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Options / Using Covered Calls With IAM3 Individual
« on: July 17, 2019, 10:56:09 AM »
Investment Account Manager 3 Individual:  Using Covered Call Options
Investment Account Manager 3 Individual can track both long and short option transactions. The use of options in an investment portfolio can help to reduce risk, increase leverage, or both. Given the market indices are at all-time highs, now might be an ideal time to consider using such strategies to improve your investment results.

One popular option strategy is known as covered call writing.  Using this strategy, the investor attempts to reduce portfolio risk and increase portfolio income by giving up potential future gains on a stock holding (all or partial) within the portfolio. In this strategy, the investor sells the right to another investor (selling a call), to buy the stock owned (underlying security) at a predetermined price (strike price) within a predetermined time period (expiration date) for an agreed upon price (option price is known as the option premium).   Using covered call options offers an effective strategy to reduce over concentrated positions in an effort to rebalance your portfolio to targeted goals.

For example, if an investor owns 400 shares of XYZ which currently trades at $100/share, the investor could sell 1 covered call option giving the right to another investor to 'call away' 100 shares of XYZ at $110/share within 90 days. The seller of the call might receive a premium of $4.00/share at the time of the sale. The receipt of the $400 ($4 x 100 shares) increases portfolio income, but also limits the potential gain on these 100 shares to $110 for the next 90 days.  If XYZ has become too over concentrated in your portfolio, this provides an effective way to reduce the position, while realizing some additional gains and premium income, should the option be exercised.

If you utilize options within your portfolio, you’ll be impressed with IAM3’s superior functionality in tracking option transactions, and handling the complicated tax treatment they may involve. Option costs, pricing and values are maintained. And whether the call option is either closed by the seller, expires worthless, or is exercised by the buyer of the option, IAM3 Individual will accurately make all necessary tax and underlying stock basis adjustments automatically to satisfy record keeping requirements.

NOTE: An investor using options MUST have their investment account approved for option transactions. Before doing so, your financial institution will provide option information to help you understand the characteristics and risks of options. There are many sources for further information regarding option strategies. One of the best can be found at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange website -

General Discussion / Re: 7Twelve Index
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:23:31 AM »
This index is now included for benchmark performance comparison.  7Twelve is a multi-asset balanced portfolio developed by Craig L. Israelsen, Ph.D. in 2008. Unlike a traditional two-asset 60/40 balanced fund, the 7Twelve balanced strategy utilizes multiple asset classes to enhance performance and reduce risk.

Learn more here:

Importing your portfolio from Yahoo! Finance

Having the ability to manage your portfolio holdings within Investment Account Manager v3.1.6 will provide many important tools and reports not available in Yahoo! Finance. IAM allows:

   Centralized Secure Portfolio Management – Desktop Application – totally private
   Multiple Portfolio Management and Collective Reporting
   Detailed, Informative and Customizable Reporting
   Portfolio Allocation and Rebalancing Analysis
   Mutual Fund Composition Analysis – Asset Type, Sector
   Portfolio Performance with Benchmark Comparisons
   Fundamental Ratio Analysis
   Financial Institution Downloads
   Automatic Security Price Updating
   Mutual Fund Composition Analysis
   Create Historical Pricing Databases

Since 1985 Investment Account Manager has provided investors with detailed portfolio management tools and professional reporting.
Importing from Yahoo! Finance

To Import your Yahoo! portfolio, simply follow these steps.

1.) Go to and then select My Portfolio (see attachment 1).

Select the portfolio you wish to export to IAM to open within Yahoo!

2.) Next click on Export (see attachment 2).

This will create a file called “quotes.csv” which will be saved to your PC's download folder.

Creating the portfolio in Investment Account Manager.

3.) Start IAM and selected File Menu | Import | Yahoo Portfolio Data (see attachment 3).

4.) Now give the portfolio a name within Investment Account Manager (see attachment 4), and then click on Next.

5.) Select the location of the file downloaded from Yahoo!, then the file, and then the Select button (attachment 5) and then click on import (attachment 6).
6.) Check the following screens closely for any editing which may be needed (attachments 7 and 8 ).
7.) Review IAM's import audit report (attachment 9).

