NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
WOW Deluxe Investor 5.0
A Review by Bob Frye, March 98

Window On WallStreet's (WOW) Deluxe Investor 5.0 is the mid-tier program in its stock analysis series: Personal Investor, Deluxe Investor and Professional Investor. (See the November 1997 newsletter for a review of WOW Personal Investor). Deluxe Investor includes all of Personal Investor's capabilities, plus several features that I think make it a better buy than the cheaper, but less powerful, Personal Investor.

Like Personal Investor, Deluxe Investor consists of two parts: a securities database, and analysis/charting programs. They both use the same included CD- ROM database with its five-year historical database of 15,000+ stocks, mutual funds and market indices. The analysis and charting programs can access the database directly from the CD, use data files created or copied to hard disk, or a combination of both.

SmartScan Plus, WOW's database query tool, has been augmented with 100+ pre- set industry groups, as well as the ability to modify and create custom groups. For example, instead of manually searching through all 15,000 entries in the database looking for semiconductor manufactures, just click on the pre-defined semiconductor industry group and it automatically flags the appropriate companies for a SmartScan search. Curiously missing from the pre-defined groups were common items as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500 stocks, although it was short work to create custom groups for these. Deluxe uses the same 61 fundamental filter criteria (price, trading volume, earning-per-share, dividend yield, etc) found in Personal Investor. I found that if I ignored the manual's recommendation and copied the securities database to my hard drive, I was able to decrease search time from about an hour to roughly ten minutes.

In addition to the formidable list of 43 technical indicators from Personal Investor, Rational Analysis Technology Expert (RATE) is added. RATE combines fundamental analysis features (like growth in earnings per share) with traditional technical analysis techniques (like relative strength index). This combination of fundamental and technical analysis features provides a powerful tool to overcome the inherent weaknesses of relying only on one technical method for buy/sell decisions. Super Indicators are a group of pre-defined combination fundamental/technical indicators. Perhaps the most powerful feature in Deluxe Investor is the ability to create, edit copy and delete your own technical and Super indicators. The printed user guide and on-line error checking are invaluable aids in writing the complex formulas that generate plots and buy/sell alerts. I found it convenient to copy and modify pre-defined indicators to make new, custom indicators. For hardcore programmers, you can work from a library of 90+ formula calls and if statements. Plan on spending time in learning to use this powerful feature, however.

Deluxe Investor adds two multimedia features. Financial Planner features James Pond in a discussion on planning your financial needs, such as insurance, mortgages, taxes and investments. Multimedia Investment Advisor teaches the basics about asset allocation, equities, funds, futures and commodities. MI Advisor also has a graphical guide on using WOW's charting and analysis tools. I suspect most users of Deluxe Investor will find little new information in either of these multimedia additions.

Deluxe Investor requires a 386 processor or better, Win 3.1 or better, 8 MB RAM and 15 MB disk space. You'll need a 4X or better CD-ROM drive with MPC2 sound to use the multimedia features. You need a modem and an active data service account to use the on-line download, research and news features. Street price is about $120.

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