Isolating Data With Views

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With this August 2011 issue of Stock Investor News, the publication moves to electronic-only delivery. We will now produce Stock Investor News on a monthly basis, instead of quarterly as in the past. Our goal is to highlight important areas of Stock Investor Pro and provide step-by-step instructions on using the program.

In addition, a video tutorial will be uploaded to our website with each edition of Stock Investor News. The videos will offer an alternative way to familiarize yourself with the program, and we hope you will check them out!

Isolating Data With Views

With over 2,000 data points per company, Stock Investor Pro offers a robust screening database. However, for analysis of individual companies, most users only focus on a select number of fields. While the various tabs on Stock Investor Pro allow you to view related data fields—growth rates, multiples, ratios, etc.—you can only do so for one company at a time. Our members frequently ask for an easy way to isolate specific data points that are critical to their personal investment research. With “views,” users can specify only those fields that interest them and view the data in a single table on the Stock Notebook. This issue of Stock Investor News walks you through the process of creating, applying, and editing views, as well as using them to generate reports and to export data.

A view is a collection of data points that can be applied to the “active set” of companies in the stock notebook to view on your computer screen. The companies encompassing the active set are those in the entire database when you first open the program. The active set can be the results of a screen, or you may open a saved portfolio and that will become your active set.

Creating a View

Users create views in Stock Investor Pro with the View Editor. There are three ways to access the View Editor: Click on the View Editor button on the toolbar, select View Editor from the Tools menu (Tools—View Editor) or simultaneously press the Alt and V keys on the keyboard (Alt + V).

The View Editor is divided into two main parts: The field picker on the left-hand side of the View Editor window and the text window on the right-hand side. Fields are grouped by category, which means that, beyond knowing which fields you would like in your view, you need to know which categories they are in.

Let’s say we want to add Company name to our custom view (it is a good idea to add Company name and/or Ticker to a view, as this information is not automatically included). If you are not sure which category the Company name field resides in, don’t worry; this information is available in the Help system. Access the Help system by selecting Contents and Index from the Help menu at the top of the program window (Help—Contents and Index). Choosing Field Definitions and then Alphabetical Listing of Field Definitions allows you to select Company name from the list to see details about the field, including field type, category and description. Here you see that Company name is found in the Company Information category.

Therefore, to add Company name to the view, locate the Company Information category in the field picker on the left-hand side of the View Editor window and click on the “+” next to it. This will expand the category to show all of the fields that are part of the Company Information category in alphabetical order. Next, scroll down the list of fields in the Company Information category until you find Company name. To add the field to the view, either double-click on Company name or highlight Company name and click the Add button in the middle of the View Editor.

As you add fields in the view, the field names will appear in the text box on the right-hand side of the View Editor window. In addition, the total number of fields in the view is displayed in the bottom-middle of the View Editor window (the most fields you can have in a view is 255).

You can keep adding fields until the view is complete—in our example, we have added Ticker (Company Information data category), PE (Multiples), Price/Book (Multiples), Yield (Multiples), EPS Cont-Growth 5yr (Growth Rates), EPS Growth Est (Earnings Estimates), Market Cap Q1 (Price and Share Statistics) and Relative Strength 52 week (Price and Share Statistics). Note that the order in which you add fields to a view is the same order they will appear on the stock notebook, as well as when printing a View Report and exporting data.

When you are finished creating your view, you can save it by clicking on the Save button on the View Editor. The program will then prompt you to name the view (“fundamental data,” in our example) and to provide an optional description. When you are finished, select OK, and Stock Investor Pro will save the view.

To exit the View Editor, you can click on the “X” at the top-right corner of the View Editor window, or click on the Close button at the bottom of the View Editor window.

You can also create a view within the Screen Editor, which can be opened by clicking on the Screen Editor button on the top toolbar, choosing Screen Editor from the Tools drop-down menu or by pressing Alt and S simultaneously (Alt+S). After selecting a screen from the Name drop-down menu, you can quickly create a view of the selected screen by clicking on “Make View” at the bottom of the window. This option will create a view that includes all of the data fields used in the selected screen. For example, you can select the Martin Zweig screen and choose Make View. The View Editor will pop up with all the data fields selected. Click on Save and give the view a name to store it for future use.

Applying a View to the Stock Notebook

The Standard view is the default View in Stock Investor Pro and is always the view applied to the Stock Notebook when you first open the program. To apply a different view, click on the down arrow of the View drop-down menu on the toolbar to reveal the list of views in the program. The views whose names are preceded by an asterisk (*) are those that come with the program. When the *Zweig, Martin screen is loaded in the stock notebook, selecting the “fundamental data” view that we created earlier will display the fields in the view for those companies that passed the Zweig screen as of July 8, 2011.

Sorting a Stock Notebook by View Fields

Within the stock notebook, you are able to sort companies by any of the fields in the applied view (as well as by using the Rank function from the Tools menu). In Stock Investor Pro, the default rank is by company name, in ascending order.

However, by right-clicking on any of the column headings in the stock notebook, you can sort the companies by that particular field in ascending (lowest to highest) or descending order. Here, we wish to rank those companies passing the Zweig screen by market cap from largest to smallest (descending order). To do this, locate the Market Cap Q1 column in the stock notebook. Right-click on the Market Cap Q1 column heading and select Rank By Market Cap Q1, Descending. Once Stock Investor Pro has ranked the stock notebook, Apple Inc. (AAPL) tops the list with a market cap of $332.644 billion.