Your portfolio is now part of Investment Account Manager, as shown on IAM's Home Page (attachment 10).

Please see for video tutorials, forums, blogs, and other help, including access to our team.

Thank you for your interest in Investment Account Manager.

Exporting your IAM portfolio to Yahoo! Finance

Having the ability to monitor your portfolio holdings online is easy to accomplish with IAM v3.1.6 and Yahoo Finance.   

Users will need to decide: Do I want my actual share values (lot by lot) uploaded, or simply the security names without actual values.

Both methods provide meaningful results available for review by cell phone, tablet, etc. after installing the Yahoo! Finance free application on your device.

To Import your Investment Account Manager portfolio, simply follow these steps.

1.)   Open IAM and select the portfolio from the portfolios list (see attachment 1).

2.)   Select File Menu | Export | Yahoo Portfolio Data (see attachment 2).
3.)   Select your preference: Tax lots (actual portfolio) or One Share of Each Asset (see attachment 3).

4.)    Investment Account Manager will create and save the file to use with Yahoo! Finance.  Note the location of the file so you can find it (attachment 4).

When complete, close the open windows and minimize Investment Account Manager. The next steps deal with setting up Yahoo! Finance.

Steps to complete in Yahoo

1.   Log-into Yahoo (, or download and install the Smartphone app to your device.

2.   Either sign-in or sign-up for a new account.

3.   After logging into your account, select Finance from the left panel on Yahoo's Home Page, or the Menu Bar. This will take you to Yahoo Finance home page (

4.   Click on “My Portfolio” in the Menu Bar and then Create Portfolio.

5.   Look for “Import”. Click on “Import”.

6.   In the Import window click on “Choose File”. Find the file:(attachment 4 again).
then double-click on it to select it for import to Yahoo!, and Submit button. After the page refreshes, you will have uploaded your portfolio to Yahoo!

7.   The final step is to rename your portfolio on Yahoo!’s website: Click on “Settings” then Rename.

That's it... you now can monitor your portfolio from anywhere in the world!

User Tips / Using the QuoteMedia Data Feed with IAM3 Individual
« on: April 16, 2019, 12:36:04 PM »
The QuoteMedia data feed when used with Investment Account Manager 3 Individual provides for much quicker daily market pricing, automatic fundamental analysis, and mutual fund/exchange traded fund compositional data. The QuoteMedia™ data feed is particularly helpful at month end, so with just a few simple clicks, your investments reflect updated fundamental and descriptive data.

QuoteMedia™ offers users the ability to automatically populate and update the fundamental and descriptive data for common stocks. This data, when incorporated into Investment Account Manager, provides the information for powerful fundamental ratio analysis, screening, and asset allocation analysis. Fundamental ratio analysis offers a "snap shot" of a company's value, where the analysis is a review of a firm's financial report.

The QuoteMedia data feed also provides the ability to automatically populate the fund allocation analysis (breakdown by allocation percentages for asset type, sector and size compositions) for mutual funds and exchange traded funds.  These allocation percentages are used in allocation reports to include the portfolio compositions of any funds (mutual funds and exchange traded funds) held in your portfolio when IAM3 Individual derives asset allocation percentages. This means each fund's proportional impact (amount invested in cash, bonds and stocks, by sector, by size) will be included along with any individual holdings of each asset type held outside of your funds, providing a total allocation analysis of your portfolio.

User Tips / Transfer Security
« on: March 19, 2019, 08:21:44 AM »
The Transfer a Security to Another Portfolio choice is used to transfer either a portion of a security holding or an entire position to another portfolio being tracked in Investment Account Manager.  It can also be used to deliver holdings out of Investment Account Manager (i.e. to a charity).  This feature provides the ability to assign the original cost basis to the transferred security, or to enter a market price of your choice to use for the adjusted (stepped up) basis for the transferred shares.  The basis rules are dictated by the I.R.S.
From the Edit Menu, select Transfer a Security to Another Portfolio.  Shown in the Transfer a Security form are all securities currently owned in the open portfolio, listing the total quantity and the current market value.  Select the security you wish to transfer out of the 'donor' portfolio.  Then, in the lower portion of this form, select the 'destination' portfolio for receipt of the transferred shares.  If you are transferring the security to a portfolio not being tracked within Investment Account Manager, (i.e. to a charity, or other outside account), select the check box 'Transfer out of Investment Account Manager'.

