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Investment questions and answers (Q & A) 2002:

These are some of the questions and answers that was sent in 2002. Questions and answers in the forum can be both about the software program Amateur Invest and about stocks and investments in general. You can see the other parts of the Q & A section in the investment forum, or directly: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001.

These are some of the questions that have been answered in 2002 (click on item or scroll down the page):

Large Sum Of Money PLEASE HELP ?
UK stock prices ?
Download problem ?
Amateur Invest RELOAD query ?
Stock price updates + japanese shares ?
Amateur Invest for use in the UK and Europe ?
Can Amateur Invest be used in Norway ?
Filter ?
Setting stop loss ?
Error in sold stocks ?
Graph of portfolio ?
Posting of Dividends ?
Historical prices ?
Gold ?
Proof Reading
Testing Amateur Invest ?


Large Sum Of Money PLEASE HELP ?

Jethro - posted 12/12/2002 6:58 AM
I have just accumulated a large settlement of money. Please give me some opinions on what to invest in. i want security and was looking into annuities and also into mutual funds. what would be a good path to take, and also are there any other options i should look into? any advice would be very helpful and appreciated. thx

R. Michael - posted 12/12/2002 8:02 AM
Hi. - The investment type you should choose, depends on 3 things: 1. Your time horizon (when you need the money again), 2. The amount of risk you are willing to take, and 3. the return of the investment you are looking for. - - With a low risk profile, the return is often thereafter. - - If you have a longer time horizon and low risk taking, I would choose bonds in secure companies - companies that have been around for many years. - - If you want to take a little more risk, and still have a long time horizon, I would go for some bonds, and also some stocks (again in secure, well known companies). - - In any case, you can use the program "Amateur Invest" to manage your investments!

Jethro - posted 12/22/2002 4:42 AM
Thx ya i am looking to invest money for about 20 to 30 years more than likely. try to put it all back for retirement and other things. thx for the advice


UK stock prices ?

Steve, UK - posted 12/10/2002 12:26 AM
Hi, - I downloaded a trial version of Amateur Investor and was wondering if the automatic updating of stock prices (from Yahoo or where ever) only applies to US stock. I live in in UK and want to use it for my UK stock portfolio. - Software looks superb by the way and will be registering soon. - Regards Steve.

R. Michael - posted 12/10/2002 12:28 AM
Hi Steve. - Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest. - - The program can do automatic stock price updates from a number of countries, including the UK/Eireland. - - In your downloaded version, you should find some examples in the company database, eg: British Airways (BAY.L), British Telecom (BT.L), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L), etc. - - The code mentioned after each name is the code that can be found on http://uk.finance.yahoo.com - From there, you can do a "Symbol lookup" - and then enter the code in the field "ID Import" in the company database. - - Please see the investment faq page for more help. - Everything thereafter goes automatic - price downloads, and portfolio value update, etc. - - Please spread information about the program in the UK - I understand that there are many investors in England. - - Regards, R. Michael.


Download problem ?

Ken - posted 12/10/2002 8:49 AM
Dear Ms. or Sir - - I have difficulty downloading. Is your software available at retail stores? What is the cost of the software? Thanks for your info. - -Sincerely, Ken

R. Michael - posted 12/10/2002 8:52 AM
Hi Ken. - - Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest. - - Can you be a bit more specific about your problems with the download? - Is it the program you cannot download or is the stock prices from within the program? - What is the error message? - - If it is the program, you can can find many sites to download from at www.amateur-invest.com/us_download.htm - The Simtel site offers many reliable connections around the world, and they offer a possibility to get the program on CD! - by downloading from Simtel, it should be unpacked with winzip first. - - The program is distributed as shareware, and is not available in retailstores at the moment. - But you can also get it on CD from this address: http://www.regsoft.net/purchase_nonsecure.php3?productid=30637 - - Please see the registration page for the price for the program - - If it is the stock prices that you are having trouble with, it could be because you should set a proxy setting. This is done in the "Admin." window. You can read about it here: http://www.amateur-invest.com/us_howto.htm - - Otherwise please get back to me. - - Regards, R. Michael


Amateur Invest RELOAD query ?

Shane, AUS - posted 12/10/2002 8:16 AM
Hi, Can you please assist me? - - I have a demo of Amateur Invest. I RELOADed from amateur invest site. - - This purged the Australia company entries I had included !!! - - I lost the lot !!. - - Will this happen each time I RELOAD ? - - Once I have Australian companies and codes [and others not included in your amateur invest list] in my company lists How do I Not Lose them each time I "RELOAD". - - How do I update ASX info [address?, Where do I enter it ? ] - - Why did your site purge my 'watchlist' of Australian Companies?

