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July 29 2005 -

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ICLUB Insider July 29, 2005


Club Accounting 3: It's Time to Make the Move

We've got good news for you. The job of being treasurer of your investment club is just about to get a whole lot easier.

No, your investment club isn't disbanding.

And no, we're not sending an accountant to your home each month to do your club's books.

But we do have a solution that will greatly simplify just about all of your club accounting tasks -- from recording each month's member contributions, to entering security sales and purchases, to wrapping up the books at the end of the year. A new tool that's so powerful, so easy-to-use and so technologically advanced that you'll wonder how you ever managed your club's records without it.

Introducing Club Accounting 3, all-new software developed by ICLUBcentral.

Since the first version of NAIC Club Accounting software was released in 1989, there's never been a more attractive or more feature-packed solution for club treasurers than Club Accounting 3. We've taken sixteen years of experience providing investment club accounting tools (as well as sixteen years of user feedback) and put together what we believe is an unparalleled advance in club operations.

Among the many improvements in Club Accounting 3 are time-saving Wizards that walk you through common tasks -- like monthly meetings or closing your books for the year. Never again will you forget to enter a transaction before or after a meeting.

And if keeping your club's records in sync with your bank or brokerage firm has ever been a challenge for you, Club Accounting 3's new Reconciliation feature will help you balance your books and spot any missed or mis-entered transactions.

After you install Club Accounting 3, say goodbye to the Audit function. Now, each transaction is automatically audited when you enter it, updating all associated transactions simultaneously.

And never again be frustrated when updates to the program are available. Club Accounting 3 has a built-in auto-updater that lets you know when important program patches are ready to be downloaded and installed.

Those are but a few of the important new features available in Club Accounting 3. Along with all the rich accounting and support functionality you expect, you'll also get these terrific new features:

  • New XP theme-based user interface also supports large fonts for ease of viewing
  • Context-sensitive help always available -- press F1 anywhere in the program
  • New internal accounting engine -- your data is 100% compatible with NAIC Online Club Accounting
  • Verifies your ICLUBcentral Maintenance subscription status instantly
  • Download online stock prices for valuation
  • Get stock ticker quotes to evaluate any company
  • Imports data from NCA 2.5 or NOCA
  • Exports any report to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Adobe Acrobat Reader format
  • Print mailing labels for members on standard Avery labels

Not yet convinced that Club Accounting 3 is right for you? Give the program a test run by downloading a free demo today. (Make sure that you meet the minimum system requirements before trying to install the demo -- in particular, you must be using Windows XP or 2000 in order to use Club Accounting 3). We're sure that you'll soon agree that Club Accounting 3 is the most powerful tool ever developed for investment clubs.

Users of NAIC Club Accounting 2 are eligible to upgrade to Club Accounting 3 at a special low price of just $99 for BetterInvesting® members (or $149 for non-members). Order today by visiting, or by calling BetterInvesting® toll-free at 1-877-275-6242.

But don't delay -- start using Club Accounting 3 today, and you'll be well-prepared when the end-of-year tax season rolls around this December!

Classic Plus Users:
Last Chance to Switch to Toolkit 5

For beginners, Classic Plus is one of the best teaching tools available to investors to help them learn how to analyze stocks using the Stock Selection Guide. And Classic Plus's experienced mode gives users more features and functions.

But some investors want more from their analysis software. Some investors want stronger portfolio management tools. Some investors want expanded options for adding judgment to their stock analyses. And some investors want a program that combines ease of use with these powerful features.

If you're one of those investors, then you should take a look at Investor's Toolkit 5, the most popular program ever for analyzing stocks using the Stock Selection Guide.

But time is running out. As a user of Classic Plus, you can switch to Investor's Toolkit 5 at a special reduced price -- but only through July 31, 2005! Until that date, BetterInvesting members can buy a full copy of Toolkit 5 for just $119 -- a nearly 30% savings off the full member price of 169! After that point, the only way to obtain a copy of Toolkit 5 will be to purchase a new copy for $169 (and if you're not a BetterInvesting member, the price is $219).

There's only a short amount of time left to switch to the powerful new Toolkit 5. Remember, until July 31, 2005, you can switch to Toolkit 5 for the unbeatably low price of just $119. When you're ready to order, you can visit the BetterInvesting store, or call them at 1-877-275-6242 for more information or to place an order over the phone. Soon you'll have the brand new version of Investor's Toolkit 5 installed on your computer. We'll thank you, but more importantly, your portfolio will thank you too.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to get Investor's Toolkit for just $119 -- order today!

Interpreting Highlighted Figures on the Toolkit 5 PERT Report

Investor's Toolkit 5's PERT Report is an important tool for evaluating the ongoing progress of your portfolio. But there's an awful lot of information on the PERT, and sometimes that make it difficult to interpret the form.

To make it easier for you to identify potential problems, Toolkit 5 highlights figures on the PERT that require your attention. You can then quickly scan the report looking for shaded cells or colored text that indicate possible areas of concern, and then conduct follow-up research to determine the severity or immediacy of the trouble.

Here's a quick guide to the indicators that appear on the PERT Report.