Once the transferred security and the destination portfolio (or the choice Out Of Investment Account Manager) have been selected, you can complete the necessary information for the transfer activity.  Investment Account Manager's transfer feature allows you to assign what values to use for the cost basis of shares transferred.  Select the proper radial button to assign original cost basis and basis date for transferred shares, or to assign current market values as cost basis and transfer date for basis information (for inherited shares, gifts to charity, required distributions from non-taxable accounts).  In most cases, the IRS requires the original cost basis and basis date be used for shares transferred. Check with a tax advisor or appropriate IRS publications as necessary.

User Tips / Watch Lists
« on: March 08, 2019, 11:20:43 AM »
User Tip: Watch lists to Improve Decision Making with Investment Account Manager 3 Individual
Using 'watch lists' help investors better manage their portfolios by providing alternative investment ideas to use when building or modifying existing portfolios.  A 'watch list' is a grouping of securities in a portfolio that have something in common.  For instance, you might have a watch list for your IRA portfolio, another for your taxable portfolio.  Watch lists can also be effectively grouped by types of securities: i.e., by sector such as Energy stocks, by factor such as Growth stocks, etc.  Investment Account Manager allows for an unlimited number of watch list portfolios that you can maintain with alternative investment ideas.
Creating a watch list portfolio in IAM is easy.  Select the Tool Bar | Portfolio Setup Wizard | enter a name | and use the radio button to  'Use quick setup form to manually enter positions'.  Typically, the current date, a quantity of '1' and the current share price is used for populating your watch list.  This will allow you to easily track the performance of the security since its inclusion to the watch list.  Once you've finished the quick setup, you'll have your newly created 'watch list' portfolio available for tracking within IAM3 Individual!

Watch lists also offer very effective “what-if” testing.  For example, users can gauge diversification and allocation impact of additions to an existing portfolio before actually purchasing new securities. This can be easily accomplished by combining a  'watch list' with any existing portfolio(s) on any of the IAM3 reports (using the “Portfolio to include” option on the report setup form).

We encourage you to experiment with watch lists to improve your portfolio management process.  If you have any additional questions on using watch lists in IAM3 Individual, please contact our technical support team:

User Tips / Price Alerts
« on: March 08, 2019, 11:10:27 AM »
User Tip: Using Price Alerts in IAMv3

The Price Alert feature found in Investment Account Manager (Asset Library Menu | Price Alerts) will allow you to enter target prices for the securities you currently own or are tracking within a watch list.  As part of the automatic price updating feature, you'll be automatically notified once a target price has been reached for one or more issues. Those securities that have exceeded their high alert limit will be shown in green; those securities that have fallen below their low alert limit will be shown in red.  Simply click on the tab labeled 'Security Search' to locate the portfolio(s) that hold the selected issue with the price alert.

The strategy behind your price alerts depends on your objective. You can use Investment Account Manager's price alerts to set your potential high price and potential low price ranges for your securities, in effect setting up your price zone. In this case, you might consider selling a security if the market price reaches the high target, and buying a security if the market price reaches the low target. 

Another strategy might be to set all price alerts at a given percentage value above or below the current market prices. This approach works well if you would like to see which of your securities reach their targets before others, while also helping you manage gains and losses. For example, users can quickly set all price alerts using a range- i.e., 5% above and 10% below each security's current market price.

The price alerts feature in IAM3 Individual is a useful tool to better help you better manage your current holdings, as well as your watch-list candidates.  We encourage you to use this feature, and if you have any questions, please contact our technical support team:

Announcements / IAMv3 Update: 3.1.5 Now Available
« on: March 01, 2019, 04:14:19 PM »
Investment Account Manager v3 Individual - Maintenance Releases 3.1.5 Now Available

Use the choice 'Check For Updates' located on the IAMv3 Individual Version Menu Bar to automatically verify you are currently running the latest version of Investment Account Manager v3 Individual. You will be notified as to whether or not you have the current version. If not, you will be prompted to download the latest file.