R. Michael - posted 12/10/2002 8:21 AM
Hi Shane. - - Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest. Sad to hear your trouble - I'll try to explain. - - Each time you do a reload, all the companies and stock prices in your database will be reloaded all from scratch. - Nothing you have entered by yourself will remain! - There will be shown a message box warning you, that that is the case - So the reload function is only really for the first time you start up the program. - - What you should do, is do a reload, and then enter your Australian companies (in the company database), looking up their "ID Import" field on Yahoo for Australia (eg. Quantas is QAN.AX). - - And then from then on, only do an import from (the im-Export window) "Internet / Prices & information / From other internet site" - this will update all the companies that you have entered by yourself, and not delete anything. - - At the same token - it will automatically update the prices and profit/loss of your portfolio. - - You can find more info about this at: www.amateur-invest.com/us_howto.htm and www.amateur-invest.com/us_faq.htm - I hope this will help, otherwise please get back to me. - Hope you'll promote the program "down-under".


Stock price updates + japanese shares ?

Christo, GR - posted 7/16/2002 7:38 AM
I have downloaded your software and below my comments: 1-Some japanese shares could only be updated until the 4/7/02. Please explain. 2-I am happy that European stocks can be downloaded. 3-After registering, will I be able to export into other programs? Please let me know. Thank you Best Regards Christo.

R. Michael - posted 7/16/2002 7:41 AM
Hi Christo. - Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest. - 1. Japan is the only Yahoo supported site, that I have not been able to get automatic stock prices from. I therefore have to enter the prices manually, which I only do each 14 days. What you could do instead, is to find the company codes on eg. the American stock exchanges. Most Japanese companies are listed on those stock exchanges - in US-dollars. - 3. I don't think you can export directly into other programs. Most programs however, does read plain text CSF (comma separated files), and Amateur Invest can export in that format. - The Import / Export functions will also be improved in the next version. As a registered user, you can upgrade to new versions, for free.


Amateur Invest for use in the UK and Europe ?

Gerald, UK - posted 7/8/2002 9:31 AM
HI there, Does Amateur Invest support multiple currencies such as Pound Sterling, US Dollars and Euro's all in the same portfolio? - - Also does your stock price feed cover UK and European equities as well as US?

R. Michael - posted 7/8/2002 9:34 AM
Hi Gerald. - Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest. - 1. Yes, Amateur Invest supports any currency. You set a base currency eg. GBP in the admin page. Each company is also assigned a currency eg. Euro, GBP or USD. When you then add a stock to your portfolio, all profit/loss will be automatically calculated in the base currency. - - 2. Price feeds for UK and many (major) European countries, as well as other countries around the world are covered. Please take a look at this page: www.amateur-invest.com/us_howto.htm


Can Amateur Invest be used in Norway ?

Per, No - posted 5/20/2002 10:10 AM
- Or is it restricted to be used in Denmark? - What about the USA?

R. Michael - posted 5/20/2002 10:15 AM
Hi Per. - Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest. - The program can be used in most of the world. - From the start it comes with more than 100 companies from many countries. - And you can add an unlimited amount of extra companies yourself - among them are Norway and USA. - There are many examples of how to set up companies, and it is explained on the web page below. Setting up companies from around the world, will make the automatic stock price / stock qoute possible via the internet. - - Please see: the how to page.


Filter ?

Henning - posted 4/15/2002 9:47 PM
Is the filtering working properly? I seem to always get "invalid filter character '/'" from the program.

R. Michael - posted 4/16/2002 7:32 AM
Can you give me the exact steps that lead up to the error? In which window do you set a filter, and what is the filter set to?

Henning - posted 4/17/2002 9:11 PM
First one thing: I have the list of all data in front of me, I type a company name in the filter field, such as "danisco" and I always get all data from "carlsberg" back, not danisco.To get what I want, I have to select "danisco" under the "names" menu.Okay, now I have the all the data from dansico. Now let's assume it is not dansico, but another company of which I have to type in the data by hand. Every time I load in all the other data, this company gets 0.00 assigned. I wat to select all 0.00s by using the date filter and type "> 12/04/2002". As an answer I get "Invalid filter expression '/'".

R. Michael - posted 4/19/2002 9:43 AM
Hi Henning. Thank you for the explanation. - The filter is currently working best, if you select (with the mouse) both the company name, and the date. That way the right format is assured. - - The name has to be spelled exactly as the "hole" name, with the right capital letters. So "danisco" should be searched as "Danisco". - - Also your computer is set to use "-" as date separator. The date should be entered as 12-04-2002. - - But thanks to your suggestions I have made the following improvements to the filter window: the name can be entered without regard to capital letters, and you can also enter only a part of the name. I cannot change the date separator, because there are too many ways (eg. DD/MM/YY, DD-MM-YY, MM/DD/YY, MM-DD-YY, etc). - The setting of how you like dates is set by Windows itself, and most other programs use that setting. - - The filter improvement will be available in the new version that is being developed right now - Thanks, R. Michael.


