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FastTrack  December 8, 2017 3:21PM

Today it snowed heavily in states that usually have good winter weather. Many prices and dividends for open end funds may be missing from tonight's download. We will work these by hand Monday and post changes during the day.

FastTrack  November 24,2017 8:21PM

We were late coming up. Many funds failed to report and set off alarms. This is  the worst day of the year for this type of problem. We reran and got more data and ran to completion. Corrections will be posted Monday morning. We apologize for the inconvenience.

FastTrack  November 8,2017


Symptom: FT4Web freezes part way through the blue startup screen.

Solution: We removed the FT4Web search from the top of two pages on our help web site. This was a Google powered search. For some reason it has begun creating a problem when loaded into FT4Web.

This problem is suddenly affecting many FastTrackers. There have been no program changes to FT4Web in several years. We are exploring looking for on a more satisfactory solution within Windows. We have the problem on our machines too. More later....

FastTrack November 2, 2017 8:00 PM Central

We are rerunning the process. We expect to be up at 8:20PM.

We strive to maintain a steady service for our subscribers while the world, technology, and the net continue to evolve. We changed code tonight to adapt. We apologize for the delay perfecting that change. Up at 8:25PM.

October 18, 2017 Announcement: FastTrack Basic Course.
The 1½ day FastTrack Basic Course is designed to help new FT users learn FastTrack.
You receive a manual as part of the course.  The manual distributed to FastTrack Basic Course attendees consists of approximately 400 pages of Powerpoint slides that walk a student through various functions of FastTrack.  The format is similar to the FastTrack Tips of the Week.  The manual is separated into 8 tabs used in FastTrack (charts, family, commentary, internet, communicate, spreadsheet, help, and export) with a detailed index to help the student find the various functions in the manual.  The cost of the course and additional information are available in the last page of the Tip of the Week. 
Contact Lharris700@aol.com for more information or to schedule a course in your area or for your firm.
Please do not call FastTrack . This course is offered by a reputable, experienced, 3rd party. Thanks-Paul
FastTrack October 17, 2017 1:00 PM

We have discovered a strange anomaly in the Family Tree. Some families that appear in the FamilyTree Tab in two different categories cannot be dragged and dropped in the issuelist. They can be double-clicked and displayed the list and then dragged from the list to the spreadsheet, but not directly to the spreadsheet.

This does not seem to be a serious problem as it has easy workarounds, but we'd like to think all our code is perfect. We are examining the issue more closely. Please let us know if there is some manifestation of this problem that is causing you difficulties.

FastTrack September 30, 2017  11:26PM Central Time

Harry Lawson demoed the Trade problem as  failing when an parameter was passed in the command line. Ed found that Trade 3.05 read the ALL family when a parameter was passed. Paul found that the ALL family was corrupted in the copy process to the servers Wednesday evening.

Only folks who did an FTComm Integrity Check Wednesday evening - noon today got the bad ALL family . . . possibly explains why so few FastTrack/Trade users were affected.

Do another Integrity Check. You should get corrected families. Hopefully Trade will work as expected. Please email me a thumbs up or down to support@fasttrack.net

Paul Charbonnet

FastTrack September 29, 2017  9:00PM Central Time

I continue to review reports from 5 Trade users about problems, and to reply to their emails. The problem is real, but the cause is unknown. These problems by NO MEANS affects all TRADE users. We have been unable to cause a failure on our in-house systems using the scripts and tests provided by the 5 affected.

I will continue to respond to emails to support@fasttrack.net on this topic during this weekend. DO NOT use this email address for other purposes. Call 866-295-0166 x 2 during regular business hours .Trade 4.05 to continues to work well

Paul Charbonnet

FastTrack September 28, 2017  10:00PM Central Time

The problem with Trade does not seen to be a problem with FastTrack or it's data. Several users find that they have to hit the carriage return key several times when running a  .BAT file. We will investigate this matter in the morning.

FastTrack September 28, 2017  10:00AM Central Time

Trade 3.05 is a popular product that uses FastTrack data to do it's own custom analysis. Three users have TRADE hangs this morning. We support Trade as much as we are able and have alerted the author, Ed Gilbert, by email regarding the problem.

Good News! Here at FastTrack, we are unable to recreate the problem using sample scripts that are distributed with Trade 3.05. We did install on a Windows 8 and tested on a Window 10 machine which had Trade installed in 2016. The new install produced a prompt from Windows Defender that, if selected, would have crippled Trade. We have no idea if this is causing the problem for others.

Bad News! There are real FastTrackers out there with a problem that we don't know how to fix. We will continue to post information as we learn more. If the problem continues unresolved with just a small group we will put them together with each other to share notes, no later than this weekend.

FastTrack September 27, 2017 6:00PM Central Time

Tonight we revamped the stocks databases. We removed merged and liquidated stocks. We upgraded the Stocks1 Database to the current list of the 2,000 largest US stocks. We added large cap ADRs to the Stocks2 database displacing many small and illiquid stocks.

