|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ SHAREMASTER|8000Plus) ★|
Sharemaster runs from CP/M but has insufficient room on the disc to hold the entire program. Some files are copied across as part of the installation process but CP/M must be restarted from scratch each time the program is run. This is a reflection of Sharemaster's greater facilities and the extra space they take up. Side I of the disc contains the main program, whilst side 2 has the data on it. Side 2 also contains some operating files, so a separate copy of side 2 must be made for each portfolio. Specimen files are included on the data side and with these it is easy to work through the book trying out all the functions.
At this stage the increased power of Sharemaster becomes apparent. Each portfolio holds up to 50 files which can be manipulated using six program modules covering different aspects of management and analysis, which makes the program easier and quicker to use than Stockmarket where the management and analysis files have to be kept separate. The Share Price Editor module is used to update prices and has a useful date prompt. Prices can be updated globally (ie. all the shares on the same date) or by individual share. The second data entry module is the Deal Database — here you record details of purchases, sales and dividends relating to the portfolio. Dealing costs must be entered individually, and you can add textual notes about each file.
Once the data is entered you can begin to analyse it with the Charting mode. Prices can be charted over a selected period in various ways such as exponentially weighted curves, moving averages, point and figure charts, rate of change, momentum and HiLo. Different curves can be superimposed for comparative purposes. Care is needed to get the scaling correct, but once mastered this excellent facility is the heart of the program if you intend to buy or sell shares based on technical analysis.
There is much more flexibility than in Stockmarket. A valuable tool is the Price Analysis mode which gives a tabular analysis of share price movements. The top half of the screen shows nine different bits of information about the share whilst the bottom half can be configured to show six columns of selected information. Details of another share can be displayed for comparison. As elsewhere in Sharemaster the user is given detailed control over the selection and display of information.
Which one for me?
Sharemaster is significantly more powerful and versatile than Stockmarket, but given that it is more than three times the price this is hardly surprising. Whether the differential is worth it depends on what sort of shareholder you are.
Sharemaster is ideal if you are an active shareholder and fancy technical analysis as a means of managing your portfolio. It is also slightly easier and quicker to use if you have many share holdings.
On the other hand Stockmarket will be perfectly satisfactory for the newcomer to share ownership with a small portfolio, or if you prefer to buy and sell according to the advice given by your stockbroker or newspaper.
Its analytical capability is quite adequate for a graphical display of share price movements and for buy/sell indicators based on moving averages.
Readers who struggle with income tax returns will note that neither program has the facility to print out dividends in the way the Inland Revenue requires, or do a selective print of capital gains in tax return format. Sadly the PCW is not powerful enough to handle the complex rules involved and you will still need to perform these functions with pencil, calculator and icepack.