Stock Investor Pro FAQs

Welcome to the Stock Investor Pro question-and-answer section. This resource offers detailed answers to some of the more frequently asked questions posed by subscribers like you. If you have any suggestions or have a question that is not answered here, email to us at techsupport@aaii.com. If you don't find the answer to your general Stock Investor question below, also check the Popular User Topics area of the Stock Investor home page. If you still don't find the answer to your question, please call us at (312) 280-0170 or email us at techsupport@aaii.com.


Frequently Asked Program Questions

  1. What are the automatic updates?
  2. How do I use the automatic updates if I don’t have an Internet connection?
  3. What if I don’t have a high-speed Internet connection?
  4. What is the Crosstab Report?
  5. Will I still receive monthly update CDs?
  6. How do I transfer my user data from one system to another?
  7. How do I print specific data for the companies that pass a screen or that are in a portfolio?
  8. Why is the Apply button grayed out in the Screen Editor so that I cannot apply my screen?
  9. How are Factors used in the Screen Editor?
  10. How can I find out which data category an individual data field is in?
  11. I see that the O'Shaughnessy Growth Market Leaders screen is not in the program. How can I recreate this screen myself?
  12. I am not able to delete a screen I created. When I go to the Edit menu, the Delete option is grayed out. What is wrong?
  13. Looking at the insider and institutional ownership percentages in Stock Investor, many stocks add up to over 100%. How is that possible?
  14. What is the Multiscreen Selector?
  15. How do I export data from Stock Investor into Excel?
  16. Is Stock Investor Pro Mac-compatible?
  17. Why is the number of companies in the Stock Notebook much lower than usual when the program opens after updating the database?
  18. Why do I get error #1426 or #1733 after installing Stock Investor Pro?

Frequently Asked Data Update Questions

  1. What are the automatic updates?
  2. How do I use the automatic updates if I don’t have an Internet connection?
  3. What if I don’t have a high-speed Internet connection?
  4. Will I still receive monthly update CDs?
  5. How does the "Latest Month-End Data" update file that is available for download from AAII.com differ from the full weekly update that is already available?
  6. Do I still need to install the monthly update CD even if I download and install the full weekly updates and/or the latest month-end data update?
  7. How do I get program updates?
  8. How do I get new or revised predefined screens?
  9. Why do I have to quit Stock Investor Pro and restart it in order to update the data?
  10. What is the Update Stock Investor menu?
  11. What do I do if I get an error when entering in my Username and Password for the automatic updates?
  12. How do I reset my Username and Password for the automatic updates?
  13. When I start Stock Investor Pro 4.5 it does appear that the program checks for updates. Why?
  14. When are the daily data updates available?
  15. How often is the Stock Investor database updated?


Answers to Frequently Asked Program Questions

1. What are the automatic updates?

One of the enhancements with Stock Investor Pro 4.5 is automatic data updates. Instead of having to manually download and install the Full Weekly Update or Program/Data Install files, the program will now automatically check to see if newer data is available each time you open the program. If newer data is available, you will be prompted to install the new data or skip the update. If you choose to update the data, the program will automatically download and install the latest available data (data will still be updated each weekend). If you skip the automatic update, Stock Investor Pro 4.5 will open with the previously-installed data. In order to make use of the automatic updates, you must have an active high-speed Internet connection. The automatic updates provide the latest data as well as any programmatic changes we may occasionally make (enhancements, fixes, new data or screens, etc.).

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2. How do I use the automatic updates if I don’t have an Internet connection?

The automatic update feature in Stock Investor Pro 4.5 requires an active high-speed Internet connection. Each time you start Stock Investor Pro compares the date of the data currently installed to the data that is available on our update server. If you do not have an active Internet connection, this comparison cannot take place, nor can the program download new data if it available. If you open the program without an active Internet connection, you will receive a message telling you to check your Internet connection. Clicking OK with the message will open Stock Investor Pro 4.5 with the previously-installed data. The next time you open the program and have an active Internet connection, the program will be able to check for newer data.

If you typically use the program without an Internet connection, you can disable the automatic update feature by going to the Update Stock Investor menu within the program, select Manage Automatic Updates, and uncheck the box next to Enable Automatic Updates. To re-enable this feature go back to this menu and check off Enable Automatic Updates.

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3. What if I don’t have a high-speed Internet connection?

