I attended one of their 2-day presentation seminars in mid-2014, then subscribed to VV7 for a full year, real-time, cost about 1400Cdn$/year. I cancelled my subscription at the end of the subscription period, and told them why. Summary:
Overall I was impressed by what the program had to offer. I especially like the integrated perspective on market traded securities, combining fundamental AND technical analysis in an integrated approach; something I've been trying to mimic using MetaStock (and other tools) with limited success, for years (very laborious).
My VV7 implementation had all optional features except Derby (a tool that runs many trading systems against one or many securities over a period of time, to see which systems work best). Derby is the equivalent of "Metastock Enhanced System Tester", which I used extensively as a standard component of my MetaStock Pro v8 package (released in 2002), for many years. In my view, VV is of no value without Derby, and it should be included in the base package; not an expensive add-on. This is one of several observations I have which involve VV going to great lengths to market the base package, and after getting users interested, hanging carrots for them to chase more functionality. Very expensive carrots.
The VectorVest core application on Windows 7 is very well developed and stable, but it has some clunkiness due to a very slow upgrade and release cycle. Some of the clunkiness makes the software feel a little amateurish, and I find it surprising that its more avid and technically-oriented users don't make a bigger stink about it.
Data fees for VV7 realtime are pretty high. Plus, they have no way to address the obvious redundant costs that burden some of us who use real-time data on their actual trading platform. VV7 stock data is fed from their own database, so you end up paying for two live datastreams.
My suggestions for application functional improvement fell on deaf ears, including these:
1. Implement ability for VV to save the screen layout (workspace) and restore it on next startup. Some of us with multi-monitor setups use VV with multiple detached windows, and at times have a lot of stuff open while doing research, scans, and so forth. Each time VV is shutdown and started up, the user has to remember what was open previously, and repeat the steps manually as needed to restore the display to where it was. That can be a lot to remember and take a lot of time. I also suggested that adding an ability to save not just the current workspace layout, but to save multiple layouts, would be very helpful. These suggestions are based on my experience with Questrade's IQ Edge platform. IQ Edge does these specific things, very well. VV was partnered at the time with Questrade, and had developed a shortcut within VV that opens an IQ Edge trading window. So it seemed natural (to me) that VV should try to replicate what IQ Edge does with their window management since the benefits are so obvious. Answer? No. I was told I have to remove some of my votes for others' suggestions, or delete some of my own suggestions, because of the combined limit of 10.
2. Design the VV7 home screen with more flexibility, allowing better use of the screen real estate. There are components in the home page screen that some users don't need, and the goofy graphs take up way too much space. And some components should obviously be detachable so they’re in plain view regardless of which VV tab is open at any time.
3. Redesign VV's "improvement request" system, which last time I checked, restricts a user's submissions to a total of 10, including votes supporting suggestions made by others, and your own suggestions. This issue in particular is actually blocking user input so people cannot submit valid suggestions. The email and phone responses I received from VV support staff made it very clear that VectorVest is not interested in improving the product. They'd rather spend their resources delivering a steady barrage of repetitive marketing emails, and delivering the same webinars week-in and week-out, going to great lengths to keep customers "subscribed" and the revenue stream flowing. In this regard, VV seems to be managing their user base as followers of a ‘religion’, which is truly disturbing.
I had many more what I feel are legitimate and valuable suggestions, but VV isn't really interested in hearing about them. In fact, when I carefully reviewed numerous suggestions submitted by others, I noticed many of them are several years old, and quite a few have a high % vote count, but none have ever been actioned by VV.
One thing I felt was really a big hole in VV, was the architecture of their query engine. (I spoke with technical support on this issue but it got nowhere. Technical support can't add a suggestion to their system and told me I have to do it myself in their training section under 'improvement requests', but as I've pointed out here, as I did point out to them at the time, that's a dead-end.) Anyone who knows some SQL programming is familiar with pass-through queries. Results of one query can be passed on as input to another query and run in a single execution. VV doesn't know what this is. So you end up with a huge number of queries, many of which contain the same redundant conditional logic, but each with some added conditions. If VV could support pass-through queries, the user could implement all their "general case" filters to exclude stuff they NEVER want to see, and feed the results to subsequent, more case-specific queries. In doing so, you eliminate a lot of redundant code, and make the system more efficient and practical. I found it very surprising that the VV support staff had no idea what I meant when I suggested this one. The only suggestion they could come up with was to save the results of a query to a list, and then run subsequent queries using that list as input. This is horrendously inefficient and it should be easy for VV to script a passthrough query that runs completely in one click.
I encountered data errors from time to time, because the VV database isn’t always up to date with symbol changes or introduction, in which case I had to send emails prompting someone to look into things.
Finally, I have mixed feelings about my experience with VectorVest. Although I do see some value in VV7, in the end it was the attitude of the company and how it handles user feedback and suggestions, and the excessive focus on sales and marketing hype, to the point of appearing like a religion, that turned me off. This is not really in my view, a program for someone to risk their hard-earned savings on. I can honestly do better with ETFs.
This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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