Better Investing BITS • Corrected “as of date” reporting to properly show negative options owned as of the date selected for the report. • Corrected the home page reports to use the report title as set as a global preference. • Corrected the stock diversification reports to use the report title as set as a global preference. • Corrected home page “as of date” reports to use the system date change under file menu | preferences | report settings. • Corrected the home page portfolio diversification grid to properly show asset type instead of asset name if the user mistakenly included a space as the first character of the asset name in the current asset library. • Corrected current asset library | valuation ratios tab if sort asset library is on PEG ratio, and user tries to sort on P/E. Library was not re-sorting properly. • Corrected backup function to properly backup the “backup to directory folder” preference option. • Corrected transferred records to the recipient portfolio to reflect a change in the date of transfer made in the donor portfolio. • Corrected the income/reinvestment function to disable the broker code field so that the user can’t overwrite the default REINV code. REINV is used as a tag internally to indicate reinvestments on PRK reports. • Corrected the return of capital function so that the distribution received is allocated based on the number of shares in a lot in relation to the total number of shares owned. • Corrected the portfolio performance report additions/withdrawals column for negative cash balances. Users of the NAIC Portfolio Record Keeper version 4 will find the ability to easily update their software a helpful tool for keeping their copy of PRK current with new features and corrections. If the choice to “Check for Updates” is inactive in your copy of PRK, this indicates the free 6month support period has expired. To extend technical support for an additional year, contact NAIC at 877-275-6242, ext. 0. Additional one-year tech support is $29. Once purchased, the developers of PRK will contact you via e-mail with a code that can be entered to extend support and reactivate this choice. To learn more about the NAIC Portfolio Record Keeper, visit http://www. portfoliorecordkeeper.com. A free demo is available for downloading.
ORKING WITH N A I C S O F T WA R E
go long-term, based on the time period selected for the report. • Sort by Monthly Totals: This new sorting option is provided for the Income Received Report and allows users to organize investment income activity by monthly totals. For example, if the Income Received Report is selected for the current year, by checking this option activity will be segregated by month — January, February, March, etc. Total income received is provided by monthly subtotals, as well as total income received for the period selected. • Instant Pricing: PRK now has the ability to get more than 200 symbols for the instant prices function. Corrections • Corrected several programs to verify the data subdirectory location for activity and reports. • Corrected a problem with closing when PRK version 4 is minimized and the user rightclicks to close. • Corrected the current asset library tab to properly activate all tabs if no stocks are held in library database. • Corrected problem so that TEST cannot be used as the portfolio ID when adding a new portfolio or changing the portfolio ID. • Corrected the toolbar function when deriving a portfolio performance report.
NAIC Portfolio Record Keeper
PRK’s Check for Updates Function Keeps Program Up-to-Date
by Matt Willms Quant IX Software Mequon, Wis.
ith the release of the latest NAIC Portfolio Record Keeper version 4.0, users of the software can easily verify they are using the latest version with just a few clicks of their mouse. By selecting the Help Menu | Check For Updates choice in PRK version 4, users can quickly verify if any maintenance releases have been posted — free of charge — by the developers, and if so, be prompted to download the latest file. As of this writing, the developers of version 4 have posted a free maintenance release, updating PRK to version 4.0.1. If you are using version 4 and have not yet updated for this release, please do so. Some of the new features and corrections include: New features • Short-term to Long-term Holding Period Report: This new report is a useful taxplanning tool, summarizing those security lots within a portfolio that are about to become long-term as defined by IRS tax rules (greater than a one-year holding period). The report segregates securities according to type and identifies those lots about to
NAIC Club Accounting
Running NAIC Club Accounting
by Sean Pulrang & Dan Abraham, ICLUBcentral Customer Support, Cambridge, Mass.