Note: if this choice is inactive in your copy of Investment Account Manager, this indicates your support period has expired. To extend technical support for an additional year, renew thru our website Products page:

If you have any questions, contact our technical support team:

Click here for a listing of improvements/changes/corrections included in IAMv3.1.5:

Talking Stocks, Funds and ETFs / Closed-end funds
« on: February 06, 2019, 08:45:48 AM »
What is a closed end investment company?

A closed end investment company, i.e., closed-end fund,  is formed when someone sells shares in the company to investors, but instead of using those funds to produce widgets, the funds are used to buy shares of other public companies. These funds get their closed-end name from the fact that they usually do not issue additional shares for sale, nor do they typically purchase their own shares.

Investopedia™ defines closed-end funds as follows:

“A closed-end fund is organized as a publicly traded investment company by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Like a mutual fund, a closed-end fund is a pooled investment fund with a manager overseeing the portfolio; it raises a fixed amount of capital through an initial public offering (IPO). The fund is then structured, listed and traded like a stock on a stock exchange.”

A closed-end fund can trade at a value that is either greater or less than its net asset value.  Net Asset Value (NAV) equals the excess per share value of the fund’s assets over its liabilities.  Typically, closed ends fund trade rarely trade at their NAV due to due to market demand and supply forces, which is influenced by management track record, operational costs, etc.

If you invest in closed-end funds, please share your experience with visitors to this forum.

Thank you.

Options / Understanding Options
« on: February 05, 2019, 01:32:42 PM »
Understanding Options

The following definitions must be understood by traders of American Style equity stock options.

An option contract is a forward agreement giving the holder a future right, not an obligation, to conduct a transaction involving an underlying asset at a specific price at a future date.

Buyer (holder) of option: holds the right to decide whether the option is executed.
  • The buyer of call option: gives the holder right to buy (call away) an asset at a predetermined price on or before a predetermined date.
  • The buyer of a put option: gives the holder right to sell (put to) an asset at a predetermined price on or before a predetermined date.

Seller (writer) of the option: bound by an obligation to the terms of the option agreement.
  • The seller of a call option: must deliver the underlying security at the predetermined price.
  • The seller of a put option: must purchase the underlying security at the predetermined price.

Assignment: the activation of the right to buy or sell the underlying security.

Exercise: the receipt of an exercise notice by an option seller that obligates the writer to fulfill the terms of the option agreement.

Option exercise (strike) price:  the predetermined price the buyer of call option is will to purchase the underlying security, or the buyer of a put to sells the underlying security at the strike price.  If the call is exercised, the seller of a call will deliver the underlying security at the strike price, and the seller of a put is required to buy the security at the strike price.

Option expiration date: The date at which the options ability to be executed terminates, which most commonly occur on the Saturday following the third Friday of each month. Weekly cycles also trade, but at less volume.

Option premium:  The price of the option.

   Call option – the underlying stock price is greater than the option strike price.
   Put option – the underlying stock price is less than the option strike price.

   Call option – the underlying stock price is below the option strike price.
   Put option – the underlying stock is above the option strike price.

At- the-money:
   Call or put option – the underlying stock price is equal to the option strike price.

Intrinsic value: this represents the options in-the-money value. Options that are out-of-the-money or at-the-money do not have any intrinsic value.

Time value premium: the part of the option price that is not intrinsic.

Investment Account Manager will help monitor option positions by tracking performance and tax consequences of option trading. 

To learn more about option trading strategies, please visit:   the CBOE for educational materials including online classes.

The following fundamental ratios will be derived using the data in the Current Asset Library.  These ratios are displayed on the Asset Library Menu | Current Asset library | Valuation Ratios tab.  Additionally, the Fundamentals tab found on IAM's Home Page which also displays this information for the open portfolio.

Current Yield %: if you are an investor seeking income as well as growth, current yield will indicate if the company is paying a dividend, and if the rate of payment is sufficient to meet your requirements. Current yield is calculated by the current dividend per share divided by current market price. Dividend yield is a useful measurement that can be compared to the yield on alternative investments i.e., T-Bills, Money Market Funds, Stocks, etc.) in order to select investments based on their ability to generate investment income. The dividend yield can provide an indication of the safety of the dividend. For example, a higher dividend yield may indicate that the market anticipates lower earnings and a subsequent dividend cut, and this expectation has resulted in a lower market price.

