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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Mike Wright
Chris Bourne

Valtrak 4 is a share price-tracking and portfolio management system from Morley Davies Associates. The underlying philosophy is that an analysis of a company's share price movements can reflect performance and leads you to take correct decisions on buying and selling, ie the philosophy of a chartist.

A maximum of 26 weekly prices for up to 100 entered at up to six weekly intervals although the program works on weekly prices. The data for missing weeks will be automatically extrapolated. Once the records are in place they will need to be up-dated regularly with the latest prices. Usually this will mean an update of all the prices in a file. Even the authors agree that this is a chore and estimate, conservatively in my view, that to update 80 records takes about 20 minutes. Alternatively an interim update will restrict the update to only those companies where stock is held. At the end of the update this option moves straight to a valuation of the portfolio. For this purpose shares are valued at 4 per cent below the latest price to take into account selling fees. The records can also be erased, amended or moved around the file, allowing names to be changed or groupings altered for easy entry of data. Analyses of the data are provided through the Select Record and File Surveys options on the main menu.

Select Record deals with the individual records and produces 5- and 13-week moving averages, weighted and unweighted, for raw and adjusted (large changes are reduced to less than 10 per cent) prices. A wide range of graphs can also be produced and copied, including log graphs for fast moving prices.

Analyses for all records on file are produced via the File Surveys option and include posture tracking. The posture of a share as rising, positive, neutral, negative or falling is determined by comparing the 5 (short) and 13 (medium) week weighted moving averages with the actual prices.

Although Valtrak 4 can be used from cassette, Microdrive or disc and with either a Sinclair or 80-column printer the manual seems to suggest that only the Technology Research Beta+ disc interface is suitable. While only the use of Morex, Kempston (E) and Lprint III printer interfaces are coded into the program. While a manual of 40 pages looks very intimidating, especially when it is only stapled, this is one of the most readable I have ever come across. The explanations are simple and relevant.

I once said of an earlier version that it was for use by dedicated dabblers because of the amount of time and effort required. I have not changed that view although Valtrak 4 with its extra features and increased speed is clearly now a very powerful tool.

Label: Morley Davies, 11 Denham Lane, Chalfont St Peter, Bucks SE9 0ER
Price: £24.65
Memory: 48K
Reviewer: Mike Wright


A sophisticated share tracking system. Despite great manual for serious investors as an aid for making MONEY.