ometimes the first hurdle in using a piece of software is just getting it started. You’ve already waited days for it to be delivered through the mail or waited for what seems like forever for the download to finish. The last thing you want is for this to happen: Problem: The software ran once, but when I tried to run it again, it wouldn’t open. Continued on next page 9
An NAIC Publication
Better Investing BITS
Working With NAIC Software — Cont. from page 9
The short answer to this one is that even though you closed out of the program, it’s still running. When you close NAIC Club Accounting (NCA) by clicking on the X button in the upper-right, the only thing that closes is Internet Explorer, not the rest of the program. As far as the program is concerned, it’s still running, just waiting for a window to show everything. How should you shut down NCA? Click on the Exit button. Not only will it shut down the software in a more graceful fashion, it gives you the opportunity to save your data. Nothing causes more heartbreak both in customer support and with treasurers than to find out the computer has crashed and no backups were made. Exiting using the Exit button reminds you to do your backups regularly. For the folks who are stuck and have already selected X
and shut down NCA before it can even launch. Have you noticed that NCA opens up Internet Explorer when you start it? NCA uses Internet Explorer as an interface, showing you all the reports, graphs and screens you’re used to. To do this, NCA acts like a miniature Web server on your computer that only you can use. Some firewalls think that is unusual and shut it down before it can even start. So what can you do? Most of our customers aren’t firewall techs — heck, most of the support team aren’t either. You expect the firewall to keep out hackers, protect your computer and, apart from that, stay out of the way. Here’s the solutions we’ve come up with: 1) Disable your firewall while you’re using NAIC Club Accounting 2. Most firewalls appear in the lower-right corner of the screen, next to the clock. If you right-click on that icon and select Disable, it may
themselves. This will work, but many folks need their firewalls, and we’re not going to suggest that they throw away their security entirely. 3) Call your firewall vendor. This is the best solution. We've called Symantec, Zone Alarm and McAfee, the three most popular software firewalls, to get a list of instructions we can send people to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, Zone Alarm and McAfee have not been particularly responsive. The manager we spoke to at McAfee said to pass the calls to its support team. Zone Alarm hasn't called back. Norton, on the other hand (or rather, Symantec, who owns Norton) was very helpful. They sent along a link to their Web site on how to reconfigure the firewall. So the answer to this problem is to give your firewall techs a call, and tell them this: “I’m running a personal Web server on port 10259. The software that uses this Web server also relies on Java. How can we create a firewall rule to allow this?” For advanced users only: Symantec, the makers of Norton Internet Security, has provided us with this information on how to reconfigure your firewall to allow NCA2 to run: NIS has a built-in feature called the Program Scan, or Application Scan. NIS can automatically detect any program that can access the Internet and automatically configure its Internet access. Generally this always works for all programs. However, below is a link to a document titled “How to add a firewall rule to NIS or NPF 2003,” which can be used in situations where the program scan
Most Frequent SSG Downloads
Here are the most frequently downloaded company Stock Selection Guide data from September 1-16, 2003 from the NAIC Web Site (see Community for most up-to-date listing). 1. Pfizer Inc. (PFE) - 1,478 2. The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) - 1,301 3. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) - 1,180 4. General Electric Company (GE) - 1,087 5. Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HDI) - 959 6. Intel Corporation (INTC) - 958 7. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - 939 8. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW) - 915 9. AFLAC Incorporated (AFL) - 860 10. Cicso Systems, Inc. (CSCO) - 842 11. Cardinal Health, Inc. (CAH) - 768 12. Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) - 764 13. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) - 755 14. Biomet Inc. (BMET) - 720 15. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) - 645 16. Walgreen Co. (WAG) - 605 17. Paychex, Inc (PAYX) - 604 18. Dell Inc. (DELL) - 583 does not detect your program. The document is very extensive, and will show how to create a very specific rule for your software. If this doesn’t work, then there may be something else in NIS that’s blocking the access. Perhaps Java Applet Security, Cookies or Referrer information for example. “How to add a firewall rule to NIS or NPF 2003” is located at http://service1.symantec.com /SUPPORT/nip.nsf/docid/ 2003022714315536. October 2003
instead of Exit, just reboot your computer and use the Exit button from now on. Problem: I installed the software and it just won’t start. There’s a piece of software on your computer that’s preventing NAIC Club Accounting (NCA) from opening. Personal firewalls, like McAfee’s Personal Firewall or Security Suite, Zone Labs’ Zone Alarm and Symantec’s Norton Personal Firewall can get overzealous 10
allow NCA to open. We don't often recommend this, because it doesn't always work. Some firewalls work in the background even when disabled. We’re not fond of unreliable solutions, so we may give this a try with a customer on the phone, but we don't rely on it as a solid answer. 2) Uninstall the firewall. Honestly, we don't recommend this one either unless the person calling brings it up