Saturday, December 18, 2010

New version: 1.3.1 released

Added ability to enter cash values of investment and then click on 'values to percent'. This allows you to enter each line of your existing real world portfolio, and then convert to percentage with one click.


Stock Market Game is Rigged: Attack of the 'Bots

I can't link or quote - because it's not online yet, but the very latest issue of wired magazine has 2 (or at least 2) very interesting bits of information relevant to investing individuals.

Buy the 'artificial intelligence' issue and look for the article 'Bull vs. Bear vs. Bots'. It won't help you understand why markets behave they do - it will make you come to terms with the fact that you CANT understand it because it was programmed that way.

Another bit found - in the 'Jargon Watch' mini-section (page 38), look for 'Quote Stuffing'.

Makes you realize that 'trading' is a fixed game - and the house always wins. Or is at least programmed to - can you beat the machine?

(cross-posted on Thrifty Trend)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

EzBacktest for iPad?

Not anytime soon. Several issues - read below.

Issue I: Cost

1. Buy a Mac, a mini costs $689, an iMac $1200+
2. Buy Mono-Touch - that's $400
3. Buy an iPad (ok I did that at recent black-Friday sale, costs about $500)

Issue II: Time

That's my free unpaid time. I did do EzBacktest and other freeware for free, but it took me a long time, for my own amusement initially. Having devoted about 5 hours a weekend, and several weekends to reach a proper release. Then incrementally improving to its current stage.

To port to iPad, I'd have to devote several more hours - and then find a workaround to the charts control that I'm using right now. It's all solve-able - but isn't happening right now.

Issue III: Product value

If I do chose to make EzBacktest for iPad - and invest the amounts stated above, and dedicate my free time... will I give it away for free? If I don't give it away for free - does it provide enough value to pay for the current features?

Well - I believe so, but the free PC version hasn't received a lot of attention thus far. I thank all those who donated - yet I'm not shy about expressing somewhat disappointment at how so few have chose to do so. Of course, these are few - from a few users. And those who did understand that this program is used for their finance - you pay for all sorts of non-sense you don't need, but if something is helpful to your wallet - and you appreciate it as such - you'd donate.

Back to the issue of charging for an iPad version - would you pay if you could use it for free on the PC? Well - only if you'd get extra value. So I'm thinking, if I ever do this, I should merge this with the ticker application - and perhaps a personal 'gains tracker'. Being on the app-store and perhaps being reviewed or featured somewhere relevant might make it all worth while.

Yet then - there's the last issue:

Issue IV: Rights to access data

Current version uses Yahoo's free services. Those are not guaranteed, and while I'm only guessing, I believe that a paid program utilizing these services should have a signed contract with the data source. Most likely - not free.


EzBacktest for iPad might be a viable business opportunity, as such requires a hell of a lot more than me spending midnights on my laptop wearing pajamas... a sponsorship or partnership with an organization providing live quotes would be required. Will this happen? I don't know. For now - enjoy and appreciate the free PC version in combination with the 'free stocks ticker'. I'm sure it'll help your financial planning as is - and once you appreciate it you'd consider clicking on the 'donate' button.