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Author: scribini Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 260  
Subject: SI Pro's Value? Date: 1/25/2005 12:44 AM
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Due to my subscriptions to several Fool newsletters, I receive alot of junk investment mail (a topic for discussion another time), but I recently received an offer from the AAII to join for a "reduced rate" of $29 for the first year because "they are celebrating 25 successful years." Of course, I went to the website, and sure enough, it's $29 for any domestic shlep who joins, anytime. For a moment, I thought I was special.....OK, so their marketing pitch is really lame. However, what I really want to know is how pleased AAII members are with SI Pro, and whether or not it makes sense for somebody in my shoes.

I know the answer to the last part of that question is very subjective, but here's some background with the hopes of helping: I fancy myself a value investor, but I subscribe to "Hidden Gems" and "Fool Advisor" as well. I've got roughly $50K of what I deem "my money" (my 401K is deemed to be "somebody else's money", since somebody else has a great deal to say about just what I can invest that money in) in the market, and I continue to add about $5K to $7.5K per year. I spend about 2 to 4 hours a week studying my current picks, and prospects. I've done fairly well (averaging about 15%/year since really becoming serious a few years ago), but always wonder if I can do better.

Is there anybody out there with similar circumstances that loves/hates SI Pro? Even if your circumstances aren't similar, I'd be interested in thoughtful insight.

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Author: ajaskey Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 227 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 1/25/2005 9:50 AM
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Is there anybody out there with similar circumstances that loves/hates SI Pro? Even if your circumstances aren't similar, I'd be interested in thoughtful insight.

Stop subscribing to other's services and use SIPro to find the stocks yourself. If you have their criteria you can screen for the stocks. I imagine TMF uses SIP to find most of their picks anyway.

Andy

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Author: DrBob2 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 228 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 1/25/2005 2:18 PM
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Is there anybody out there with similar circumstances that loves/hates SI Pro?

If you know what you're looking for SIPro is definetly the way to go.

DB2

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Author: mrseabreeze Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 229 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 1/25/2005 8:29 PM
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scribini - I highly recommend the SI PRO product. Take a look at the screens that aaii.com reviews & describes and you can come up with a few key successful strategies. (e.g., Neff, Zweig, Pet)

You can update weekly data. I believe you can also do partial downloads on a weekly basis. Hopefully you have a T1 or cable net access.

Congratulations!

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Author: mathetes Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 230 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 2/3/2005 3:11 PM
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SI Pro is definitely worth the value. Now, I have to say that I let my subscription lapse at the end of 2004, with some misgivings, but not because it was not good; simply that for personal reasons I was not doing the things with it that I had been doing earlier.

What were those things: I'd developed procedures that enabled me to emulate the Foolish 8 system for identifying small cap companies worth further investigation, for one. I'd also developed procedures for emulating the "Benchmark Investing" strategy that has been written about on another message board..... these are just examples. I'd also developed my own system for comparing any two companies in the same industry against each other and against their industry median values. All of this was in Excel, using data exported from SI Pro.

Very powerful and useful database --- it does help to be comfortable with data analysis, and with tools like Excel. SI Pro, by itself, has limitations that can be frustrating. There's a wealth of information (seven years of very comprehensive history on companies included, which is just about every publicly traded company), but I found pretty quickly that I had to export data to Excel to be able to do the kind of comparisons that really help you differentiate one company from another, using side-by-side comparisons. That couldn't be done anywhere near as easily within SI Pro, just because of the way it retrieves and displays information.

mathetes

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Author: FreudSon Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 231 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 12/14/2005 12:34 PM
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Hi,

Wondered if I could jump in here.

I'm wondering how you went about exporting your data into Excel. I've read about one tool XLQ (http://www.qmatix.com/XLQ.htm) that will presumable automate this, but I was just wondering if there is an easier (and easily explained) way to do this. I love using Excel, but haven't really gotten into writing macros. So how do you point the spreadsheet back to SI Pro data?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Freud

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Author: ajaskey Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 12/14/2005 1:12 PM
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I'm wondering how you went about exporting your data into Excel. I've read about one tool XLQ (http://www.qmatix.com/XLQ.htm) that will presumable automate this, but I was just wondering if there is an easier (and easily explained) way to do this.

