The Top Portfolio Management Software

Posted on October 31, 2011 | Computerized Investing

Investing in portfolio management software will inevitably come with certain costs. In addition to monetary costs, you need to consider the time you will spend learning to use the program. What it takes to configure the program, how easy it is to use and how well it can handle your personal needs will eventually become larger factors than the monetary cost of the program.

In order to accurately gauge each program’s (or website’s) strengths and weaknesses, we make an effort to thoroughly use each service. Luckily, two of the three programs we review here offer fully functioning demos, allowing all potential users to try the software for themselves before purchasing (Quicken Premier 2011 does not offer a demo or trial version).

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AAII Investor Update: High Valuations Increase Downside Risk

Posted on October 28, 2011 | Investor Update

If there was any single financial concept I think investors should remember, it is the one above. The more investors bid up a stock’s valuation, the less room the company has for error. When a highly valued company does disappoint, the drop in a stock’s price can be significant. Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon.com (AMZN) are two examples.

Netflix has been a poster child of how poor management decisions can simultaneously anger both customers and shareholders. As many of you know, the company has been stumbling since July when it announced separate price plans for DVD rentals and online video streaming. (The stock’s price-earning ratio at that time was a pricey 85.) In September, CEO Reed Hastings threw gasoline on the fire by saying DVD rentals would be split into a separate business named “Qwikster.”

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AAII’s Stock Investor Pro

Posted on October 27, 2011 | Stock Investor Pro

With our Stock Investor Pro, timely data is combined with in-depth data (over 2,000 data fields per company) to help you keep abreast of the market. The monthly updates and weekly online downloads keep you well prepared to act—act in time to make that critical difference between matching or beating the market averages.

Data with Stock Investor Pro includes:

  • Database of over 9,000 NYSE, Amex, NASDAQ, and OTC stocks
  • Quarterly earnings estimates
  • Eight quarters and seven years of cash flow statements, income statements and balance sheets
  • Relative price strengths for 4, 13, 26 and 52 weeks
  • Percentile rankings, ratios, P/Es and growth rates
  • Ten full years of monthly price data
  • Over 2,000 data fields per company
  • Plus passing companies and corresponding data from over 60 AAII Stock Screens

Stock Investor Pro also offers new information every month like: Recent insider buy and sell decisions and operating & investing cash flows. Plus, from the income statement: research & development expenses and discontinued operations and extraordinary items.

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AAII’s Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

Posted on October 26, 2011 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

You can keep tabs on the funds you own or are considering with AAII’s Quarterly Mutual Fund Update. Each issue includes a commentary by Charles Rotblut, AAII Journal Editor, that provides an overview of the reported quarter and quick synopsis of the markets behavior.

See if your fund has done better or worse than its peer group by quarter over the last year and for the most recent three years and five years. Over 900 no-load and low-load mutual funds are covered. Funds are grouped by objective for easy evaluation and comparison. The major stock and bond index returns are reported so that you can judge your funds by an appropriate market benchmark. The Quarterly Update also informs you of any recent changes such as a new portfolio manager, a fund name change, or a fee levied.

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AAII – Stock Superstars Report

Posted on October 26, 2011 | Stock Superstars Report

The AAII Stock Superstars Report focuses on the portfolio concept of investing. Periods of market volatility have made us all cognizant of the need for risk control. The best way to reduce portfolio risk comes from effective diversification.

When building a stock portfolio, the overall objective should be to choose a mix of stocks that will appreciate at a greater pace than the market, both absolutely and on a risk-adjusted basis. While, for many, this is easier said than done, there are a group of well-known investment “superstars” whose approaches have beaten the market over very long time periods. It was the work of these investors—such as Benjamin Graham, William O’Neil, Peter Lynch, John Neff, Martin Zweig, Warren Buffett, David Dreman, John Templeton, etc.—that became our starting point for the creation of the Stock Superstars Report concept.

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learn about technical analysis

Posted on October 26, 2011 | Investing

Technical analysis studies the supply and demand in a market in the attempt to determine the future direction or trend. Technical analysts use charts and other tools to identify patterns that may suggest future activity.

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How to Check Out a Financial Advisor

Posted on October 24, 2011 | AAII Journal

For most people, a financial planner is their quarterback and coach all rolled into one, calling the plays and designing the strategy that will help them reach their financial goals, and then executing the plan.

You are looking for a mix of technical expertise and skill with bedside manner and personality. Remember, a lot of what a good planner gives you is “emotional discipline,” the ability to stick to the plan at the times when doing the right things are most difficult. If you don’t like your financial planner, that’s not possible, no matter how much investment skill the planner has.

Here are questions to ask financial planner candidates.

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Get your subscription to AAII’s Computerized Investing

Posted on October 21, 2011 | Computerized Investing

A subscription to Computerized Investing includes a quarterly printed newsletter, exclusive on-line features, weekly E-newsletters, and a special “subscribers-only area” on AAII.com, all of which aim to benefit your investing skills with respect to computers and the Internet.

Your investing skills will benefit from our regular “how-to” articles that cover stock screening, charting, day trading, the strategies of master stockpickers and more:

  • Articles on using computers to assist in investment analysis and valuation, complete with programs
  • Reviews of investment software and information services
  • Editors’ recomendations on the best computer investment products
  • Breaking news about software packages, books, databases and investing Internet sites
  • Information on AAII’s Web site
  • Meeting notices for area AAII computer groups.

Also included with subscriptions to Computerized Investing is access to the On-Line Guide to Computerized Investing. This on-line investment software guide helps you focus on the top investment-related products. Each section is devoted to one area of investing including portfolio management, fundamental stock analysis, technical analysis, mutual fund analysis, and on-line services including Web sites. Reviews, links, and screen shots help you decide which programs best suit your needs.

 

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AAII Investor Update: My Shopping List Screen

Posted on October 21, 2011 | Investor Update

I am using a new stock screen that I’ve simply titled “Shopping List.” As the name implies, this screen identifies stocks with characteristics I want in a portfolio holding.

This is a restrictive screen designed to both find potential investment candidates and eliminate those companies I would likely pass on buying. There are specific characteristics I personally want in stocks, and a screen is a great tool for finding stocks with those traits.

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Collecting Basic Data on a Stock

Posted on October 19, 2011 | Classroom

The primary source for the per share information is the firm’s annual financial reports. Corporate annual reports will include both summary and detailed financial statements, although even more detailed financial statements are available in a separate report, the 10K. Both of these reports can be requested from the company, or obtained at the SEC’s website.

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