Setting stop loss ?

Henning - posted 4/10/2002 9:10 PM
Just after I buy a stock, I decide on a stop loss. Now, if the stock rises, I would like to let the stop loss to follow the risen value of the stock. This seems not to be possible. Am I making a thinking error here? If the user can decide by himself what stop loss to set, all would be okay. The best would be if the program could decide on a valid stop loss by comparing to the current value.

R. Michael - posted 4/11/2002 6:56 AM
Hi Henning. - You are right. You set a value for stop profit and stop loss, when you buy the stock. If the stock changes price, you'll have to adjust the stop profit and stop loss value yourself in the stock "edit" window. - This ensure, that you yourself take action when an original stop profit-loss values are reached. I'm not sure, how this can be done automatically. - On the other hand, the function in the portfolio could be enhanced; some tools, that could aid in the setting of the stop profit-loss value. - I'll add the idea to the list for coming releases - See the link below. - Bye, R. Michael.

Henning - posted 4/14/2002 10:27 PM
Hi, I don't know what happened to my earlier reply, but here I repeat it: I would like to be able to let the stop-loss follow with the actual stock value. This doesn't seem to be possible. The program tells me, I cannot set a value higher than the value I bought the stock for. I believe this should be changed so that it cannot be set higher than the current value (instead of the value at purchase time).

R. Michael - posted 4/16/2002 7:30 AM
Hi Henning. Looks like you are right. - You cannot set a stop loss value that is bigger than the buy price, and likewise, you cannot set at stop profit that is lower than the buy price. - I have removed those checks in the coming release - and also made a calculator available for the fields, so you can calculate the amount by adding eg. a percentage.


Error in sold stocks ?

Henning - posted 4/10/2002 6:51 PM
Under sold investments I have to lament the loss of roughly 6000 EUR. However, this only is a calculation error of Amateur Invest it seems. The original paid price is calculated as if it were EUR and not SEK, while the sell price is calculated correctly. Curiously enough, this error does not occur for the active investment. Am I doing something wrong here?

R. Michael - posted 4/11/2002 6:42 AM
Hi Henning. - I'm pretty sure, you have an older version of Amateur Invest. - In 2002 rev. B errors regarding sold stock were fixed. Get it at the link here below. - I cannot remember if you have to enter the stock / sell again, but try to get the upgrade and see if it doesn't work.

Henning - posted 4/14/2002 10:04 PM
Yes, you were right, it works now.


Graph of portfolio ?

Henning - posted 4/10/2002 6:57 PM
I would like to graph my current portfolio, is that not possible?

R. Michael - posted 4/11/2002 6:45 AM
Hi Henning. - What exactly do you mean? - Which kind of graph would you like to see? - Registered users, can get a graph, that shows how much each stock in the portfolio "weigh".

Henning - posted 4/11/2002 5:43 PM
What I wanted to se is my own portfolio's performance instead of say Siemens' performance. I would like to have my portfolio graphed over time.

R. Michael - posted 4/12/2002 10:17 AM
Hi Henning. Okay - you can do that. Look at the "Alarm & watches" window - there you'll find an icon or a menu named "Compare to index". Your portfolio index will be calculated, and you can select any company or national index to compare it to. - And if you push the "View" button, you can see the value of each item in your portfolio over time. - If you have another idea of how to see the performance of your portfolio, please let me know. - Regards, R. Michael.


Danish equivalent to Wall Street Journal ?

Henning - posted 4/10/2002 7:04 PM
Hi, again me, sorry, Rene mentioned in a tip somewhere to just buy the Wall Street Journal, open up and read which share has performed best over the last year and then checkout ho it is with the P/E ratio. Well, I live in Denmark at the moment and can trade shares in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. What magazine should I look in to find such information as the above mentioned?

R. Michael - posted 4/11/2002 6:49 AM
Hi Henning - again. - It's quite all right that you ask questions - It is great having someone using this forum - let's get some more!! - To your question: - In Denmark I would go for either "Borsen" or "Berlingske". Next to the company info on the stock pages, they have PE and other key information. And usually each week on Saturday, they have the current weeks best/worst performers listed. Regards, R. Michael.


Posting of Dividends ?

Art Schreck - posted 4/2/2002 0:29 AM
Been using the Amateur Invest program and love the auto import feature to update prices, however, is there any way of entering dividends to create a rolling basis for capital gains? As it currently stands, you enter dividends in a separate area but it doesn't reflect in the overall price paid and you have to calculate multiple figures together.

