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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.
  • the slow direct conversion of mutual funds into active ETFs
    Hmm ... interesting question. You're right that Accipiter did the programming. I have some vague recollection of a problem linking the Navigator to a database, but I'll have to ask Chip tonight. I'm not sure she can fix it (her specialty is more IT management and security than programming) but I'm sure she can see more than we can.
    If it's fixable, I can reach out to Brad or Andrew - two folks who've done programming for us - to see if they can fix it.
    More soon!
    David
  • the slow direct conversion of mutual funds into active ETFs
    @bee
    As I recall, Accipiter from way back, built much of the program functions here. Tickers with 3 or 4 symbols could be linked and name shown when hovering over the symbol, as well as not remaining in black text.
    I asked about this several years ago, when this feature disappeared. I do believe that some functions of the original program were no longer supported from required/necessary changes at the server.
    But, David and/or chip will be able to provide information for this.
    Take care,
    Catch
  • Hierarchy of the website as a Fund Site
    Hi, bee.
    That would be more possible if Accipiter were still around, since he did all of the programming for the discussion board. Chip and I have discussed options like making off-topic an opt-in board; that is, if your default view was "all discussions" it still wouldn't include off-topic discussions. You'd need to click separately to get over there.
    The problem is that Chip is a techno-marvel, but she's not really a programmer and, in particular, not a Vanilla programmer. We're looking at some of the legacy code that Accipiter left to see if it could be repurposed. For example, the Bullpen and OT Bullpen are accessible to everyone but immediately shared with no one. She's trying to see if we could modify that code to achieve your goal.
    Working on it!
    David
    Vanilla Forums is competing with every other forum package out there designed to let anyone administer a forum. They have dashboards to handle the sort of task being discussed here.
    I would be very much surprised if Vanilla Forums required actual coding unless you have something really old, or a broken install. This link takes you to a youtube on how to access the dashboard. Let the dashboard handle the programming for you.
    If you have some ancient version, or mangled installation, then it's time to upgrade. An operation like this should be on the opensource platform. So, other than Chip's time, it's free. Chip could probably do a sandbox setup to test things out.
    If you haven't browsed their support forums yet, you should give it a try. If someone hasn't experienced your situation already you should be able to get help there.
    And last, but not least, read the documentation, if you haven't already.
  • Hierarchy of the website as a Fund Site
    Hi, bee.
    That would be more possible if Accipiter were still around, since he did all of the programming for the discussion board. Chip and I have discussed options like making off-topic an opt-in board; that is, if your default view was "all discussions" it still wouldn't include off-topic discussions. You'd need to click separately to get over there.
    The problem is that Chip is a techno-marvel, but she's not really a programmer and, in particular, not a Vanilla programmer. We're looking at some of the legacy code that Accipiter left to see if it could be repurposed. For example, the Bullpen and OT Bullpen are accessible to everyone but immediately shared with no one. She's trying to see if we could modify that code to achieve your goal.
    Working on it!
    David
  • Look up this fund on:
    Hi @Old_Joe
    Are you writing about Accipiter's linkage/table that he wrote that was named....uh? Falcon's something, yes? And is now The Navigator at the MFO header.
  • Look up this fund on:
    @catch22- Thanks for posting that "first" page. Fun to see that some of us are still around, but sad to see how many of the really good posters are no longer with us.
    I think that @Derf is actually asking how long the "MFO Community" option has been available from Accipiter's "Look up this fund on:" table. I'm uncertain as to the exact time frame, but as I recall that table was one of Accipiter's bells-and-whistles that was added a fair amount of time after April, 2011, and I'm thinking that the "MFO Community" option was not an original table option, but was added later on- when, exactly, I'm not sure.
  • Navigator
    Hi @ron
    Navigator is indeed erratic. Only the top line for data entry box for "funds" begins to load a funds list; and the ETF entry box doesn't begin to populate a drop down list. This function does not always load any list.
    My guess is that not many folks here now are aware of this MFO feature. Navigator is very useful to create a list of funds from ticker symbol inputs. Navigator may be found by clicking/selecting "Resources" in the green title bar, and then clicking/selecting "The Navigator" from the list of choices available.
    For those who don't know about Navigator, this is an internal link.
