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):
Sum Of Money PLEASE HELP ?
UK stock prices ?
Download problem ?
Amateur Invest RELOAD
updates + japanese shares ?
Invest for use in the UK and Europe ?
Invest be used in Norway ?
Setting stop loss ?
Error in sold stocks ?
Graph of portfolio ?
Posting of Dividends ?
Historical prices ?
Testing Amateur Invest ?
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
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.
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:
- 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
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
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.
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
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:
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.