Ask Colin

Do you think joining Day Trader HQ in Perth WA ($1760), using MetaStock is good value?

I am familiar with MetaStock charting software, but not with the Day Trader HQ course.

MetaStock has been around a long time. I have heard comments from users that it has not been kept up to date as fast as it might have from time to time. For example, there were years of frustration when they limited the number of stocks you could have in a folder, while most other programs had an unlimited number. This has been fixed now I believe. My biggest personal problem with it is that it draws one box reversal point and figure charts wrongly. Two of my friends have written and phoned them trying to get it fixed, but they seem to be in denial and will not even admit there is a problem, when it is beyond question.

The big disadvantage for users I have spoken to over the years is the lack of backup service unless you try to get on the phone to the US. Maybe Day Trader HQ will service it better, but if I were buying it I would want to know what the backup service is and the skill level and experience of the person manning the help line.

Personally, I use Insight Trader software which is written locally and has excellent help service. It also seems to be more up to date than MetaStock in lots of things, though it does not have the huge list of indicators. Of course, while MetaStock's list is impressive, many of them do the same thing different ways and are not all therefore useful.

The best single course on technical analysis is the one run by the Kaplan. It represents value for money given the high quality of the material it teaches.

I would suggest a good alternative to the package you are looking at is:

Insight Trader entire package, including the Database Manager* service www.insighttrading.com.au

Kaplan TA subject FIN231 Technical Analysis see: www.ataa.com.au

Dial&Chart data service www.dialchart.com.au

*Absolutely critical to trading stocks is keeping your database up to date for issues, name changes, reconstructions etc. I believe that the Insight Trader Database Manager product is better than most other similar services offered by data base managers (Shareifnder is also highly regarded). You should check whether Day Trader HQ includes a data base management service in their price and how good it is. I do not know whether they have one or not. Also whether the price you quote includes ongoing data supply, which is usually an annual fee, rather than a flat up-front cost.

I have no financial interest whatsoever in Insight Trader or Dial & Chart. I wrote the subject FIN231Technical Analysis for the SIA (now FINSIA) and they sold it to Kaplan. I was paid for many years to oversee ongoing preparation of the teaching materials and assessment papers and answers. I have also been paid for lecturing in Sydney.

By the way, be aware that there is a lot more to trading than just learning the charting software. The charting software is only a tool. You then need to know how to analyse the charts and do fundamental research on companies. That gives you a firm base of analysis, which is one of the three main elements of the trading task. The other two are money management and psychology. My two book will help you and they may be purchased from my website on the Buy Books page.

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