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© Copyright 2003 by Commodity Systems Inc. (CSI). All rights are reserved.
Website Links: This CSI website and Unfair Advantage system contain hyperlinks and automatic links to websites operated by parties other than CSI. No association with or endorsement of third-party websites should be inferred through these links. They are provided for your convenience and reference only. CSI is not responsible for and has no control over the content of third-party websites.
Topics discussed in this month's journal:
Tips for Unfair Advantage® Users
New Markets for VantagePoint Intermarket Analysis Software
CSI will be closed for voice communication on Monday, May 26th for the Memorial Day holiday. U.S. exchanges will be closed, but data from other exchanges will be available at the normal posting times. The CSI host computer will be accessible throughout the holiday weekend.
Tips for Unfair Advantage® Users
Unfair Advantage (UA) comes equipped with a "Tip File" that can display a daily tip when you start the program. Its purpose is to inform you about UA features and capabilities that you might have missed. We recently added several dozen new tips, some of which are reprinted here. We hope you'll find them enlightening and helpful.
ONLINE HELP - UA is equipped with a digital version of the User's Manual, which is accessible as a help file directly through the software. To read and search the manual, click the Help menu at the top of the UA screen, and then choose "Help Topics." This will launch the online help file. Use the Contents or Index options to find topics of interest.
INTERACTIVE HELP - You can learn more about any Unfair Advantage screen prompt by selecting the prompt and then pressing the F1 key on your keyboard. The online manual's write-up about the specific topic will display.
CURRENCY CONVERTER - UA lets you display futures contract charts in the currency of your choice. Right-click your mouse and choose "Display As Currency." Then select from 47 currencies or "as per exchange."
IMPORTING A PORTFOLIO - You can import existing portfolios from other analysis programs into UA, provided your existing data files are in any of the following supported formats: UA, MS (MetaStock®), CSIM (similar to MetaStock) and CSI (QuickTrieve®). Use the "Import Portfolio" feature from UA's Portfolio menu.
MULTIMARKET ANALYZER - Understanding market correlation is an important step in arranging a diversified portfolio. UA's MultiMarket Analyzer helps you assess intermarket relationships by producing a matrix of all requested pairs of markets and reporting the correlation coefficients over the entire period of available historical data.
THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE - Users of compatible trading platforms such as Welles Wilder's Delta Graphics and Louis Mendelsohn's Vantage Point can take advantage of automatic portfolio setup. This convenient utility provides seamless compatibility with these popular third-party programs.
INTRADAY QUOTES - Intraday updates are available through Unfair Advantage's Position Manager module. Quotes on stocks and world futures are provided with minimal delays, and are derived from third-party websites over the Internet.
INTRADAY QUOTES - Intraday quotes are used only within the Position Manager module and are not posted to your UA database. Because these quotes come from third-party sources, CSI does not guarantee their accuracy.
TRACKING ACCOUNT EQUITY - Account equity valuations are available through Unfair Advantage's Position Manager module. This powerful program permits tracking your equity performance in any currency, minute-by-minute or day-by-day for a mixture of markets involving stocks, mutual funds, futures options, and world futures markets. Reports of ongoing profits, losses, stop limits and more are provided for multiple accounts with this tool.
SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES - CSI supports and encourages the use of helpful third-party products that enhance your overall investment potential. Here are a few: Nelson Freeberg's Formula Research - (800) 720-1080; Keith Fitchen's Aberration - (800) 372-3942 or (704) 752-7991; Richard Swanelle's Elliot Wave Analyzer (in Australia) - 011-61-8-9203-6626; Welles Wilder's Delta Society Int'l - www.deltasociety.com or call 1-800-837-1919 Ext. 6; VantagePoint by Louis Mendelsohn - www.profittaker.com or call (813) 973-0496.
SEASONAL INDEX STUDY - CSI's Seasonal Index study (available from UA's Chart Tools menu) can be used to determine the expected seasonal movement of any market. Every current and historical data point is calculated through a forward-looking algorithm using only information that existed on the date in question. Unlike hindsight-derived seasonal predictions, where the seasonal movement known today is superimposed over the past, this study looks only forward. It is therefore useful as an unbiased predictor of future seasonal market movement on a day-to-day basis.
MINIMIZING INTERNET CHARGES - Unfair Advantage can be directed to disconnect your Internet connection after all data has been captured in your daily updates. Offline data distribution minimizes connection fees when using dial-up or wireless connections.
