PC Alamode
Reviews Columns Features Archives

 PC Alamode

Make more money with IRL
The IRL Special Interest Group

Maynard Burstein has been active in the San Antonio computer community since 1982 when he opened the first of 4 local ComputerLand outlets. The unique thing about ComputerLand is that it was one of the first Apple dealers in the country, was the first IBM PC dealer and also the first Compaq dealer. He was an attendee at the first Alamo PC organizational meeting which, as memory serves me, was held at the Frost Bank meeting room in January 1983. He has helped hundreds of small businesses install their first enterprise system since that time. Now retired, he continues to counsel with small businesses and educates himself on the whims of the market.


I love telling people about IRL software because I am an experienced Individual Investor, I appreciate great software and I use it every day. Five years ago such tools did not exist. So forgive me if I get overly enthusiastic.

Several years ago when the Alamo PC Users Group started a Financial SIG I immediately joined. I did so because I saw that the Internet had the possibility of changing the way we could buy stocks. Computers became more powerful, commission rates became reasonable if not cheap, information that had only been available from brokers and/or libraries became available online, quotes became available at the touch of the mouse etc. I wanted to know more! 

It was at the SIG that I learned the importance of the Investors Business Daily (IBD) newspaper, also, I saw what software others used and I learned about a workshop that was conducted by Ian Woodward. I attended the workshop and things started to change. My post education had begun! What has been a winding road eventually brought me to IRL.

Let me begin by telling you what IRL is not. This software is not for day traders because it only uses end of day data. And it is not a mechanical trading system. 

It is simple and intuitive to use, but is also very sophisticated and powerful.

There are two basic principles in investing in stocks. The most basic thing to remember is that supply and demand drives it all. The other is that it is nice to “make more money” but never overlook the principal of preserving capital. Greed is bad. Taking profits too soon and cutting losses quickly allows you to stay in the market. That’s about it. IRL helps me focus on the playing field, the rest is up to me.

There are Value Investors, Growth Investors. Momentum Investors, Investors who focus on the Fundamentals, Investors who focus on the Technicals, and Investors who want to do it all. Because there are so many ways to approach profitable investing, choosing a style that is comfortable is important.  IRL is designed to improve your ability to understand, predict, and confidently act on market.

IRL is an Investing Group Consortium. It is comprised of Industry Monitors, Woodward Investments, Quotes Plus and Ron Brown Investments. They have an agreement to integrate each company’s existing and new products and services into a comprehensive set of integrated end-to-end investing solutions. The collaboration is intended to bring strategic solutions to investors who heretofore needed to piece together the data sources, software tools, investment methods, ongoing education, and user communication forum needed to be a profitable investor.

Industry Monitors is the leader in software for developing stock portfolio baskets that can be indexed and ranked among other portfolios, market indexes, and industry groups. This is the most important segment. 

Quotes Plus is a unique provider of quality investment fundamental and price data for stocks, mutual funds, and commodities. For a modest monthly fee, users are provided with a database of all equities (comprising some 9,000+ stocks) on their own computer. Daily updates keep the database current. Quotes Plus is integrated into the Industry Monitors program. 

Ian Woodward is one of the most sought after experts on HGS (High Growth Stock) investing. His workshops and newsletters have helped thousands of investors learn the principles of HGS investing and the ingredients required to, as he puts it, “Buy rockets and sell rocks!” He has a great way of communicating whether orally or in writing. I have attended 6 of his workshops and they are amazing. In addition, he and Ron Brown have collaborated in leading the discussions in an Investment Forum on High Growth Stocks. Specifically look at the bulletin board for his messages. He never quits teaching.

Ron Brown is an individual investor who shares his experiences in HGS Investing. He has developed sensible processes using HGS software tools that reduce the time to ferret for profitable stocks. His CDs provide training tools that simplify the user’s learning by actually doing the routines he uses to find the nuggets tuned to prevailing market conditions. 

It is this combination that makes IRL so special.

And this is how I use the tools to Make More Money:

Each evening I download the Quotes Plus Data. This adds the end-of-day data to the 8-10 years of historical data for Stocks, Indexes, Commodities, and Mutual Funds that I already have in my system. The download includes Fundamental information from Zack’s and Market Guide for over 9000+ issues PLUS earnings estimates and analyst recommendations (provided by Zacks’s). The download takes about two minutes of online time depending on your connection to the net.

Thereafter this information is automatically input into the Industry Monitor Software. Each stock is sorted into the appropriate industry group, then each group is indexed against all other groups. The method of indexing can be either Price weighted, Market weighted, Equal Dollar weighted or Average. I prefer to use Equal Dollar weighted. I do nothing; the computer does it all. That takes about 25 more minutes.

This finished, my work begins. I look at the relative strength, the velocity, and the acceleration for each 200 Industry Groups plus some 20 Custom Groups that I have created. The result is color coded to help identify unique patterns. Green is good, it means I am looking at the upper 80th percentile. This makes it easy to see which industry groups are rotating in and rotating out. Different Relative Strength formulas are available to create this sort. 

I then select a group that looks interesting and the stocks comprising that industry group are displayed. Each company can then be similarly ranked or sorted by various fundamental indicators. In addition Filtering tools are provided to find only those securities that meet my specific specifications. For example, I like stocks with greater than an 80 EPS Rank whose volume that day exceeded their 50 day average volume by at least 35% and in so doing the closing price increased. IBD readers understand, right? No problem!

That produces a list of prospects I must research. I select a stock, click an icon and I am looking at a chart with custom indicators available, plus I see the fundamental data displayed for the specific company including 8 quarters of earnings and revenue, volume, P/E, beta etc, 100 in all displayed in one screen. Handy huh! Another click of an icon and I am viewing tons of fundamental data on that company in spreadsheet form plus the same data for each company in the group. Click and I see the ranking of my company versus all others for EPS Rank for example or sort by Relative Strength Rank or maybe the % change of earnings this quarter against the same quarter last year. Too many to tell in this short article. Seeing is believing! Want to create an Excel version, two clicks and that’s done!

Does this sound too good to be true? For more information contact me . Also visit the IRL User Group which meets the first Thursday of the month. And visit the Websites listed above for prices, ordering information or more information.


Copyright© 1996-2010
Alamo PC Organization, Inc.
San Antonio, TX USA