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No. of Recommendations: 7
Hi Folks,

Just wanted to put up a quick post to say that we're following this Board closely, and working with our data provider, CBSMarketwatch/BigCharts, to resolve any issues you bring up here.

We may not have a chance to reply to every message here, especially on a weekend after what has been, as I'm sure you all understand, a particularly tough week for us (see: http://www.fool.com/press/2001/letter010928.htm). But our committment to good customer service is unwavering, and we'll do our best to address the various bugs that are reported with the new system.

Let me also express my heartfelt thanks to those of you that have expressed good wishes, both about our business and the people here, and about the new My Portfolio. We did not change providers, as some have suggested, merely to "get a new look", but rather to provide some new features that many had requested, while also reducing substantially the ongoing costs for data feeds, hardware, software, and personnel. Unfortunately for some, there is simply no possibility whatsoever of "switching back" to the old system. As one of the original developers of that system, I'm the first to regret its passing -- but I also understand the business reality of minimizing costs when providing a free service.

As with any change, some will like it and some will not. While I wish we could please everyone, that's not possible. But we will work with you to improve the new system. That's key: to work with each other to refine and improve the system. How can you help?

One approach would be to post a long series of complaints, saying things like "this tracker sucks", etc. That doesn't really give us a chance to improve; all we can do, if anything, in response to such complaints is to reply "we're sorry you don't like it."

A perhaps somewhat more useful approach is the one taken by Conick (http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15832664) to list out specific issues or bugs so that we can report them to the data provider and try to fix what's broken.

Well, this didn't turn out to be as "quick" as I thought, but thanks for reading this far. :)

Fool On!

-Carl
Front End Software Guy
Hamster Veterinarian Reservist (Reactivated)
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No. of Recommendations: 1
carl frontend guy
ok i know this was directed at me
from this point on i will keep frustrations to myself.
as far as what needs to be fixed.heres my constructive list
1 lines in columns
2 need to be able to put in order you want on the edit page
3 need to be able to put splits/dividends in
4 need to be able to put partial shares
5 need to be able to arrange columns and have them stay
6 need to be able to have all previous info we entered back in the edit screen
7 need to make so we can enter buysells in multiple lots .ie like the old version
8 free or not it needs to easier on eyes

9 needs to load faster
10 need to be able to fit all columns on one screen or at least 20
raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Ok, here are a few specific problems for you:

- When you open a portfolio, the symbols are jumbled, as in not in any particular order. When you click on `Ticker' it sorts them first in *reverse* alphabetical order, z to a. Then you have to click Ticker again to get it in a to z order. And once you have it there, there's no way to keep it that way even using the Edit Portfolio thing. If you switch ports and come back, the symbols are jumbled again. Very unhandy!

- Also, once you finally get the symbols sorted a to z and then click on Format For Printing, it jumbles the symbols up again. It also jammed the current price right up to the date, creating one column. Not acceptible.

- Once you go to reset your porfolio preferences, it lists it in the pulldown menu as Copy of Daily as well as keeping the original Daily. What's the use of that? I want one portfolio set the way I want it under one view, no duplicates with `Copy of' name.

I realize that change is tough for folks, but this new tracker is definately *not* improved. I'm not sure how much is just fixable glitches and how much is inherent `user unfriendliness'. Regardless, I'm looking for another tracker somewhere else in case you guys can't get it together.
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Here's one more. When you switch to lots, is there a way to get all the lots of one stock together? They're scattered everywhere and I couldn't find any way to group them.
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TMFCarl:

Just read the "Community Letter" and I'm sorry to say that I did not know of all the problems the TMF staff was facing...:-(

Without this website, radio show and books on the subject, I would probably have had second thoughts about getting out of a "Managed Portfolio." All of you have been a great help to me!

Lets hope for a brighter future for all.

CC

PS. I'll reserve judgement on the new My Portfolio until the bugs are exterminated.



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No. of Recommendations: 4
Carl

Can understand and appreciate the work that you people have put into this thing and I know it's going to take some time to get things smoothed out. Am sure that yields and alphabetizing , etc are all bugs that can be worked out in time. But you comment, but rather to provide some new features that many had requested. I understand that adding new features that are requested is nice but must it be done at the expense of getting rid of old features that were entirely useful and maybe didn't get talked about because they were taken for granted being there.