DATABASE INTEGRITY - Power loss, unstable Internet connections and Internet Service Provider failure can occasionally result in corrupted data in a history file. Should such a problem occur, use UA's History Refresh option to obtain a free replacement data file over the Internet.
UA MARKET CLASSES - Unfair Advantage offers more than 20 classes of data to facilitate market selection. These include All Futures Markets, Non-US Stock Markets, Mutual Funds, Interest Rates, Single Stock Futures, Commitments of Traders, Economic Statistics and more.
BAR FREQUENCY - A UA chart can display data as daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual price bars. Right-click your mouse and select "Bar Frequency."
CHART SCALING - The price scale of UA charts can use the relatively constant high-low range of the full history, or self adjust to scale by the visible portion for greater visibility. Make your choice from the right-click menu.
DIVIDEND INFORMATION - UA displays Five-Year Dividend Growth and Dividend Yield for 1,575 stocks through the Factsheet and MarketScanner. You may choose to adjust data for dividends and capital gains (or not) through an entry on the "Historic Adjustments" tab of both Portfolio Settings and Non-Portfolio Chart Settings. These fields are available for analysis through UA's MarketScanner.
SECTORS AND INDUSTRIES - The UA Factsheets include both a Sector Code and an Industry Code for most U.S. Stocks in the CSI database. These fields are available as search keys through UA's MarketScanner and factsheet.
ADVERTISEMENTS - Depending upon your markets of interest, UA's Position Manager may show pop-up advertisements provided by the intraday quotation sources. These screens are displayed on a periodic basis because advertisements make the delivery of intraday data possible. We believe the tradeoff is worth the minor inconvenience.
FUNDAMENTAL DATA - Unfair Advantage's Factsheets list Price/Earnings Ratio, Earnings Per Share for each of the preceding four quarters, Earnings Per Share total for the last year, Shares Outstanding, Beta and more for many stocks.
CUSTOM PROGRAMMING - UA lets you design your own custom analysis through the Interpreted Studies feature, which is linked to both the charting module and MarketScanner. It is provided for you to program, test, edit and optimize your own custom studies and systems.
MORE STUDIES - UA's Interpreted Studies feature includes a library of analysis routines, including ADX, Bollinger Bands, Oscillators, Volatility studies and more. These may be used as they are, or modified to introduce your own ideas.
COMMITMENTS OF TRADERS - CSI provides weekly updates on Commitments of Traders (COT) data, compiled by the U.S. government and distributed by Steve Briese's Bullish Review. We also provide the Bullish Review's excellent COT indices. For regular analysis, interpretation and very helpful commentary on these assessments of market strength, contact the Bullish Review at (888) 423-4950.
SOFTWARE UPGRADES - The latest version of Unfair Advantage is usually available free of charge on the CSI website (www.csidata.com). Upgrades keep you current on new features and fixes, and can correct problems due to file corruption on your drive.
NEWS UPDATES - The CSI website at www.csidata.com includes links to important news stories that affect investors. Click the links to read the stories. Use your computer's "bookmark" or "favorites" utility if you wish to return to the stories later.
NUMERICAL DATA - You can view numerical price data through UA in several ways: Get an overview of today's prices for your portfolio(s) through the "Snapshot" button; from a chart, click the "Table" tab, or click the "Crosshair" button.
EXPORTING TEXT FILES - You can export any UA file to ASCII format and then view with a word processor or text reader.
EXPORTING FOR ANALYSIS - UA can create and maintain ASCII, CSI (QuickTrieve), MetaStock and CSIM format files.
QUICK CHARTS - You can scroll through the charts listed in your portfolio by clicking the right or left "Portfolio" arrow below your chart.
STUDY TEMPLATES - UA lets you create a list of favorite studies for quick selection from a menu at the bottom of the charting screen. Any one of these studies can be added automatically to all your UA charts.
FAVORITES - MarketScanner and the charting module's Interpreted Studies automatically create lists of your "Favorite" custom studies. Select from the "Favorites" menu to easily execute even the most complex studies.
MULTIPLE ACCESSES - Unfair Advantage users may update the UA database as often as necessary to capture current end-of-day data for the desired markets. See the CSI website at www.csidata.com for a schedule and current posting status.
MULTIPLE COMPUTERS - Multiple accesses to update the UA database by the same computer are permitted under the standard rate schedule. See the UA License Agreement for surcharges that apply when multiple computers are used.
DAILY SNAPSHOTS - Click the camera icon on the UA toolbar to see a snapshot of the day's market activity. Sort by portfolio or show all commodities, and then view a table showing net change, as well as price, volume, open interest data.
