VectorVest Online v6.0
20472 Chartwell Center Drive
Cornelius, NC 28031
(888) 658-7638; (704) 895-4095
Web site: www.vectorvest.com
Overall Rating: 4 disks
Level: Beginner to advanced.
Price: $645 per year, or $59 per month, which includes software and end of day updates. Trial offer is $9.95 for five weeks with money back guarantee.
Recommended System: PC with Pentium II 266. Windows 98, NT 4.0, Windows ME, Windows 2000 or XP (runs best). Internet Explorer 6.0. 64 MB of RAM, 256 MB. 1 GB hard drive space. Internet access with 56K modem or faster. SVGA color monitor with 16-bit color (24-bit + recommended) with 800x600 resolution (1024x768 recommended). 2X or faster CD-ROM.VectorVest Online (VV) is a full featured stock analysis and portfolio management program. It enables self-directed investors and traders to combine fundamental and technical factors in their decision-making process. VV sorts, searches and analyzes more than 8,000 U.S. stocks, ETFs and closed-end funds for value, safety and timing. Open-end mutual fund coverage is not an option in this software. The VV database provides up to 11 years of historical data. There are separate online versions available for investors in Canada, continental Europe and England that cover more than 5,000 stocks in their markets exclusively.
Potential customers are offered a five-week trial that provides complete access to the program, an instructional CD, an online user guide and technical support. This is a good way for interested individuals to learn about the program’s capabilities.
VV does not have built-in technical indicators, but does have basic bar and candlestick charts with volume and moving averages. An add-on program called ProTrader v6, which costs $495, is required for advanced charting, which includes 35 technical studies and chart pattern recognition. I used the program with ProTrader and found it useful and seamless. Adding ProTrader also provides search capability for daily moving average crossovers, gaps, key reversals and range breakouts. And custom searches can be built by the user and they can be back-tested.
Initially, a CD-ROM is provided containing the software that can be loaded onto any number of computers, but it is licensed to one user with a unique user name and password. The process was simple and worked well. Anyone traveling with a laptop can update the database via an Internet connection from anywhere because the database resides on VV’s computer.
Depth of features:4 disks
VV excels in its numerous and easy to use features. The VV Home Page provides a concise summary of the stock market’s current condition and includes tabs to links to the program’s modules. Every day a buy, sell or hold recommendation is provided on every issue tracked.
The Market Timing Indicator (MTI) and VectorVest Color Guard at the center of the home page are two critical factors that investors are encouraged to follow to be on the right side of the market. VV has constructed its own arithmetic index comprised of all the 8,000+ stocks in its database, called the VectorVest Composite (VVC), which measures price performance daily. When the MTI of these prices is below 1.0 and dropping, that is a potential sell signal, and vice versa. In addition, the relative timing, the VVC and the buy-sell ratio are measured to determine if its conditionis neutral (yellow), positive (green) ornegative (red).
Across the top of the home page are tabs labeled Viewers, Graphs, Watchlists, Portfolios, Research and Views. “Viewers” provides sorted and ranked lists of stocks, industry groups, sectors and market indexes. With the right click of the mouse you can jump from the sector to historical data, a listing of stocks in the sector and multiple sector graphs. Stock Viewer, for example, is an enormous spreadsheet of VV indicators and parameters, and the screen is customizable. Stock Viewer sorts, ranks and analyzes all the securities tracked by VV for value, safety and timing, and more than 30 other criteria. Key indicators in the viewers are Relative Value, Relative Safety and Relative Timing, which are combined to form VST, the master indicator. They are measured on a scale of 0 to 2, which is the highest rating. Any value above 1.0 is favorable and below 1.0 is unfavorable.
Graphing functions also add value to the software. Each stock can be charted and analyzed in a comprehensive report showing all indicators and parameters with detailed explanations, then displayed in historical price history format and added to a watchlist where stocks can be added to track the performance of groups of securities with a click of the mouse. Daily, weekly or monthly graphs are obtainable on any stock, industry and group showing price, value, stop price, volume, moving averages and relative timing. With ProTrader technical indicators also can be plotted.
Users can track any list of securities and can backtest strategies available in the research tab or design their own strategies. The portfolio’s performance is available, as is a watchlist of the portfolio showing the measured parameters and whether VV rates the security a buy, sell or hold.
Also, a daily market commentary is provided. Monday through Thursday, market timing information is available, and on Friday a more comprehensive update provides either a market analysis or an educational update. Also included: a recommended strategy of the week designed to take advantage of current market conditions, a valuation of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the overall market, and market climate information.
One of the premiere modules of VV is Unisearch. This high-powered analysis tool contains about 250 specific pre-programmed strategies or searches for bull and bear markets. You can search for stocks, industries, sectors, ETFs, pattern recognition (trends), various time frames, percentage change over different periods and searches for highs or lows in price or other variables.
Education: 4 disks
Free online training classes and presentations, called VectorVest University, are available as part of the software. More than a dozen classes, in a format similar to a Web cast, explain the aspects of the software from beginner to advanced levels.
Online tutorials and the extensive help file provided are sufficient to gain a good understanding of the product.
VV offers free four-hour sessions in selected cities during the year. There is a five-CD seminar video set available that includes eight hours of presentations and a course workbook for $199.95, which are free with an annual subscription.
VV Online is a high-quality; feature-rich, customizable spreadsheet and charting product that beginners or advanced users will enjoy working with. If you are looking for software that offers a unique combination of fundamental and technical analysis (with the purchase of ProTrader), screening, market timing input, customizable strategies and back-testing capability, this software will meet your needs.
Leslie N. Masonson is president of Cash Management Resources, a financial consult