No. of Recommendations: 1
I'm looking at the AAII web site for Stock Investor Pro, and I see that it comes with a monthly update - but for how long? I can't find any indication. And is SIP a good low-budget way to get hold of this sort of information?

Well I like it. The most obvious direct competitor on this board is ValueLine, and I like the diversity that using SIP gives me when I also have access to the picks for the VL screens which are posted on the board. I've been an SIP subsriber since about September. I believe DrBob has more experience with it than I do, so you might want to see what he has to say.

Pros:

o SIP sends out a CD of updated data only monthly, but you can download a data update every week, usually on Sunday but sometimes on Monday, data thru the previous Friday. This weekly feature is to my mind what makes SIP useable for our purposes.

o Lots and lots of fundamental data on each of over 9,000 stocks, including OTC. Many many data fields, far more than I need, but you can create custom views which have only the info you want to see. The custom view I use to generate MI screens has about 30-35 fields.

o Easy to use.

o Cheaper than VL. I think the current price for SIP is now cheaper than what I paid a few months ago (which may or may not be good news).

o It is easy (but slow) to export data to an Excel spreadsheet for subsequent manipulation.


Cons:

o There is no SIP version of "Timeliness". If you want to run screens that run against some subset of stocks, you need to come up with your own method of creating that subset. Check out post #112083 (http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16217317 ) for a description of the fairly complex legerdemain I go thru to do this.

o No long-term backtest to support the use of SIP data for market-beating screens. Our available backtests go only to 1997.

o The user interface is truly, truly clunky. The program version is 3.6.13 dated 1999 - it's a pre-internet UI, doesn't have a modern look-and-feel or a modern "walk-up" UI.

o The "export to Excel" funtion is slow when doing 30+ fields for 1700+ stocks. Takes about 5-10 mins.


I like it despite the cons, but that's me.

When you ask, "but for how long?" what do you mean? Do you mean, how long is AAII going to continue offering the service? I think they seeit as a permanent part of their business. I have no information on AAII's viability.

Good luck,

Jim
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