    In the beginning, this program was built by "Falcon", with the last pseudo name used, of "Accipiter".
    @ron This is a discussion link about this situation from Oct., 2017.
  • Mr. Snowball: On time on target
    Yep. We're still working on things. Somehow the security layer broke Accipiter's ticker lookup and we haven't yet made the upgrade to MFO Premium. Both are in the pipeline for this week.
    David
  • Fund Symbol: Left/Right Click Not Working
    Yikes!
    This is probably related to the security certificate I installed over the weekend. I'll have to dig into Accipiter's code later tonight to see if I can find the troublesome spot.
  • Something is broken
    I apologize. That's entirely my fault. Every few days I go and push the Accipiter-created button "Move Zero Comment Discussions". I've been slacking.
  • Forum bug report : Cannot include a specific mutual fund symbol V I G R X
    Hi @vkt
    Generally, technical questions are monitored; although I can not write as to how often (within the week is my best guess).
    However, click upon the "flag" word just to the right of date/time. This will bring up an internal message format. You may type whatever your question or concern may be for any thread or a portion of a thread. I will state that @Chip or @Accipiter will be able to take action with this concern and/or offer an explanation. I have tagged both of their names here with the "at" symbol which should generate an internal message to the them, too.
    Tis a most unusual "thing".
    I'm curious, too.
    Regards,
    Catch
  • The launch of MFO premium
    Hi, guys.
    Sorry about the delayed announcement. I'm away at a professional conference doing stuff on behalf of the college and haven't been able to get near a computer.
    This morning we announced the opening of the MFO Premium site (It's the site that a bunch of board members have had access to for the last few months). The note that went out to all of the folks on our mailing list is pasted below. Here's the story: we've been working for a year or so on ways to keep MFO free, open and vibrant. We're mostly getting by each month on $500-600 from Amazon and two or three contributions. That keeps the lights on but not much more. While Accipiter, Charles, Chip and Ed have been incredibly generous in donating their time and expertise, I didn't think that I could sustain MFO for years on hundreds a month. We took two steps to change that. First, we became a non-profit. Second, we designed MFO Premium as both a useful tool and an incentive to encourage folks to contribute. It's mostly Charles's fund screeners and a Works-in-Progress feature where I'm sharing some of the stuff that won't be ready for the cover essay for months (I write slowly).
    Our first goal for the site is to cover the cost of the data we've licensed from Lipper; $1,000 a month, which is really a very good price for such stuff. If we're able to raise that much, we'll begin using the surplus to strengthen MFO's ability to help folks. That might mean actually being able to pay folks for stuff they've written or to pay programmers to help with the next redesign of the monthly essay. It's kind of a mess now: a single scrolling essay that runs to 30-40 pages in Word. We're trying to customize a template that will make it look more like a magazine which, we think, will make it much easier to read and navigate. But getting that right requires fairly high level skills and experience. Eventually finding ways to help small, smart fund managers thrive would also be good for us all.
    As I note below, we are taking nothing away from MFO. Nothing's getting moved behind a paywall. Period. We're a non-profit with a mission. I'm mostly trying to find a way to keep pursuing that mission.
    As ever,
    David
    ---
    We are pleased to announce the launch of MFO Premium. We're offering it as a gesture of thanks to folks who have supported MFO in the past and an incentive for those who have been promising themselves to support us but haven't quite gotten there. You can gain a year's access for a tax-deductible contribution of at least $100; if there are firms that would like multiple log-ins, we'd happily talk through a package.
    MFO Premium has been in development for more than a year. Its genesis lies in the tools that Charles, Ed and I rely on as we're trying to make sense of a fund's track record. We realized early on that the traditional reporting time frames (YTD, 1-, 3-, 5- and 10-year periods) were meaningless at best and seriously misleading at worst since they capture arbitrary periods unrelated to the rhythms of the market. As a result, we made a screener that allowed us to look at performance in up cycles, down cycles and across full cycles. We also concluded that most services have simple-minded risk measurements; while reporting standard deviation and beta are nice, they represent a small and troubled toolkit since they simplify risk down to short-term volatility. As a result, we made a screener that provides six or eight different lens (from maximum drawdown in each measurement period to recovery times, Ulcer indexes and a simple "risk group" snapshot) through which to judge what you're getting into.
