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July 2, 2010 -

In This Issue:

Using the Online Voting System

Has your investment club ever needed to conduct a vote on some business in between monthly meetings? If so (and your club operating documents allow this type of voting), take a look at the new Voting features on

Using this tool, your club can publish a ballot on your private club website and conduct voting with a variety of options. Here's how it works:

In the People tab on, the club administrator must first assign Member Positions to "Create and manage ballots" for the appropriate people (such as the Secretary or President) who will be managing the club voting.

The Secretary (or other officer with appropriate rights) clicks on the "Add new motion" link and enters the particulars of that ballot item:

  • The text of the motion as it's been made and seconded.
  • The name of the club member who made the motion.
  • The name of the club member who seconded the motion.
  • The ballot options (such as Yes, No, Abstain). Up to five options can be included, so you can construct a single ballot item that would include several stocks, or include several limit order prices for the same stock. (Sometimes, a club member might be interested in buying a stock but would have a different idea about the maximum price that should be paid — including various buy price options for the same stock would give club members a chance to weigh several options.)
  • The date that voting ends on this item. You can end a ballot as soon as a majority (as you define it) is reached or end the ballot on a particular date.
  • The definition of a majority for this ballot item. The options are Simple Majority, 2/3 Majority, 3/4 Majority, or Unanimous. A club's operating agreements should determine how a majority is defined, which could vary for different types of motions (amending a partnership agreement would require a unanimous vote, a vote to involuntarily terminate a partner could require a 3/4 vote, and normal portfolio decisions could be passed with a simple majority, for instance.)
  • The voting method, whether one person/one vote or by member capital account (in other words, by the percentage ownership of each member). This would also be determined by the club's operating documents, and could change depending on what type of item upon which the club is voting.

Once the motion and all details have been entered, the motion must be saved. There is a second option to "Save motion and notify members" — this will send an email message to all current club members that a ballot is open for voting, and prompt them to return to the website and cast their ballot. (TIP: If there is more than one motion is on the ballot, only send the notice after entering the last motion item. That way, club members will only receive one email message notifying them that their vote is required.)

Once the ballot is live, members go to the Voting section and can click the Current Motions link to see all active motions. They see the text of the motion, along with the Ballot Options, the status and details (such as the definition of a majority and end date) and the "Vote" button. Members may not change their votes once they have been cast.

The tally is not shown while the vote is under way. At the conclusion of the vote, the results are shown, and the ballot is archived. Votes of individual members are always hidden, so no one will ever know who voted or in which way.

Any member with permissions to "Create and Manage Ballots" can end or delete a ballot once it has been launched. A motion may not be edited after the first vote has been cast, so the Secretary or other officer should take care in making sure that the motion details have been entered properly at the start!

The "Archived Motions" link includes all of the past ballots along with the results of each as part of the club's records.

New Judgment Feature Added to Take Stock on

The Take Stock tool on keeps getting better and better! We recently added a new feature for advanced users to enter their own judgment to a default Take Stock analysis.

To use this feature, enter a ticker symbol in the Take Stock tool to start analyzing a company. Then, in the left navigation panel, you'll see a link to "Edit Judgment." Clicking this link allows you to enter your own values for the company's Growth, Profit Margins, Historical P/E Ratios, and Forecast P/E Ratios, as well as generate your own Business Model EPS Projection. In this way, you can override the conservative Take Stock judgment values for the company.

Once you've completed a study, you can then click the "Save to Portfolio" link. This will allow you to save your judgment values in a StockCentral portfolio. The Portfolio tool allows you to track changes in the Quality, Mood, and Buy Price for the company — each day that you visit the Portfolio, judgment values will be appropriately updated when the stock price changes or when new quarterly or annual data is available.

These new features solidify Take Stock's position as the most useful tool for stock analysis available on the Internet. To learn more, stop by the StockCentral Workshops Forum this week for a free workshop on the new features.

July 2, 2010


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