In my 15-plus years writing for Computerized Investing, I can’t recall a time when the PC industry was undergoing such profound change as is happening now. Consumers are holding onto their systems longer, as we benefit from better technology that is lengthening their useful lives. Instead of spending our money on upgrading our personal computers, we are buying smartphones and tablets. Add in the macroeconomic headwinds around the globe, and the PC industry is on the verge of its first year-over-year decline in sales in 11 years.
As consumers, we are faced with an exciting array of options to satisfy our computing needs. With this, however, comes questions and confusion. This is the environment we are facing as I sit down to write our annual PC Buyer’s Guide. I hope to dispel some of these issues and help you decide what you need when buying a new PC. This guide is intended for those looking for a PC to aid in the computerized investment and analysis process. This includes such tasks as portfolio management and tracking, stock and mutual fund screening, and technical analysis and charting. In addition, the systems we recommend will be able to handle common everyday tasks, including email, Web browsing, word processing and spreadsheet work.