The automatic update file is approximately 50M in size. To download it with a dial-up connection would take hours and would, more than likely, corrupt the file. Therefore, a high-speed Internet connection is required to make use of the automatic update feature. If you do not have a high-speed Internet connection, you will have the option of receiving periodic data updates via a monthly update CD.

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4. What is the Crosstab Report?

The new Crosstab Report in Stock Investor Pro 4.5 allows users to identify stocks that pass a minimum number of selected screens. This report is accessed from the Multiscreen Selector tool. You first select the screens you wish to evaluate and then choose the minimum number of these selected screens a stock must pass in order to make it into the report. The resulting report then lists the companies that pass the minimum number of screens as well as indicates which of the selected screens each stock passed. For a detailed explanation of how to create a Crosstab Report, click here.

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5. Will I still receive monthly update CDs?

If you are receiving monthly update CDs as part of your Stock Investor Pro subscription, we will still be mailing those out each month.

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6. How do I transfer my user data from one system to another?

This is a two-step process, and both steps use Stock Investor Utilities. (Note: Stock Investor cannot be running when attempting to open Stock Investor Utilities.) To launch Stock Investor Utilities, double-click on the Stock Investor Pro 4.5 Utilities icon on your desktop (if you placed one there at installation) or click the Start button (from the Taskbar) and choose Programs > AAII > Stock Investor > Stock Investor Pro 4.5 Utilities (assuming you followed the default installation settings).

The first step is to back up all the necessary files used to store your screens, portfolios, views, notebooks, and custom fields. After selecting "backup user files" and then clicking the Backup button at the bottom of the Utilities window, you will be prompted to enter a destination for the files. Select the '…' button to designate a location in the directory tree and click Select. Click Ok to back up your user files to the designated back up directory.

Once you have backed up the files, the second step is to restore them on the new system. Open Stock Investor Utilities on the new system, select "restore user files," and click the Restore button at the bottom of the window. You will then be prompted for the location of the backup files (thumb drive). Once you locate the files, click OK to restore.

After the files have been restored, select Yes when prompted to "recalculate all custom fields." Close Stock Investor Utilities (by clicking the Done button at the bottom of the window) when this is finished and before opening the Stock Investor program.

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7. How do I print specific data for the companies that pass a screen or that are in a portfolio?

Data is printed out using reports and Stock Investor contains a myriad of reports to choose from, including company summary reports, comprehensive reports, and view reports. Company summary reports are one page reports and do not allow users to specify the data they want for the company. Comprehensive reports allow users to specify which blocks of data they wish to print, but not the individual data points contained in the report. For full customization, you will need to use View Reports.

A View Report allows users to print company and industry data in a tabular format. Data can be printed either vertically (with company names running across the top of the page) or horizontally (with company names listed down the side of the page). You can print View Reports for either the selected company or the entire group of companies in the active stock notebook.

Stock Investor comes with a collection of predefined Views, but users can also create custom Views with only those data points they want. Views in Stock Investor are created using the View Editor. To Open the View Editor, select View Editor from the Tools menu (Tools — View Editor) or click on the View Editor icon from the toolbar at the top of the program window. When creating a View, keep in mind that it will only provide those data points you specify. Therefore, be sure to add fields such as Company Name and/or Ticker so you know which company's data you are looking at on the screen or in a printed report. Once you have created your new View, be sure to save it by clicking on the Save As button.

To print a View Report, there are two ways to access the Available Reports menu: Click on the Print icon on the toolbar or select Print from the File menu (File — Print). To print data for all the companies in the Active Notebook (the entire database, the results of a stock screen, or the contents of a portfolio), select View Report — All Companies in Active Notebook by double-clicking the heading. At the View Report window, you can select the view you wish to print and whether you wish to display data across by field or issue (company). Once you are finished, click the Ok button to generate the View Report. Then click Print to print the report.

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8. Why is the Apply button grayed out in the Screen Editor so that I cannot apply my screen?

When this occurs, the most common culprit is a number in the Factor column that belongs in the Compare To column. Therefore, verify that you have a field name or number in the Compare To cell for each line of criteria in the screen. Chances are you made an entry in the Factor column by mistake.

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9. How are Factors used in the Screen Editor?