Cash Flow/Current Dividend: the cash flow/current dividend relationship is important because at times, for any number of reasons, a company may not be "earning" their yearly dividend. Investors worried about the sustainability of the dividend should be concerned if the cash flow per share covers the dividend. This is because dividends (and the earning power of a company) are really dependent on the cash flow generated by a firm. The larger the value produced by the ratio, the more secure the dividend.

Dividend Payout Ratio %: this ratio shows what percentage a company is paying out its earnings (current dividends per share divided by current earnings per share. In general, the lower the number, the more secure the dividend. When the current payout ratio is below historical norms, a company will often times gradually increase the rate of dividend growth (resulting in a faster rising current dividend rate) in an effort to get back on track with their history. Likewise, if the current payout ratio is higher than historical norms, a company will gradually decrease the rate of dividend growth (resulting in a slower rising current dividend rate) in an effort to reduce the payout ratio to historical levels.

Dividend Payout Ratio % 2: this ratio shows an estimate of the forward-looking company payout (current dividends per share divided by projected earnings per share). Comparing the current payout ratio to the projected payout ratio can provide insight into the security of the dividend rate, the expected growth of the dividend rate, as well as the direction of earnings per share.

Price/Earnings (P/E): perhaps the most frequently used ratio to judge the degree of valuation for a security, P/E is simply current market price divided current earnings per share. Some general guidelines in the use of the P/E ratio include:

  • The future level of the P/E ratio can be viewed as a function of the current P/E ratio or an average P/E ratio over some period of time.

  • The P/E ratio is a function of future expected earnings. The higher the growth rate of earnings expected, the higher the current P/E ratio. An investor will be willing to pay a higher price for a dollar of current earnings if earnings are expected to grow at a much higher rate in the future.

  • P/E ratios can change radically and suddenly because of a change in the expected growth rate of earnings. Therefore, the greater the expected stability in the growth rate of earnings per share, the higher the P/E.

  • P/E ratios tend to be inversely correlated with inflation.

  • High interest rates tend to reduce P/E ratios.

  • The higher the P/E ratio relative to the market, the higher the risk.

  • P/E ratios vary by industry.

Projected P/E: Projected P/E is simply current market price divided by projected earnings per share. Look for the projected P/E ratio to be less than the current P/E ratio. If the projected P/E is lower, it must be due to higher projected earnings for the stock, a desired condition. If the projected P/E is higher, it must be due to lower projected earnings for the stock, a negative condition. Be sure to compare the projected P/E with the average P/E of past years for an indication of future performance.

PEG Ratio: one of the "Famous Numbers" from Peter Lynch's book One Up On Wall Street4, this relationship compares earnings growth with the price/earnings ratio, the principle being that the market values a stock so that it sells at a price that reflects its earnings potential. The PEG ratio is derived by the Current P/E Ratio ÷ Projected Earnings Growth %. The higher the expected growth rate of earnings, the higher the current P/E ratio ought to be. In general, the P/E ratio of a company that is fairly priced will equal its growth rate. If the P/E ratio is less than the growth rate, the PEG value will be less than 1.0, suggesting a possible bargain; if the P/E ratio is greater than the growth rate, the PEG value will be greater than 1.0, suggesting a premium is being paid for the security. If the PEG ratio is above 1.5, the security may be vulnerable to a sharp drop in price if earnings per share growth departs from investor's expectations.

Market Price/Cash Flow per Share & Return on Cash Flow %: Market price/cash flow per share gives an indication of what ratio a stock is trading at in relation to the cash flow being generated from operations after all cash expenses have been subtracted. To better understand this ratio, the inverse of the ratio can be used to derive the return on cash flow.6 For example, a $10 stock with $1 per share in annual cash flow has a 10-to-1 ratio. The inverse of this 10-to-1 ratio, 10 percent, closely matches the ten percent that an investor expects to receive for owning stocks long term. A $20 stock with a $4 per share cash flow gives a 20 percent return on cash. Look for companies that, given a high sustainable cash flow per share (preferably free cash flow per share), result in an attractive return on cash flow percent.