R. Michael - posted 4/2/2002 7:37 AM
Hi Art - As you mention, you can enter the dividend in the "Last dividend" field in the company database. At that place it is only used for information purposes. - You can also enter the dividend you get for stocks in your portfolio. - That is in the "Earnings" field. - There is no history for this field, but it is calculated into the profit/loss - as as such is reflected in the summation.


Historical prices ?

B. Perry - posted 3/23/2002 10:37 AM
Hi - I am trying out your program, is there a way that I can load a history of prices for a company from the internet. Regards B Perry

R. Michael - posted 3/23/2002 10:38 AM
Hi, Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest. - - No, at the moment, there are only historical prices for the companies, that comes with the program from the start - but thanks to your idea, I'll include it in a coming release. (Later note: Historical prices are now possible for registered users). Regards, R. Michael


Gold ?

Henning, DK - posted 11/3/2002 3:31 PM
Hi folks,what about the following idea? Wouldn't it be useful to be able to additionally follow some external variables such as gold price, inflation rate and euro exchange rate?

R. Michael - posted 11/4/2002 11:39 AM
Hi Henning. - You can already track currencies, eg. the Euro, US Dollar, Pound, Yen, and many other. Look at the menu (top line) under "Bank" - there you'll find currencies. - - Also in principle you can enter anything you like in the "company" database. You can enter bonds and commodities (gold, oil, etc). You can then enter that in your portfolio, and track the profit/loss. - - If you have other ideas, on how to implement it - please write again here. - - - Regards, R. Michael.

Henning - posted 2/12/2002 11:37 PM
Hi again, now I tried to get the gold price in, but I can't for the heck of it not figure out how to find the symbol for gold on the New York Stock Exchange for instance. I realize that I could just take a gold mine share, but that wasn't really what I wanted. Any help? Henning

R. Michael - posted 2/19/2002 9:26 AM
You are right. - I have not found symbols for the "commodity" gold on the Yahoo site, either. - - - But that does not exclude Amateur Invest from handling gold. - - - You can still track your profit/loss, but have to enter the gold prices yourself in the price window. - - - Or you could look after commodity site, that like Yahoo, offers prices/quotes in comma separated format. - Then Amateur Invest should be able to read from such a site also. - - If you find such a place, please let me know.

Goekchekus - posted 3/2/2002 10:27 PM
I think that kitco is the site you are looking for. You can get all the information you want about gold.

R. Michael - posted 3/3/2002 11:37 AM
No - I'm sorry. Kitco does not supply a page, where the raw CSV separated quotes can be gotten from.


Proof Reading

Peter, US - posted 2/6/2002 7:55 AM
To whom it may concern, - - I downloaded Amateur Investor 2002 and am impressed. I will use the program for a while and decide whether or not to register in a few weeks. I have noticed quite a few spelling and grammar errors in the help files, and hints and ideas files. I would be happy to trade proof reading for these files in trade for registration. I have plenty of experience in this work. Please let me know if you could use my help on this version and future versions. - - Thank you, Peter

R. Michael - posted 2/6/2002 7:58 AM
Hi Peter. - - Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest! - - English is only my second language - I am Danish of nationality. - That said, I have 7 yrs. of English in various Danish schools, as well as 1 yr. high school in Jacksonville beach in Florida. - - But that of course does not make me an expert in English, and with the lot of written material, that goes into a software program, spelling errors are likely to occur. - - And therefore I would appreciate any help I can get in both getting the program better, as well as marketing it to a broader audience. - - I will be glad to trade a proofreading for a registration. - - I suggest, that you go through the program and help texts, writing down the various places where there are errors, eg.: - - Help topic: - - Spelled as: - - Should be: - - ... and the same for Hint topics. And the program: Program window: - - Spelled as: - - Should be: - - ... - Would that be a possible way? - - Regards, R. Michael, The author of Amateur Invest.


Testing Amateur Invest ?

Mogens, DK - posted 1/24/2002 8:15 AM
I'm testing a couple of investment / portfolio programs. One of the things I'm missing in the program is a report, that shows realized gains/losses. Also it would improve readability if there was a thousands separator. Finally in the help pages, I cannot find anything about Stock Splits.

R. Michael - posted 1/24/2002 8:31 AM
Hi Mogens. - - Thank you for your interest in Amateur Invest. - - Re. missing report: When you have the portfolio window open, in the top right corner, you can select "Sold" stocks. When only the sold stocks are shown, you can push the printer icon, and only the realized grains/losses will be printed. - In the new version, ready around 1. Feb. 2002, you can further filter the stocks, so that only a given date interval will be shown. - - Re. thousand separator: This might be included as a user determined setting in a coming version. - - Re. stock splits: You are right. It will be better documented in the help file. You can find an explanation here: www.amateur-invest.com/us_splits.htm - You go into the "Admin." window, and push the column "database maintenance", then you have a button for stock splits. - - Thank you for your ideas.

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