When you are creating a screen, there are times when it may be useful to compare a variable against a fraction or multiple of another variable. This is where the Factor column comes into play. Let's say you are looking for those companies whose current price-earnings ratio (PE) is no more than 75% of the median PE for the industry (current PE is less than 75% of the industry median PE). Whatever value is in the Factor column is multiplied by the field or value entered in the Compare To cell. Therefore, PE would go in the Field cell in the Screen Editor and the “‹” sign would be used in the Operator. For the Factor cell, we would enter 0.75, which would be multiplied by the Industry PE field we then enter in the Compare To cell. Therefore, 0.75 is multiplied by the Industry PE, so that in order to pass, a company's current PE must be lower than 75% of the Industry median PE.

It is important not to enter values in the Factor column that are intended for the Compare To column. Doing so will create an invalid screen, as you are, in essence, multiplying the value in the Factor column by a null value. If you create a screen and are not able to apply it (the Apply button within the Screen Editor is shaded or grayed out), chances are you have entered a value in the Factor column that belongs in the Compare To column.

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10. How can I find out which data category an individual data field is in?

One of the most common questions we receive from users is how to find out which data category a particular data field resides in. This information is available in the Stock Investor Help System. Access the Help System by selecting Contents and Index from the Help menu at the top of the Stock Investor window (Help — Contents and Index). At the Help Contents window, select the Contents tab and double-click on Field Definitions. As an example, to locate the data category for PE, double-click on Alphabetical Listing of Field Definitions and again on the "P" (for PE). This will list all of the data fields in Stock Investor that start with the letter "P" in alphabetical order. From here, double-click on PE to bring up its field definition window. The field definition window tells us that the PE field is in the Multiples data category. Furthermore, we see that the value is displayed in decimal format and the percent rank and industry/sector medians are calculated for the field. You are also given a definition of the ratio.

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11. I see that the O'Shaughnessy Growth Market Leaders screen is not in the program. How can I recreate this screen myself?

In January 2008, we added three new screens based on new research by James O'Shaughnessy:

  • All Cap Value,
  • Small Cap Growth and Value, and
  • Tiny Titans.

We were not able to program the Growth Market Leaders screen into Stock Investor due to its use average data for the Market Leaders universe. However, you can recreate this screen yourself by following the steps outlined in the November 2006 issue of Stock Investor News.

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12. I am not able to delete a screen I created. When I go to the Edit menu, the Delete option is grayed out. What is wrong?

This typically occurs when you are trying to delete a screen that is already “loaded,” meaning it is the active screen in Stock Investor. Before attempting to delete a screen, make sure that no screens are loaded (“None” should appear on the Screen pull-down menu in the program). If all else fails, close any Stock Notebooks you have open and then try to delete the screen.

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13. Looking at the insider and institutional ownership percentages in Stock Investor Pro, many stocks add up to more than 100%. How is that possible?

In the Price & Share Statistics data category in Stock Investor Pro, two data points present the percentage of company shares owned by insiders (Insider Ownership %) and institutions (Institutional Ownership %). The way in which these fields are defined means that there can be an overlap between the two. In other words, an institution can also be an insider.

Reuters, the primary data provider for Stock Investor, defines insiders as officers and directors of the company as well as beneficial owners holding more than 5% of the company’s stock. An institution, on the other hand, is a bank, mutual fund, pension fund, insurance company, or any other institution that tends to trade in large blocks. However, an institution owning more than 5% of a company’s stock is also classified as an insider.

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14. What is the Multiscreen Selector?

The Multiscreen Selector in Stock Investor Pro allows you to apply multiple stock screens to the active Stock Notebook (either the entire stock universe or the contents of an applied portfolio). You can either isolate those companies that pass all of the selected screens or those that pass any of the selected screens. For a more detailed description of the Multiscreen Selector, click here.

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15. How do I export data from Stock Investor into Excel?

An easy way to extract data from Stock Investor for use in spreadsheets is to copy and paste directly from the Stock Notebook. This feature allows you to instantaneously copy all of the data from the Stock Notebook to your computer’s clipboard for pasting into a spreadsheet file or other document. The contents of a Stock Notebook can be the entire database of stocks, the results of a screen or the companies in a specific portfolio. The Stock Notebook also contains the data fields specified in the loaded view.

To copy the data from the Stock Notebook, right-click on one of the company rows on the Stock Notebook to bring up the Notebook menu. From this menu, click on Copy Notebook to Clipboard. Alternatively, click on Edit from the main menu bar and select Copy Notebook to Clipboard from the drop-down list. If the Stock Notebook contains a large number of companies and data points, you may see a status bar and the process may take a few minutes (at most). When the process is complete, the data is stored on your computer’s clipboard to be pasted into documents such as spreadsheets.

