reason why anyone would want to limit themselves to the Windows world when the Mac world offers ease of use, creativity, stability, security....just to name a few.

I am quite disappointed that AAII has taken the rigid position of not supporting Mac with respect to Stock Investor Pro. IMHO, I think this represents hubris and lack of support to the membership. As an investor, just look to the price history of Apple vs Microsoft and I think it is easy to determine what the investing world thinks of the two companies.

Lawrence from Vermont posted over 3 years ago:

Charles... I concur on all counts. However, I've found that the screening tools available at are more than adequate for most AAII stock screens, and the act of translating the stock screens to the Fidelity tools allows one to gain an understanding of the underlying screen.

I've had the best luck with ETFs, and use the Fidelity ETF tools extensively. They compare favorably with the online tools discussed in the most recent CI, and after looking at the CI suggestions I see no reason to change.

I've given up on Windows for my own use; the only Windows program I miss now is Visio. Otherwise, the stability and simplicity of the Mac is unbeatable... I can spend time actually working with my Mac instead loosing minutes or hours each day waiting for dozens of updates, or tracking down viruses and trojans on my Windows machines.

I subscribed to Stock Investor Pro some years ago, when it was based on the Microsoft FoxPro database. I don't know if it has been changed since, but that was a Windows-only platform, and would not have been easy to change without a substantial rewrite.

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