As for saving money, as an IT manager I have never seen a major change such as this save money even over the long run mainly because they usually go way over budget in time and money due to all the bugs that have to be ironed out. Most companies think they sill save money but it never seems to happen,

Lots of luck. Looks like I'm going to have to find a new port tracker somewhere tho because I see no new fuctionality in this one. Allocation feature looks nice but I could accomplish the same thing by looking at the percentages in the table and if I really needed a pretty graph just moved the numbers to an Excel speadsheet and can find the charts of my stocks in a hundred different places. Not many port trackers kept such a diverse history of transactions tho. Now it seems no longer does the Fool.

Wolfshead
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Hi,

So you got the new Portfolio version on the air. . . Congrats - - it's (mostly) pretty neat.

So now, how do I get the view, that I know and love, back???
The View Edit screen will accept column additions/deletions OK, but it refuses to accept changes in the column order.

My best wishes (and condolences) to you and your new ulcer.

Walker Dix

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zebbie
i share your pain
raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
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TMF Carl:

I've read over the posts and gone back in and re-examined the new ports. Here's my tuppence worth:

I was finally able to find the info that was on my old ports by checking all the "views". In there I discovered several gliches, to wit -- Ebay is not/has not paid any dividend, let alone $152.50 worth, hummmm. Have other stocks showing Huge, non-existent dividends as well.

Desperately need back the interactive CASH portfolio. That's how I kept track of my IRA deposits over the course of the year (fortunately, I had recently printed it out, but .... HELP!!!) Also, need to be able to "edit, modify, delete, etc stock positions to take dividend reinvestments and stock splits into account. May not be a big deal to some, but those of us with DRIPS and Sharebuilder or Buy and Hold accounts do a lot of dividend reinvesting. Also, anybody with REITS in their portfolios ....

I agree that we need the column lines, or at least a variance in the background color, back ... and soon. (look at a sheet of old Wilson accounting paper)

There's more, and I'll post 'em as I find 'em ... as long as somebody else didn't do it first.

Now, go fix the hamsters and work on the portfolios. Thanks Carl, I'l be waiting ...

Dee
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Hey Carl,

Keep up the good work! I've seen you all do a few change overs in since I started here 3 years ago. This one is obviously the biggest. I came over here to put in my two cents, but it seems you're busy with other questions, etc. Hang in there. Most of us understand what you all are going through...

Jay in Japan
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Carl,

The biggest problem that I have seen discussed is that you are unable to go back to the old system. I regret having to state the obvious, and prehaps you have already learned this but, you should always be able to go back.

Just for future reference ....
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No. of Recommendations: 18
Hi Dee,

You said:
<<
Now, go fix the hamsters and work on the portfolios. Thanks Carl, I'l be waiting ...
>>

Well, it's like this. As a way of describing what has happened, let me use a bad analogy.

We had some hamsters. We truly loved them, in fact put over ten person-years into the development of the best, prettiest, and most capable hamsters the world of online portfolios had ever seen. But the hamsters ate so many pellets (and left so many other pellets behind) that we couldn't afford to eat ourselves.

But lots of other people liked our hamsters. They came by to see them every day. They loved the special tricks our hamsters could do, like running on the "dashing run in place" (DRIP) wheel. Since people had to have some kind of hamster fix each day, we decided to build a special TV that shows pictures of someone else's hamster. We worked long and hard. And we built a TV receiver in the old hamster cage to show the new HamsterWatch program.

Now, some folks have written here that they don't like the new HamsterWatch. Other folks (and my special thanks to them) have written some words of praise. We know that from time to time the Hamsters on HamsterWatch do things that seem a little strange, or at least different from the things our Hamsters used to do. And, being young hamsters, sometimes they get a little sick, or stumble, or their fur is a bit dirty.

But over time, the new Hamsters will grow up and improve their grooming, and we'll figure out their new tricks. Some tricks, like the dashing run in place, are gone for good, but there are a few new ones -- for example, the new Hamsters have quite the artistic bent and can paint colorful pictures -- something our old Hamsters were never able to do.

I know there are many of you who want the old hamsters back. The sad fact is, many of our vets are gone, and the old hamsters have gone to the great wheel in the sky. So they're not coming back.

So much for the bad analogy.

In all seriousness, we are taking to heart each and every complaint and bug report posted on our boards, and will do our best to get the new system working more smoothly. Please feel free to post here to report bugs or complaints or even (gasp!) praise, if you feel so inclined.

Again, I'm sorry for any inconvenience; thank you all for posting.

Fool On,
Carl
TV Channel Changer
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for example, the new Hamsters have quite the artistic bent and can paint colorful pictures -- something our old Hamsters were never able to do.

yea, sizzle over steak, something I never thought the Fool would stoop to.