Market Price/Book Value per Share: the market price/book value ratio gives an idea of how a security is trading in relation to its book value. A low relative market price to book value ratio usually suggests that the company is undervalued. This is because a company's book value represents, all else being equal, the value at which a firm always has the option to liquidate, or sell-off of its assets. A low market-to-book value ratio is seen as providing a "margin of safety" and in some cases, is considered the "floor" supporting the market price. However, it should be noted that as some companies adopt more creative accounting policies and/or as the rules of FASB (Federal Accounting Standards Board) change, the resulting book value may not accurately reflect the market values of assets. Also, the productivity of assets, the combination of assets and entrepreneurial ability often create greater earnings and greater values than the book value of the assets suggests. When considering book value, use a reliable source that provides a good understanding of market values of assets.

Return On Equity: this value shows how much is being earned each year by the company, where the higher the percent returned, the better for the investor (note: a high debt level can also increase ROE, however the return will be riskier). Return on equity is computed by dividing earnings per share by book value per share. As a growth investor, you want to see steady or rising return on equity.

Fundamental ratio analysis is an investment approach that focuses on specific relationships, or ratios, of the financial data of a company.  This method offers a "snap shot" of a company's value, where the analysis is a review of a firm's financial report.

Recognizing the importance of these relationships and ratios, the Investment Account Manager provides the investor with a comprehensive set of variables that can be used to derive informative ratios that may be helpful in discovering undervalued securities.

When using IAM with QuoteMedia, the required fundamental data can be automatically downloaded.  If not, this fundamental data can also be manually entered into IAM.  Regardless, prior to using the valuation ratios provided by Investment Account Manager, you'll want to be certain you've updated your Current Asset Library asset library to reflect up to date data.  Once the fundamental data has been entered, users can review the various fundamental ratios provided by Investment Account Manager (see image below).

Q: How do I use the Price Alerts feature in Investment Account Manager?

The Price Alerts feature is a valuable tool found within Investment Account Manager to keep users notified when the market price of an asset crosses its high or low target price.

To enter or update price alerts select:

  • Asset Library Menu | Price Alerts

Each time market prices are updated, this feature automatically checks the updated market prices against your previously entered high/low price targets.  The price alerts screen then indicates in color which price target has been crossed: if the high alert has been exceeded, the high alert price shows in green; if the low alert has been crossed, the low alert price shows in red.

You can sort securities (ascending or descending order) by placing your mouse pointer over a column label and using a left-double click.
Use the Edit Tab to change price alerts for a selected security.

Use the Security Search Tab to list all portfolios within Investment Account Manager currently holding open positions for the highlighted asset, i.e. all portfolios cross-referenced for the selected asset.

Users also have the following choices:

  • Print: print a report listing all existing securities with price alert limits.

  • Internet Research: immediately access the Internet for free stock research and news. You can find fundamental variables, recent quotes, industry classifications, company news, and much more for the currently selected security.

  • Set Alert Range: users can globally set price alert targets as a percentage above (high) and / or a percentage below (low) the current market price of securities.  For example, users could enter 15% as the percentage above and 10% as the percentage below for price targets.  Security price alerts will be automatically derived and entered to coincide with these percentage settings. This is particularly helpful to closely relative market price changes.

  • Remove All Alerts: use this choice to remove all existing price alerts from securities entered.

Q: How Do I Back Up Investment Account Manager to the Cloud?

Backing up your IAM data is essential.  Frequent backups ensure that your personal data is retrievable in the event of computer failure.  A popular method used to backup IAM data, is to utilize a cloud drive, such as Windows OneDrive.  Here are the steps to do so.

  • Open Windows File Explorer.
  • Note the location of your OneDrive folder.
  • Select which folders you wish to Sync (if necessary).
  • Create a new folder under your OneDrive.  For example, name the folder IAM Backups.
  • Open IAM and select File Menu, Backup Data.  Change the destination of the backup files. Select C:\Users\OneDrive\IAM Backups (to match your setup).
  • Then, backup your data. When restoring your data you will select this folder to be used.

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