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A Quick Start on QuantumOnline

This quick start introduction to QuantumOnline.com should allow new users of the QuantumOnline (QOL) website to quickly become familiar with the basic features of QuantumOnline. The few minutes a new user of QuantumOnline will spend with this introduction should pay off rapidly by allowing the new QOL user to quickly understand and access the most important basic features of the QuantumOnline website.

Register with QuantumOnline - This introduction assumes that you have already registered with QuantumOnline - if not, please do so as registration is necessary so that the user can access the features described below. To register, click on the Register with QOL button above and follow the instructions.

Print this Quick Start page - As the first step of this Quick Start Introduction, click on the Click here for a Printer Friendly Page above and then print the resulting screen page for easy reference during the introduction.

Income Investing - The purpose of the QuantumOnline website is to assist the income investor in selecting good income investments from the wide variety of income investments available on the stock markets. If your purpose in investing is to generate high current income from at least a portion of your investment portfolio then you have come to the right place.

Looking for Specific Income Securities - If you are looking for information on specific income securities by ticker symbol, CUSIP number or by name, the Quick Search in the upper left hand corner on the screen will help you find them. The Quick Search offers three types of searches - by Ticker Symbol, by CUSIP Number or a Symbol Lookup search.

  • by Ticker Symbol - If you are going to search by ticker symbol, you definitely need to read our Preferred Ticker Symbols and Names page which can be found under the Information menu at the top of any page. If you do not read this page, you will have great difficulty finding preferred stocks and income securities by their ticker symbol.
  • by CUSIP Number - The CUSIP number search will find individual securities by their nine character CUSIP number (and only by the full nine character CUSIP number). Enter a CUSIP as 370442816 with no spaces, dashes, etc. - not as 370442-81-6 as they are sometimes stated.
  • Symbol Lookup - The symbol lookup search will find securities by their name (i.e. General Motors, Citigroup, etc.). The name can be input in any combination of upper and lower case letters. When searching by name, you should select a distinctive word or two to input to the symbol lookup search (i.e. merrill lynch, lehman, etc.), not common words (i.e. trust, preferred, stock, etc.).

Looking for Good Income Investments - If you just want to find some good income investments, then you want to use our tables of securities which are listed under the Income Tables menu at the top of any page. The tables list every known security of the particular type and can be sorted by various data items (coupon rates, ratings, IPO dates, etc.). Before trying to use the tables, you need to take the time to understand what the tables offer and how they work. So, move your mouse over the "Income Tables" at the top of the page.

  • Table Descriptions - Now, click on the Table Descriptions selection at the top of the Income Tables menu. This page describes what type of securities are included on each of the nine income securities tables that we provide. It is worth your time to look over this page to see what type of securities each of the nine tables list.
  • Features of this Table - Now, click on the All Preferred Stocks selection of the Income Tables menu to see a table that lists over 1000 preferred stocks including traditional preferred stocks, trust preferreds and convertible preferreds. Near the top of the table is the Features of this Table section that describes the features are offered by the table. Please read this Features section carefully if you wish to most effectively use the QuantumOnline tables.
  • Sorting the Tables - When the table first appears it is sorted by the Security Description column. Now click on the "IPO Date" column heading and the table will be resorted with the most recent IPO dates first. The tables can be sorted by any underlined column heading by simply clicking on the column heading.
  • Table Data - The tables provide a comprehensive array of data about each income security listed. For explanations of each data item, see our Glossary of Income Investing Terms which is listed under the Information menu at the top of any page.
  • Individual Security Descriptions - One of the links provided on the table is a link to the QuantumOnline individual security description page. To see a QuantumOnline security description page, click on any ticker symbol on the table and the individual security page will appear. Note that this link will open the security description page in a new window. To return to the table, either close the new window or go to the boxes on the bottom of the screen and click on the box containing the table. If you return to the table without closing the new window, when you click on another symbol on the table, the new security page will open in the same security page window. Then, to see the new page you must go to the boxes on the bottom of the screen and click on the box containing the security page.

Income Investing Basics - If you are new to income investing and would like information on the basics of income investing, at this point you might want to review our Income Investing Basics page which can be found under the Information menu at the top of any page.

Try Using the Tables to find Income Investments - Now you should try using a table to find some good income investments. To do so, move the mouse cursor to the Income Tables menu at the top of any page, and then click on the Table Descriptions selection at the top of the menu. Now select a table that looks interesting to you from the nine available tables and click on the underlined heading for that table.

If you read our Income Investing Basics page, you know to start the security selection process with a few basic selection criteria.

  • Investment Grade Ratings - We would like investment grade securities (the Moodys/S&P ratings are shown in green) so try sorting the table by clicking on the underlined Moodys/S&P column heading. Now the table is sorted with the investment grade ratings listed first. Look over the available securities that have investment grade credit ratings.
  • Call Dates that are 3 to 5 years in the future - Another criteria is that the call date of the security is 3 to 5 years in the future. Click on the underlined Call Date column heading. Now the table is sorted by call date with the longest call dates at the top.
  • Recently issued securities - Another selection possibility is to check the recently issued securities. Click on the underlined IPO Date column heading. Now the table is listed with the most recently issued securities at the top.
  • Highest Coupon Rate - An important factor in any income investor's mind is the highest possible current income. Click on the underlined Cpn Rate column heading and the table will be sorted with the highest coupon rates at the top.

By now you should be able to see that there are lots of interesting income investment possibilities to select from. If you take the attitude that there is no perfect selection you will make your life easier. Just select some securities that you are comfortable with. Remember that a little extra income is not worth it if you have difficulty sleeping at night because you selected a questionable security due to its paying a little higher dividend. If you are going to make a mistake, make it on the side of safety. One final thought is that you definitely need to diversify your investments. If you pick one bad security out of 30 it's a minor problem. But picking one bad selection when you have only two or three securities in your portfolio can be a real problem. So be sure to diversify your income investment portfolio by purchasing 10, 20, or even 30 different securities and make sure that they are from different companies in a variety of industries (i.e. industrials, utilities, banks, REITS, etc.).

Information on Income Investing - If you have questions or need information on income investing and income investments, see the Information menu at the top of any page. Clicking on the Information Page Descriptions selection at the top of the Information menu will produce a page describing the content of each individual information page. Once you have looked over and used the various tables, especially when you have questions, you should return to the Information pages for answers.

For Help in Selecting Income Investments - If you wish for some help in selecting income investments, QuantumOnline offers subscriptions to the Forbes/Lehmann Income Securities Investor Newsletter published by Richard Lehmann, the Forbes Magazine columnist on Income Investing. See the Forbes/Lehmann Newsletter selection under the Services menu at the top of any page.

Take the Tour of QuantumOnline - This quick start introduction offers a way to quickly become familiar with some of the basics of the income investing information on the QuantumOnline website. When you decide that you wish to become familiar with all of the features of the QuantumOnline website, you should take the complete Tour of QuantumOnline which can be found by clicking on the Using QOL button at the bottom of any page.

Don Doan
QuantumOnline.com


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