My Asset Allocation Report Software

by Tom Edelson

Links: Tom Edelson's home page; Tom Edelson's LiveJournal

An asset allocation report is a tool for investors. It tells you, for a given set of invested assets, how they are divided, or allocated, between different classes of investments. In the most common case, the principal classes of interest are stocks and bonds; so in this case, the report tells you what proportion of the assets is invested in stocks, and what proportion in bonds.

I have developed software that produces an asset allocation report. It works: I already can, and do, use it in order to manage my own investments. So now, I would like to describe it, in the hopes that it will be useful, and/or interesting, to others.

To unpack that last sentence: I hope that it will be useful to "end users", that is, people who would use the software to manage their investments. And I hope that it will be interesting to some of my fellow programmers, because of some possibly unfamiliar techniques that it uses.

But these are two very different audiences, and they need different information in order even to decide whether they would want to download this software. And so I am writing two separate descriptions of it, one aimed at each audience. End users shouldn't need to look at the programmers' document. Programmers, depending on their learning style, may or may not feel the need to look at the end users' document, as well as the one aimed directly at them.

With regard to the "programmer" part of the potential audience, here's a sneak peek: the software is written in Scheme. And so I suppose that detailed study of it would be limited to those who have a reading knowledge of Scheme, or, at least, of some sort of Lisp.

Now it's just possible that someone out there is a member of both potential audiences: is a programmer (and one for whom Scheme is not gibberish), and also a potential end user of the asset allocation report. That would be the person most likely to want to read both documents from beginning to end.

After you have read one or both documents, you will be in a position to decide whether you want to download the software. But I might as well tell you now: at the moment, you can't (download it, that is). I haven't yet set up any location from which you can; you'd have to write to me, and then I'd make it available to you.

Why am I publishing descriptions of software which has not, itself, been released? Largely because I'm not sure how many people will want it. If no one does, I will save myself the trouble of doing the "release engineering" steps.

A further factor adding to my reluctance to "just put it out there" right now: among the (hypothetical) interested parties, different ones, depending on the nature of their interest, would have different needs. End users might, at least, be interested in it only when and if I do further work in order to make it easier to use. (The "end user" version of the description includes both some more particulars on how useful the software would be, in my totally unbiased opinion, to investors, and a frank discussion of how, in its present form, it's far from maximally easy to use.)

A programmer having a technical interest in the software, on the other hand, would be relatively likely to be willing to take it in its present condition (or relatively close to its present condition). In fact, at least one of the changes which might make it more attractive to end users might actually make it less interesting to programmers.

At any rate, here's how to access the two documents, which give the "pros and cons" of downloading the ASAL software, as tailored for the non-technical and technical audiences, respectively:

The information for "end users", that is, non-programmers, is at user-doc.html.

The information for programmers is at programmer-doc.html.

This page created: 2010-10-27

This page last modified: 2010-11-02

© Copyright 2010 by Tom Edelson.