To paste the data into Microsoft Excel, open a new blank Excel spreadsheet. Click on the cell where you want the data to begin, click on Paste and the copied data will be pasted into the worksheet. If you are copying a large amount of data, the process may take a few moments. Once the process is complete, the copied data with “plain English” data column headings will appear. The null values from Stock Investor Pro appear as NAs in your spreadsheet file. For more information of the Copy/Paste functionality in Stock Investor Pro, be sure to read this issue from the archives of Stock Investor News.

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16. Is Stock Investor Pro Mac-compatible?

Stock Investor Pro is a native, Windows-based program. If you have a newer Mac system with an Intel processor, you can run Windows on a Mac using utilities such as Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion. Be aware, however, that this requires you to purchase a Windows license as well. In the future, we plan to offer a cloud- or Web-based service that will run on multiple platforms and operating systems.

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16. Why is the number of companies in the Stock Notebook much lower than usual when the program opens after updating the database?

If you do not have approximately 7,000 companies in the Stock Notebook when the program opens (assuming your default Notebook does not have a screen or portfolio loaded), you have experienced some type of database corruption during the database update process.

To fix your database structure, and to ensure you have the latest available data, first make sure all instances of Stock Investor are closed, then download and install the Program/Data Install file from the Stock Investor Pro Downloads page. You do not need to uninstall Stock Investor before doing this, and installing this file will not erase your user files.

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18. Why do I get error #1426 or #1733 after installing Stock Investor Pro?

Both of these errors messages arise when certain support files required to run Stock Investor are not being properly “registered” by Windows. In order to overcome these errors, you need to manually register several support files. We offer step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process:

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Answers to Frequently Asked Data Update Questions

1. What are the automatic updates?

One of the enhancements with Stock Investor Pro 4.5 is automatic data and program updates. Instead of having to manually download and install the Full Weekly Update, the program will now automatically check to see if newer data is available each time you open the program. If newer data is available, you will be prompted to install the new data or skip the update. If you choose to update the data, the program will automatically download and install the latest available data (data will still be updated each weekend). If you skip the automatic update, Stock Investor Pro 4.5 will open with the previously-installed data. In order to make use of the automatic updates, you must have an active high-speed Internet connection and the automatic updates enabled. The automatic updates provide the latest data as well as any programmatic changes we may occasionally make (enhancements, fixes, new data or screens, etc.).

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2. How do I use the automatic updates if I don’t have an Internet connection?

The automatic update feature in Stock Investor Pro 4.5 requires an active high-speed Internet connection and that the automatic updates be enabled. Each time you open the program the updater compares the date of the data currently installed to the data that is available on our update server. If you do not have an active Internet connection, this comparison cannot take place, not can the program download new data if it available. If you open the program without an active Internet connection, you will receive a message telling you to check your Internet connection. Clicking OK with the message will open Stock Investor Pro 4.5 with the previously-installed data. The next time you open the program and have an active Internet connection, the program will be able to check for newer data.

If you typically use the program without an Internet connection, you can disable the automatic update feature by going to the Update Stock Investor menu within the program, select Manage Automatic Updates, and uncheck the box next to Enable Automatic Updates. To re-enable this feature go back to this menu and check off Enable Automatic Updates.

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3. What if I don’t have a high-speed Internet connection?

The automatic update file is approximately 50M in size. To download it with a dial-up connection would take hours and would, more than likely, corrupt the file. Therefore, a high-speed Internet connection is required to make use of the automatic update feature. If you do not have a high-speed Internet connection, you will have the option of receiving periodic data updates via a monthly update CD.

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4. Will I still receive monthly update CDs?

If you are receiving monthly update CDs as part of your Stock Investor Pro subscription, we will still be mailing those out each month.

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5. How does the “Latest Month-End Data Update” automatic update file differ from the “Current Data Update” automatic update file?

The Latest Month-End Data update file contains the same data that is sent out on the monthly update CD. This is also the data set we use to generate the passing company lists and performance data that we publish at the Stock Screens area of the AAII Web site.

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6. Do I still need to install the monthly update CD even if I download and install the full weekly updates and/or the latest month-end data update?

If you cannot or do not make use of the automatic updates, you still need to install your monthly update CD to update your data and to get any program changes we may occasionally make (fixes, enhancements, new data or screens, etc.). Otherwise, if you do make use of the automatic updates, you do not need to install the monthly update CD.

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7. How do I get program updates?