SIP exports the data directly to Excel based on the view you choose. XLQ is a great program and will do it, but if you want to export several thousand of stocks then it will take hours. You may be able to use the XLQ .NET interface to dump that data if you can write VB or something else that can access the .NET interface.

Andy

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Author: mathetes Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 233 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 12/26/2005 5:27 PM
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FreudSon: I'm wondering how you went about exporting your data into Excel. I've read about one tool XLQ (http://www.qmatix.com/XLQ.htm) that will presumable automate this, but I was just wondering if there is an easier (and easily explained) way to do this. I love using Excel, but haven't really gotten into writing macros. So how do you point the spreadsheet back to SI Pro data?


You've already gotten the answer ... that is that you don't point the spreadsheet back to SI Pro data, but rather direct the SI Pro data, from within SI Pro, to Excel. That's why it's called exporting data ...

There's little need to write macros for this (nor, in my opinion, for very much at all) ... Excel has remarkable capabilities within its functions.

Which takes me to the next level: once I'd exported the SI Pro data, I made use of Excel's database functions (DGET, DAVERAGE in particular) to do a lot of the analyses that I alluded to. Those are very powerful functions, well worth doing some research to learn. I recommend Excel's Help pages for the purpose, though there are a few books that will touch on it too.

mathetes

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Author: Jimbo1969 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 234 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 12/28/2005 10:25 AM
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I notice Scribini's reference to his 401K money as "somebody else's money" -- due to the restrictions of the plan about the way the money can be invested. I would like to move (i.e., rollover) a chunk of my 401K tax sheltered money into a 401K that allows investment in individual stocks that I choose myself. I know an Ameriprise investment advisor who will do that for me, but he wanted to negotiate a fee for doing so (which I can understand), but before going that route, I was wondering if there are other more "do-it-yourself" 401K plans that I should check out that allow me to invest in individual stocks inside a tax-sheltered 401K account.

Jimbo1969

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Author: mathetes Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 235 of 260
Subject: Re: SI Pro's Value? Date: 12/28/2005 5:52 PM
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jimbo1969: I was wondering if there are other more "do-it-yourself" 401K plans that I should check out that allow me to invest in individual stocks inside a tax-sheltered 401K account.

Probably aren't any 401(k) plans where you can direct the investments as you wish... but the equivalent is available if you can roll some or all of your 401(k) money over into an IRA. That's often possible, but is not likely to be highlighted in your company's literature. They don't want people to abuse the privilege ... and for good reason: it's possible that you could shoot yourself in the foot.

Nevertheless, it is worth asking your 401(k) plan administrators whether or not the terms of your particular plan do allow you to withdraw some of the funds that have accumulated, specifically through a rollover to another "qualified plan" -- i.e., an IRA at some firm such as E-Trade. I have done this (when I did it, I rolled it over into an American Express account, where there was the equivalent (in fact, the forerunner) of the Ameriprise advisor you allude to. After a couple years, though, I "fired" that advisor and moved the funds (paying a penalty) to E-Trade. Frankly, I'd be skeptical of the value of moving the funds to Ameriprise. Their own investment advice, their own funds, tend to be rather poor performers ...

The next question, and a very important one, is whether you are able to spend the time to manage the investments on your own. I happened to be lucky in the timing of when I did mine .... riding the crest of the internet bubble in the late 1990s ... so I got some really good returns. Since then, though (and since retirement), I've tended increasingly to go to mutual funds and ETFs and away from the individual stocks. I still remain skeptical of most Ameriprise type approaches...

mathetes

P.S. Your question really should be asked on another board dealing more broadly with IRAs and 401(k) plans ... you're more likely to be seen by folks with more experience specifically relevant.


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