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STOCK INVESTOR PRO > June 2010

Performing Multiple Actions With the Stock Notebook

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The Stock Notebook in Stock Investor Pro is the work area of the program where you can access and view specified data for multiple companies simultaneously. When you first open the program, you are presented with the “View” tab of Stock Notebook #1 – Untitled (Figure 1). By default, Stock Investor opens with the entire set of companies currently in the database, sorted in alphabetical order by company name.

 

Figure 1.
Stock Notebook #1 -
Untitled is the default
that is loaded.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO
SEE FULL SIZE.
Stock Investor Pro

The data shown on the View tab of the Stock Notebook depends on the “view” that has been applied or loaded. A View is simply a collection of data points that you can use in the program to display data on the Stock Notebook or to print View reports or Statistical Summary reports. By default, when you first open Stock Investor, the standard view is loaded. Using the View Editor in Stock Investor Pro, you can create your own data views and apply them to the Stock Notebook to display only those data points that interest you.

Creating a Notebook “Template”

The Stock Notebook is effectively a “template” made up of a portfolio, stock screen, data view, and ranking scheme. One time-saving feature that many users are not aware of is that you can create and save custom notebook templates that will automatically perform multiple actions for you when they are loaded.

When you first open Stock Investor Pro, the default Stock Notebook #1 – Untitled does not have a portfolio or a screen loaded. However, as we mentioned, the default data view is the standard view and you can verify this by looking at the toolbar at the top of the program window. There you will see dropdown menus for Portfolio, Screen, and View. When you first open Stock Investor, “None” appears for Portfolio and Screen and “Standard” appears for View (Figure 1).

Also, when you first open the program the companies in the Stock Notebook are ranked in alphabetical order. At the bottom left of the Stock Investor window you can see how many companies are in the Stock Notebook as well as how they are ranked.

In order to create a custom Notebook, all you need to do is load your preferred stock screen and/or portfolio along with the desired data view and ranking scheme and then save the Notebook for future use. For our illustration, we do the following:

 

  • Apply the predefined *Neff, John screen;
  • Apply a custom Neff view; and
  • Rank the Stock Notebook in ascending order by the price-earnings ratio to dividend-adjusted estimated earnings growth (PE to Div adj EPS Est growth).

The Neff screen is applied by simply selecting *Neff, John from the Screen menu. To create a custom view for the Neff screen, click on the Tools menu and select View Editor. (See the May 2009 issue of Stock Investor News for more on creating Views.) Companies can be ranked by clicking on the Tools menu, selecting Rank and then choosing the data field from the list and selecting Ascending or Descending.

 

Figure 2.
When saving a Notebook,
you can enter a description in
addition to the name.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO
SEE FULL SIZE.

Once you have applied the desired elements to your custom Notebook, you can save it by clicking on the File menu and then selecting Save Notebook.

This will open the Save Notebook window (Figure 2), where you can name the Notebook and, if you want, provide a description of the Notebook. Once you are finished, click Ok. To open a saved Notebook, again click on the File menu and then select Open Notebook. Likewise, you can open a Notebook by pressing the Control and O keys on your keyboard. This will bring up the Open Notebook window, where you can select the Notebook you wish to open (Figure 3). Once you select the Notebook, click Ok.

 

Figure 3.
To open a saved Notebook,
click on the File menu
and select Open Notebook.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO
SEE FULL SIZE.

When we open our John Neff Notebook, Stock Investor automatically runs the *Neff, John screen and loads the passing companies in the Stock Notebook along with the data fields in the custom Neff View. Furthermore, the results of the screen are ranked in ascending order by the dividend-adjusted PEG ratio (Figure 4).

Additional Data Tabs

While the View tab allows you to view selected data on a number of companies, the Stock Notebook has additional tabs containing data specific to a single company. On the View tab, you will see one company line highlighted in yellow. This is the “active” company in the Notebook. When you click on the other tabs of the Notebook, it will be this company’s data you are viewing on these tabs.

 

Figure 4.
Opening a saved Notebook presents
the specified screen results
in the chosen View and rank.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO
SEE FULL SIZE.

Besides the View tab, the Stock Notebook has these other data tabs:

 

  • Overview
  • Multiples
  • Growth
  • Ratios
  • Valuations
  • Estimates
  • Fin – Qtr
  • Fin – Ann’l
  • Custom
  • Charts

To learn more about the data available on these other tabs, you can go to the Stock Investor Help System or visit the Stock Investor wiki at www.aaii.com/siprowiki and go to the Stock Notebook area of the wiki.

From the Boards: Answers to User Questions

We receive many questions from our users regarding the data provided in Stock Investor for individual companies. Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions.

 

Figure 5.
The SI Pro RSS feed
allows you to receive notification
when data updates have been posted.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO
SEE FULL SIZE.

Why do some companies not have “aggregate” data, such as Total Common Assets or Total Common Liabilities?

When our data provider, Thomson Reuters, pulls data from SEC filings and company earnings announcements, they only populate fields that are explicitly stated by the individual companies. Therefore, if a company does not have a line item that represents the total of, say, current assets or current liabilities (or any other field), it will not appear in the program.

When I add up the total asset and liability items from a company’s balance sheet in Stock Investor, I do not get the same number that is listed for total assets or total liabilities. Why is that?

In Stock Investor, we do not report every line item for the balance sheet or income statement. Therefore, there may be items that make up total assets or liabilities that are not broken out on the balance sheet in the program.

Do you have plans to add the Kirkpatrick screen to Stock Investor?

At this time, we do not have plans to add the Kirkpatrick screens to the program. We have reached a limit of how many percentile rank fields we can use in the data tables so until we are able to come up with a work around, we will not be able to add these screens to the program. However, the February 2010 issue of Stock Investor News provides detailed descriptions of how to recreate the Kirkpatrick screens yourself without having to use percentile rank fields. A PDF version of that issue is available online at http://www.aaii.com/stockinvestor/sinews/pdfs/201002.pdf.

When are the weekly data updates available for download?

Barring any delays in data delivery by our data provider and data processing issues on our end, we typically have the weekly data updates posted by mid-afternoon on Saturdays. If there are any issues or delays related to the weekly updates, we will post a note on the weekly downloads Web page (www.aaii.com/stockinvestor/downloads) as well as send out a notice via the Stock Investor Pro RSS feed. We also use the RSS feed to alert you when the files are ready for download each week.

 

Figure 6.
The Stock Investor Utilities
program contains tools to
transfer your files to a new computer.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO
SEE FULL SIZE.

The RSS feed is a free service for Stock Investor subscribers. To learn more about RSS and to subscribe to the Stock Investor RSS feed, please visit the AAII Web site at www.aaii.com/rss (Figure 5).

I recently purchased a new computer and need to transfer all of my user data—custom screens, data fields, portfolios, etc.—from my old PC to my new one. How do I do that?

This process involves using the 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 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 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 (Figure 6), you will be prompted to enter a destination for the files. Type A: in the box provided to backup the user files, with “A” referring to the drive letter of the device to which you want to back up your user data (flash drive, etc.). Alternatively, click the ‘…’ button to the right of the text box to designate a location in the directory tree.

Once you have backed up the files, the second step is to restore them on the new system. After installing Stock Investor on your new system and again making sure the program is not running, 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 to identify the location of the backup files. 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 recalculation is finished and before opening the Stock Investor program.