The new automatic updates in Stock Investor Pro 4.5 contain both data updates as well as any program changes we may make, including bug fixes, new screens or data fields, etc. If you do not or cannot make use of the automatic updates, installing the monthly update CD will also give you the latest program changes along with the latest end-of-month data. To keep track of changes we make to the program, click here or check the Stock Investor Pro Read Me file.

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8. How do I get new or revised predefined screens?

From time to time we add new predefined screens to Stock Investor Pro. These new screens are included in the automatic updates as well as the monthly update CD. To keep track of changes we make to the program, click here or check the Stock Investor Pro Read Me file.

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9. Why do I have to quit Stock Investor Pro and restart it in order to update the data?

When using Stock Investor Pro 4.5 you can check to see if new data is available by going to the Update Stock Investor menu and selecting Check for Updates. If you have an Internet connection, the program will compare the data you have installed to the latest available data on our download server. If newer data is available, you will receive a message to that effect. In order to get the latest data, you will need to close Stock Investor Pro and re-start it (as well as have the automatic update feature enabled). The reason why you must close the program is because old data files cannot be overwritten with new while they are in use, which is the case when Stock Investor Pro is open and running. By closing the program, the data files are not in use and are able to be updated with the latest data files.

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10. What is the Update Stock Investor menu?

In Stock Investor Pro 4.5 we have added a new menu: Update Stock Investor. Here you will find to options: Check for Updates and Manage Automatic Updates. By selecting Check for Updates, and if you have an active Internet connection, the program will compare the data you have installed to the latest available data on our download server. If newer data is available, you will receive a message to that effect. In order to get the latest data, you will need to close Stock Investor Pro and re-start it (as well as have the automatic update feature enabled).

The Manage Automatic Updates menu is where you can enable and disable the automatic update feature as well as update your Login ID and Password.

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11. Why am I getting an error when entering in my Username and Password for the automatic updates?

The most common error—Invalid Username/Password combination—occurs when you enter in the wrong Login ID and Password. Be sure to use the same information you use to access the AAII website. You need to have a current Stock Investor Pro subscription in order to make use of the automatic updates. If you continue to receive this message, contact AAII Member Services at (800) 428-2244.

You also need to have an active Internet connection in order for the program to authenticate your login information. If you don’t have an active Internet connection, you will get an error saying the data update was unsuccessful and to check your Internet connection. If you are receiving this and are still getting this error, contact Tech Support at (800) 428-2244 or at techsupport@aaii.com.

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12. How do I update or reset my Username and Password for the automatic updates?

If you change your login information for AAII.com you will need to update this information in order to successfully make use of the automatic updates in Stock Investor Pro 4.5. If you need to update or reset your login information for the automatic updates, go to the Update Stock Investor menu in Stock Investor Pro 4.5 and select Manage Automatic Updates. Here is where you can update your Login ID and Password. Keep in mind that you need an active Internet connection in order for the program to authenticate your user credentials. After correctly entering in your new Login ID and Password and clicking Ok, you will receive a message saying that the login information has been updated. If you receive an error message it is probably because you are using an incorrect Login ID or Password or you do not have an active Internet connection.

If you have forgotten your Login ID and Password, you can click on the “Click here to reset your password online” link. This will take you to the AAII website where you can enter your email address, last name and Zip code to reset your user information.

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13. When I start Stock Investor Pro 4.5 it does not appear that the program checks for updates. Why?

If you start Stock Investor Pro 4.5 and the program does not check for updates, it probably means that you have disabled the automatic update feature. To re-enable the automatic updates, go to the Update Stock Investor menu in Stock Investor Pro 4.5 and select Manage Automatic Updates. If the box next to Enable Automatic Updates is not checked off, click in it so that a checkmark appears to enable the automatic updates. If the automatic updates are enabled and the program still is not checking for new data when you open it, contact AAII Tech Support at (800) 428-2244 or techsupport@aaii.com.

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14. When are the daily data updates available?

Barring any data delays from our data provider, Thomson Reuters, or technical issues that delay our data processing, the daily data updates are usually available by Noon (Central) Tuesday through Saturday, with data as of the previous day's close.

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15. How often is the Stock Investor database updated?

Starting in July 2016, we are now offering daily data updates on Tuesday through Saturday (through the previous trading day). When you open the program, be sure to check the data as-of date that is available. The daily data updates are usually posted by Noon (Central), Tuesday through Saturday, barring any data delays or processing issues.

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