Wolfshead
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Carl --

TWO QUESTIONS: (in this maze, these may have already been covered!):

1) In reviewing the first edition (9/28) of the new program, I note that my "Cost of Holdings" line is less than is shown on 9/27, and preceding reports. I MADE NO CHANGES IN THIS AMOUNT IN THIS PERIOD. Why would this figure be different?

2) The "Total Gains" figure figures shown on the 9/28 report varies (when I add in the Daily Change figure which you show) - yours is lower. Same question.

Sincerely, not trying to look a gift horse in the mouth (write that down -- smile, smile), as I DO appreciate this MF Service, but sure need to have accurate figures!!

Thanks.

walbet
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TMF Carl: Some tricks, like the dashing run in place, are gone for good,

Does this mean we will no longer be able to enter DRIP purchases?

Donna
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Hi Donna,

TMF Carl: Some tricks, like the dashing run in place, are gone for good,

Does this mean we will no longer be able to enter DRIP purchases?

That is correct. This functionality is no longer supported.

Sorry for any inconvenience, and thanks for posting.

-Carl
HamsterWatcher


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Give that lady a ceegar.

Not as dividend reinvestments. Can enter them as straight buy and make a note they were reinvestments but the dividends will no longer be tracked as such and realized gains is gone with the wind.

Wolfshead

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Just as I got a bunch of dividend reinvest starements and started Dripping two REITS, where dividends make up a big part of the gains, too.

The Wolfshead luck strikes again

Wolfshead
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Wolfshead: Not as dividend reinvestments. Can enter them as straight buy and make a note they were reinvestments but the dividends will no longer be tracked as such and realized gains is gone with the wind.

I'll take that ceegar. I keep my portfolios in Quicken and have been extremely pleased. However, in the past it has been convenient to view my portfolio in TMF. I'll just enter my DRIPs as straight buys (I have disabled the cash feature.). Now, what to do about splits, although I don't see any in my portfolio in the near future? Also, will we be able to view the synopsis of our portfolios in the "My Fool" section?

Donna
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I also keep my Port in Quicken but I also liked it on TMF since I could view it at work and I liked the quick thumbnails the view gave me without having to work at the Q reports. The Realized/unrealized gains was a feature I particularly liked. It looks like splits won't show as splits per se. The port seems to go back and adjust the previous purchases for shares and price, at least that is what my XOM history looks like in the new port. My original XOM Drip was for 3+ shares at 83 or so a share while it now shows as 6+ shares for 41 something o it looks like splits are just going to show in the original purchase.

Wolfshead
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BUT, there is a way to put in dividends and have them show up as gains. Just take a purchase date near the dividend payment date and add the drip shares to the total, BUT don't add in the money. In other words, you'll have to divide the total shares (purchase + reinvestment) into the amount of the purchase. This is what I was doing before the DRIP feature was added...

Jay in Japan
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Carl,

I have to agree that not being able to go back to the original was a big mistake.

I was an IT professional involved in numerous roll-outs and we always had a contingency plan to go back to the original if we found a major problem with the roll-out.

More importantly, of course, was the immense time we spent on testing and training on the new implementation. When the go sign was given we were confident that the new implementation would be accepted positively by the users.

The word "free" service has come up frequently. But even a "free" service shouldn't have caused as much controversy as this roll-out. Although I am sure that the bugs will be worked out eventually, I think the negative comments have caused an immense public relations problem for your organization.

Still, I wish you well and hope you eventually find your way out of this hole.

Chris Ohta

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One bug I saw, but that no one else has mentioned, is that I had my S&P index fund tracked ($SPX.X) and when we switched it disappeared.

Another issue was that there were some stocks I'd bought, lost money on, and sold (That's a whole other heartache) and the records of those losses had disappeared. Now it would be fantastic if the actual losses had disappeared, but I don't think there is any port tracker out there that can do that. (Let me know if you find one)

Ashia (Pidgin word meaning roughly "I feel your pain"),

Dave
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I think most of the new portfolio tracker is just fine, but the loss of my closed positions is one pain I feel keenly.

TMF has devoted much ether-ink to LONG TERM INVESTING. I personally agree with this, and I am in for the long haul. However, I cannot track my portfolio over the long term without the history of the closed positions. Knowing how things are doing this instant (give or take 20 minutes) is not important. Knowing how I have doC“ÿxver Ë0e past several years is very important.

So, Carl, is the history feature gone for good, or will we be able to track closed positions in the future? While I don't look forward to inputting all my buys and sells again, I'll do it so I can stick around here. I like it here. The people are polite, well dressed and smell good. :)
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