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Issue 3.6

REVIEW

Stock Investment Guide 1.5.9

Issue: 3.6 (July/August 2005)
Author: Norman Palardy
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,487
Starting Page Number: 8
Article Number: 3603
Related Web Link(s):

http://www.churr.com

Full text of article...

Stock Investment Guide (SIG) is a program for assisting investment clubs in making decisions about stocks. It has some very nice graphing of the various data it shows. Earnings per share, Sales, PreTax profits, pretax profits as % of sales, and cash flow per share are all graphed on a semi-log scale which is nicely done.

The analysis tab performs the evaluation using common investment club criteria and your assumptions. It then indicates at what price ranges to buy, hold, and sell. The analysis is based on historical data and criteria that many stock clubs use. And, you can always override the values that have been calculated, or override the assumptions used in the calculations.

The important thing to know is that SIG is only performing the calculations based on the values you supply and the assumptions you make about the stock being analyzed. It does not recommend stock and is not a stock picking program. It's only an analysis tool.

Everything about SIG seems to be quick. Stock quotes are retrieved quickly, loading the sample data files occurs quickly, and flipping from tab to tab is quick. Re-scaling graphs occurs quickly as well.

It's not indicated where SIG gets its stock quotes from, nor is there any apparent way to change what service

they are retrieved from.

It has a good integrated help system that explains the various topics quite well, and offers some good advice in terms of selecting reasonable values when performing stock analysis. Many items can be automatically retrieved from the National Association of Investor Corporation (NAIC) Online Premium Services which SIG is designed to work with.

While the help system may be a bit light on some subjects, it's adequate and does direct you to the appropriate NAIC resources for further reading where necessary. This seems to be because some of the information that would be useful in the online help from NAIC is copyrighted and can't be just included without permission. Including this would improve an already good help system.

The online help also directs you to the very useful iclub.com site that has a tutorial on the Stock Selection Guide. This site explains the various methods used in SIG quite thoroughly, as well as the various graphs and other data presented in SIG. It's a good resource for understanding what SIG is presenting in its graphs and analysis. It would be nice if this was incorporated directly into SIG's online help.

While SIG is a handy tool and great for analyzing stocks using criteria that are common to investing clubs, this useful program is marred by a number of UI glitches. Unfortunately this makes SIG appear not quite as professionally done as initial impressions suggest.

When you resize the help, the logo for Churr Software doesn't change positions along with the rest of the UI elements and so can end up obscuring the help text. Most of the items on the tabs relocate or resize as appropriate, except on the performance tab.

Opening the About box and clicking the Curr.com link takes you to what appears to be an unrelated web site that is actually the site where new beta releases are posted.

SIG is aimed at investment clubs and uses the criteria that NAIC has for how to perform stock analysis. SIG fits that bill quite well. It has a few interface glitches that are just a bit tough to take in an otherwise well done product.

End of article.