Forward Migration Kit: Stock analysis software part I

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(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs -- or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A forward migration kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as dentistry, accounting, etc.)

This week we're offering the first of a two-part look at stock analysis software for the Mac.

Bee Software

Bee Software makes two products: ProTA and ProTA Gold.

"BeeSoft is closing in on 2,500 customers this year in over 30 countries," Jeff Bizon of BeeSoft told MacCentral. "We are committed to Mac OS X. I am presently working on native OS X versions of both of our products -- they should be released early next year."

ProTA is Mac-based investment software that offers charting, technical analysis and portfolio analysis for the stock market, mutual funds, futures and options markets.

ProTA is a complete market analysis solution designed specifically for the Mac-based investor/trader. It offers a suite of integrated trading tools designed to cover every aspect of computer-based charting and technical analysis. It supports fully automated data downloading with support for dozens of data formats. There's point-and-click database access and management, as well as over 60 built-in technical indicators and line studies.

ProTA's object-oriented charting interface offers intuitive control and total customization, according to the folks at BeeSoft. Technical displays and rankings are based on dozens of built-in technical calculations. The US$59 app also offers trade tracking and automated portfolio pricing. Other features include: a context-sensitive floating toolbar; a built-in help system; drag-and-drop chart manipulation; context-sensitive popup command menus; Universal Text Importer; TickerPicker database access; chart templates; and Portfolio Sheets.

ProTA Gold is a high-end version of ProTA that provides, according to BeeSoft, unlimited control and customization over every aspect of technical analysis. The ProTA Gold application has been built on top of ProTA. This means that the ProTA Gold user has access to all of ProTA's features, in addition to the new features in ProTA Gold, all operating under a very similar but expanded user-interface.

It has formulary for custom indicators. In addition to the 50-plus indicators already built-into ProTA 2.11, ProTA Gold includes a comprehensive language to create, name and save just about any custom indicator, flag, boolean, etc. Custom indicators can be used throughout the program: a plot in a chart, a customized column for ranking in a portfolio sheet, a criteria in the new database scanner or even as a buy/sell rule in your own custom trading model.

ProTA Gold includes an interface for specifying your own trading models. Defining a basic trading model such as "Buy when the 26,12,9 MACD Histogram crosses above zero, Sell on the opposite, Use a 5 point stop" is a matter of typing a short formula in a window. The system tester can evaluate one security or a list of securities, can evaluate one parameter-set, or an entire series of parameters, optimizing for the best parameters, and can even apply an entire batch of systems you've written against any security in your database. Output includes a sortable listing of the results of each system test, a complete listing of trades for each run, a variety of trading stats, and the ability to chart the trading action and P&L results on any new or existing chart.

System definitions are exportable/importable. In addition to writing your own systems, you can expand your library by trading with other users, or by downloading new system definitions from BeeSoft. The software ships with a number of included trading models for immediate use.

You can use ProTA Gold's formula language to define criteria, and then scan your entire database for securities that meet the criteria. A criteria can be as simple as a single TA comparisons such as Close > MA(50) or be as complex as a multi-prong model involving custom indicators or trade models you've previously written. When you run a scan, securities that meet your criteria are placed in a new Portfolio Sheet that you can further process, or view and rank with additional customized calculations.

Portfolio Sheet columns let you display and rank securities based on your own custom calculation, the trading action of any trade model you've written, or the criteria you've specified for any database scans you've already run. ProTA Gold costs $199.

A demo version of ProTA is available at the BeeSoft Web site. A demo version of ProTA Gold is due soon.


Behold! is Mac software for stock and commodity traders. It's used to develop, test and optimize trading systems, and supports daily trading through automation scripts and AutoRun.

The Behold! trading model contains all of your calculations, charts and trading rules. Open a trading model and all calculations are made and results displayed in the worksheet. Your charts are drawn and rules are shown in your System window.

Behold! has over 100 built-in indexes and functions. Over 75 usable examples are supplied. The app offers a spreadsheet format for data display and calculation control with nested functions and any columns as input. You can import data for intermarket analysis and export price, test and optimizer data. You can also plot anything you can calculate.

When it comes to system testing, rules are written in English; you may reference any number of inputs or conditions. You can test and optimize with single files or portfolios. A portfolio may contain many trading models. Behold! offers graphical optimization of single files or portfolios to simplify the determination of the most efficient portfolio for stocks or commodities and optimal capital for commodity trading.

AutoRun applies rules to any number of current files to indicate required trades and stops. AutoRun, for any number of data files and trading models. Scripts can automate calculations, charting and periodic functions.

Behold! reads data files in several formats (Behold!, TrendSetter, Futures Truth, several ASCII formats) without user action. It uses intra-day, daily, weekly, or monthly data. The maximum file length is limited only by available memory. The daily update supported through the SpiffyCharts utility or with any text file.

The app comes with a manual, example trading models, a commodity database and more. It costs $795 for a permanent license. There's no yearly maintenance fee and updates are free.

This story, "Forward Migration Kit: Stock analysis software part I" was originally published by PCWorld.

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