New Markets for VantagePoint Intermarket Analysis Software
Many CSI subscribers who trade the financial futures markets use VantagePoint Intermarket Analysis Software to improve their trading results. We are happy to pass along the news that Market Technologies Corporation has released VantagePoint Version 6.0, which adds 18 commodity markets in the grains, meats, metals and softs to the list of supported markets, for a total of 43 financials and commodities. These additions greatly expand VantagePoint's ability to capture and evaluate the substance of multiple related markets and predict the movement of selected markets. To assure continued seamless compatibility for our customers, the VantagePoint portfolios of Unfair Advantage version 2.6.8 have been tailored to accommodate the new VantagePoint commodities.
Although VantagePoint reads CSI's once-a-day updates, day traders, position traders and spread traders have all found the system to satisfy their trading needs. Lou Mendelsohn, creator of VantagePoint software and founder of Market Technologies, has spent much of his life perfecting this tool, which thrives on the depth and scope of CSI's immaculate data reserves. I have known Lou for many years and have great respect for his work and for his commitment to intermarket technical analysis.
Market Technologies reports VantagePoint's accuracy rate at up to 80%. Their website offers free VantagePoint reports for the markets of your choice and testimonials by John Murphy, author and former technical analyst for CNBC, and others. For more information, visit the Market Technologies website at www.ProfitTaker.com or call them directly at (813) 973-0496 or (800) 732-5407.
Note: CSI does not stand behind or endorse the products of any outside firms.
Each month in this column, the CSI technical support staff addresses issues that may be of interest to many subscribers through this question-and-answer forum. This month they discuss downloading with a computer that runs on Windows XP, downloading a UA system, error reports, expanding the list of market categories updated through UA and reporting account equity involving multiple currencies.
Q. I am unable to download quotes via the Internet on my PC, which runs on Windows XP Home edition. I get around this by using the telephone download facility, but this is obviously much more expensive for me. I tried modifying my security software to no avail. Is there anything else I can do?
A. You might try a technique that worked for another XP user who forwarded us the following advice: Change the Java settings in Internet Properties in the MS VM section such that all three boxes are checked to enable the Java/JIT settings. This appears to fix the problem.
Q. I just downloaded the full UA system from the CSI website. I expected the software and data transfer to take a while, which it did, but I didn't expect my next daily update to also be lengthy. Why so slow?
A. We recently added the full system (including the stock and commodity database, less options) to our website so that current subscribers wouldn't have to wait for a new CD. This is recommend only for users of high-speed Internet services, such as cable or satellite, because it is a very massive data transfer. Your daily update took so long because UA was downloading, appending and adjusting two weeks or more of daily updates. We have since changed the way we manage the downloadable UA system, keeping the database current to within a day or two of your download. This speeds the process significantly.
Q. Every month the "Error Report" in the CSI Technical Journal is quite short, but my UA software sometimes shows a very significant number of "Corrections." Please explain the discrepancy.
A. The data distribution step called "Finalizing Corrections" and the "Corrections" listed in the distribution report deal with any change to the database that makes it more complete. Occasionally, these are corrections to price, volume or open interest quotes. More commonly, they are delayed additions. Many of the mutual funds and stocks supported by CSI report monthly and quarterly capital gains and/or dividends, which are added to the database through the "Corrections" procedure. These reports are essential for accurately reporting security earnings. Because of the high volume of dividend and capital gains reports, they are usually provided to customers over a five-day period each month.
Q. I originally signed up to receive just stocks and indices from CSI, but would like to include commodities in my daily updates. What is involved in making the change?
A. Contact our Technical Support staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 392-8663 to request both a new CD with current history on all markets and a change in categories for daily updates. You'll be asked to pay the difference in license fees and, if you are on a prepayment plan, to pay the balance for the additional data. When the new CD arrives, simply back up and uninstall your current UA, and then install the new one. You'll be up and running with expanded capabilities in no time.
Q. I am using UA's Position Manager to keep track of my trading account equity. Everything ran perfectly until I added an overseas market. Now the account value is not correct. How can I fix this?
A. It sounds like the currency choice is set to "Leave as Exchange Currency," which is the default selection. That's great for seeing the current prices of all your holdings, even if they're quoted in a variety of currencies. However, when it comes to calculating account equity, Liras and Dollars don't add up. If your position list contains commodities and/or stocks that are traded in various currencies AND you want to get meaningful information on the account balances, go to Position Manager's Settings screen and select a single currency for quoting all positions.
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© Copyright 2002 by Commodity Systems Inc.
(CSI) All rights are reserved.
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