Be sure to update all of your prices and data before beginning the process of reviewing your portfolio. Then, to launch the PERT Report, double-click on a Portfolio name in the Portfolio Report Card area of the Toolkit 5 home page. Click the Reports button in the bottom right corner of the Overview screen, and the PERT Report will open.

There are 28 columns of information on the PERT report, and they are labeled from "A" to "AB" at the bottom of the page. Don't forget that if you're having trouble reading the information on the report, you can change the zoom level of the page by selecting a different scale percentage in the left side of the toolbar.

Now, let's go across the report from left to right, and look at the indicators that may appear.

In Column E, "EST EPS," you'll find the Estimated EPS for the next 12 months, calculated according to your growth projections on page 1 of the SSG. However, if you select "Enable Advanced EPS Estimates" in the Toolkit 5 Options > Preferences screen, you can enter your own projections (such as taken from analyst estimates published on the Internet) from the Options menu of the PERT Report. If you do, the calculated values will be crossed-out with a red slash mark and your user-entered values will appear instead.

Columns F through M display the most recently reported quarterly Earnings Per Share, Sales and Pre-Tax Profit. The report displays the month and year of the quarter and the amount for each, as well as the percentage change from the year-ago quarter. If any of these percentages are below the growth rate that you projected on the Stock Selection Guide, then those figures will be highlighted in magenta (pink or light purple, if you prefer). A company doesn't have to have negative figures in order to be highlighted -- any time the company's performance in its most recent quarter is below your expectations, the numbers will be highlighted. You can double-click anywhere in a row to launch a PERT-A Report where you can delve more deeply into a company's history (for instance, to determine if the company has seasonal characteristics or if the change is part of an increasing pattern of slowing growth), and then, if necessary conduct more research into the reasons for the slowdown.

In the "Price" column, Column Q, the date will appear in red text if a company's price is more than seven days old. Because other values on the PERT report are derived from the current price, this indicator lets you know that you should close the PERT, update prices, and then re-open it so that the most current data can be displayed. While seven days is the default value used by Toolkit 5, you can adjust the number of days before a price is considered "old" in the Thresholds screen in the Options > Preferences menu to any other number if you prefer.

Column R, "Relative Value," will be highlighted in yellow if the figure is less than 80% or more than 150%. Figures below 80% commonly indicate that a stock's price/earnings ratio has fallen significantly below its average of the past five years, but instead of indicating that the stock is a good value, it may mean that the stock has undergone a change that the rest of the market knows about -- but that you may not be aware of. You'll need to investigate and consider the impact of any bad news the company may have recently come to light. If the Relative Value is greater than 150%, the stock may be over-valued and a good candidate for replacement using Toolkit 5's Challenger. Magenta highlighting is used to indicate Defensive (quality) issues with stocks in your portfolio.

Next, move over the Column Y, "US/DS" (the Up-side/Down-side Ratio). If the current Up-side/Down-side Ratio of the stock (as calculated in Section 4 of the Stock Selection Guide) is less than 1 (or 1 to 1), the figure will be highlighted in yellow. By default, Toolkit 5 sets the minimum Up-side/Down-side Ratio threshold at 1, but you can change this in the Options > Preferences > Thresholds screen to any value you prefer. Note: the PERT Report by default highlights stocks with an US/DS Ratio lower than 1 to 1, not the 3 to 1 ratio that BetterInvesting recommends as a minimum before purchasing a stock. This is because the company may have experienced some increase in price since it was purchased, thus lowering the upside potential while increasing the downside potential, but the long-range perspective may still be good.

Also note: if the US/DS Ratio is very high, for instance greater than 10, this usually means that your selected low price is too high and should be adjusted. Likewise, if the US/DS Ratio appears as "99.9+", your selected low price is impossibly high and needs to be reviewed. Toolkit 5 does not highlight these values, but you should still be aware of them when you see them on the PERT Report.

Finally, in Column Z, the "% Compounded Annual Rate of Return" is displayed. This is the annualized rate of return you expect from the stock, including dividends, based on your SSG analysis from the current price. If this value is less than 15% (the default in Toolkit 5, which you can adjust in the Preferences screen), then the number will be highlighted in yellow. (If you change the Target Return Threshold for a particular company in the Portfolio Offense section of the Alerts screen, it will also affect whether the return rate is highlighted here.)

If a company's Relative Value, Total Return and/or US/DS ratio are highlighted, you may want to analyze them to see if they should be replaced by stocks offering a higher return with lower risk. These are all part of Tookit 5's Offensive portfolio management strategy.

PERT can be a powerful tool for detecting early warning signs that a company you own is heading for trouble, allowing you to take action to protect your portfolio. When used in conjunction with Toolkit 5's Offense and Defense Alerts, it's easier than ever to keep a vigilant eye on changes to the fundamentals of the companies that you own.

For more information on Investor's Toolkit 5, please visit

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© Copyright 2005 ICLUBcentral Inc. All rights reserved.

Some ICLUBcentral products use the investing methodologies of BetterInvesting, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to investor education. BetterInvesting assumes no liability or obligations with respect to the investment education information or other content presented in the ICLUB Insider. For more information on BetterInvesting, please visit

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