    Along the way we added a tool for side-by-side comparisons of individual funds, side-by-side comparisons with ETFs, previews of our works in progress, sample screener runs and a small discussion area you can use if something is goofed up.
    We think it has three special characteristics:
    1. It's interesting: so far as we can tell, most of this content is not available in the tools available to "normal" folks and it's stuff we've found useful.
    2. It's evolving: our current suite of tools is slated to expand as we add more functions that we, personally, have needed or wanted.
    3. It's responsive: we're trying to make our tools as useful as possible. If you can show us something that would make the site better and if it's within our capabilities, we'll likely do it.
    To be clear: we are taking nothing away from MFO's regular site. Not now, not ever. Nothing's moving behind a paywall. We're a non-profit and, more particularly, a non-profit that has a long-standing, principled dedication to helping people make sense of their options. If anything, the success of MFO Premium will allow us to expand and strengthen the offerings on our free site. Right now we operate on little more than $1,000/month, which is exactly what our recently-signed data licensing agreement with Lipper is going to cost. We're hopeful that premium memberships - at $100, tax deductible, a year for individuals - will allow us to cover the cost of the data feed. If we're able to raise more than that, we'd like to be able to offer some compensation for the folks who write for the Observer and expand our efforts to help guide and support independent managers and boutique firms.
    In response to a frequently asked question, we've kept track of all of the folks who've already contributed to the Observer this year. You're not getting left behind but it may take a couple weeks for us to catch up with you.
    That's about it. We think that the site is useful, the contribution target is modest and the benefits are substantial. We hope you agree and agree to join MFO Premium.
    On behalf of Charles, Chip, Ed and all the folks who make MFO work,
  • Mutual Fund version of XLY
    Howdy @PopTart
    Here is a list of Fidelity's choices. Fido names 7 select funds they consider to have a consumer tilt.
    You may sort these, just above the columns, by YTD and such. Each fund ticker is clickable for a better look inside the fund and towards the right edge is the broad market sector description column.
    ALSO, at the green title bar on the MFO pages, don't forget Accipiter's program.
    Click on Resources, then select "The Navigator", then for a fund list, type in the desired name........in this case, type in "consumer". A list of related mutual funds (by name) will be assembled.
    Hey, last year on this date we had snow on the ground. Enjoy the 70 degree weather while it lasts. Prediction: First stay on the ground snowfall for A-squared area is December 20. Just don't invest in my prediction. :) I have already fueled and tested the snowblower here.
    Take care,
    Catch
  • Clipping/Wrapping on iPad
    Accipiter is kind of amazing that way. I just mostly do what he says.
    Glad we could help.
  • Clipping/Wrapping on iPad
    @chip That did the trick - it scrolls beautifully now. Thanks to you and @Accipiter for figuring this out so quickly.
  • Clipping/Wrapping on iPad
    @Accipiter
    Thank you!
    I just made that change. It seems to work when I simulate a smaller screen.
    @MrRuffles - Please let me know if it works correctly on your iPad.
  • Search Tools -- Risk profile
    @Ralph. Thanks to Chip and Accipiter...sort is fixed! Just click on column header.
  • Search Tools -- Risk profile
    Ha!
    I know.
    The site style update clobbered our script.
    Chip and I have reached out to Accipiter for help.
    Hope to have resolved soon, perhaps this weekend.
    Will post when we do.
    Sorry for inconvenience Ralph.
    c
  • Upgrading Vanilla software tomorrow, 4/5 at 11am Eastern.
    Mmmmm....chocolate.
    The update is complete. I'll leave the announcement for the rest of today, just in case anyone notices something not working correctly. I'd like to thank Accipiter for checking on things as I go, and being on hand just in case I somehow crash the whole internet.
  • Upgrading Vanilla software tomorrow, 4/5 at 11am Eastern.
    There's a another upgrade available for the Vanilla Forum software. This upgrade includes some security patches and bug fixes, so we don't want to delay in applying it. Accipiter will be on standby tomorrow around 11am Eastern, while I perform the upgrade. The discussion board may be down for a few minutes while we're doing that.
    Thanks for your patience, as always.