We remade the ALL-S1, All-S2, ALL-S1, and ALL families to reflect these upgrades

We have avoided ADRs for years because their dividends are difficult to decipher and their eX-dates unreliable. However, we have improved our  code and added sources. Our ADRs offer true total return with reinvested distributions just as have our US stocks over the years.. Most stocks, especially ADRs, that you see charted on the web or at your brokerage do not show true total return with reinvestment. Please let us know if you find suspicious data in these new additions, we are not perfect yet.

FastTrack September 12, 2017 8:05PM Central Time

The process with our primary data source ran very slowly tonight and we came up 20-minutes late. We are checking the data and the logs.

8:45PM data is fine. Logs show and abnormally slow download from the exchanges. It is possible that this is an impact of hurricane IRMA. Storm radar shows a storm band in Northern Virginia. Our Amazon-based servers are in Northern Virginia.

FastTrack August 18, 2017 8:00 PM Central Time

We are rerunning the evening process. Part of the process had unusually long delays. This could have affected our market indexes. The second run also took somewhat longer than expected, but as quick check seemed to validate the data collected. We will check again on 2nd completion. We expect to be online at 8:20PM

FastTrack July 14, 2017 8:00 PM

There were problems at our end with processing dividends properly. We have the update out, but there will be corrections in the morning for a few funds. Use FTComm after 10:30 AM Central tomorrow to get corrections. As always, those who do not get the morning corrections, will get the corrections automatically  with tomorrow night's updates.

FastTrack July 13, 2017 4:00 PM

The Family Tab problem that has plagued some FastTrack users has been resolved. Click here. Bottom line: Microsoft screwed up the mouse driver when they integrated it with touch screen capability in 2012.

Please let us know if the reported solution succeeds or fails on your system. Paul@fasttrack.net

FastTrack July 10, 2017 7:52 PM

We wanted to start the process manually to watch it tonight to ensure smooth operation. Unfortunately, I, personally, forgot about the manual start. We will be up about 8:15 PM.

FastTrack July 7, 2017 7:52 PM

We wanted to start the process manually to watch it tonight to ensure smooth operation. Unfortunately, I, personally, forgot about the manual start. We will be up about 8:15 PM.

Totally my fault. I am sorry for the inconvenience. it is running automatically now without a hiccup, yet.

Paul Charbonnet

FastTrack July 4, 2017 9:46AM

We DO NOT have confidence in last night's ETF closing prices. I would NOT be an early trader of these shares

We were a little too quick accepting blame for data problems last night. See Today's article in The WSJ
Steven Russolillo at steven.russolillo@wsj.com

"Several high-profile trading glitches have roiled markets in recent years. In August 2013, a technical glitch knocked out trading in all Nasdaq Stock Market securities for three hours due to a problem with the data feed that supplied trade information. In July 2015, a glitch forced the New York Stock Exchange to halt trading for nearly four hours.

Meanwhile, in May 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 1000 points in a matter of minutes before rebounding quickly in what widely became known as the flash crash.

[Last night] A trader notice from Nasdaq said certain third parties improperly propagated test data that was distributed as part of the normal evening test procedures. The notice added: All production data was completed by 5:16 p.m. ET as expected per the early close of the markets. Any data messages received post 5:16 p.m. should be deemed as test data and purged from direct data recipient’s databases.

A system status message posted on Nasdaq’s website said systems are operating normally. However, not all stock quotes appeared to be accurate. Shares in Nasdaq-listed biotech giant Amgen Inc. were still being incorrectly [10:00 AM today] shown down 28% at $123.45 on Google Finance by late evening Asia time. The stock actually closed Monday at $172.80.

We will be running the morning process July 5th as usual to pick up any straggling bad prices. Apparently, not all issues have been resolved as of this morning. In the past there have been many widespread data problems not listed by Steven here that have slipped by without much notice. All the errors Steven mentioned in his comments were FastTrack corrected last  night. The impact was heaviest on ETFs which hold much of the big mispriced issues.

FastTrack July 3, 2017 8:22 PM

ETFs did not download properly . . . more later . . .

Later, actually stocks databases also had a problems. This is our fault. We took advantage of the slower holiday and extra afternoon time to make "minor" changes. Please accept my apology.

Paul Charbonnet, Founding Partner.

FastTrack July 3, 2017 5:17 PM

Dimensional Funds have been named to include the DFA label.

FastTrack July 1, 2017 11:39 AM

We reran the data this morning. There were a more than 1,000 of funds that changed. Also,  all of the Russell and Merrill Lynch indexes were slightly changed. Indexes, in particular, are computed from the same sources we use for stocks and funds. The delays in exchange reporting also impact the Index computation. These were apparently redone overnight and an Integrity Check this morning will get corrected fund and index pricing.

FastTrack June 30, 2017 8:15PM

We reran the funds part of evening process to gather missing prices and came up at about 8:15PM. Preliminary checking shows that we got many of the missing. If there are more, we will detect and correct in tomorrow morning's update. Yes, we can do a Saturday update (with Friday data). Missing chunks of data are common around holidays . . . the regular guys take of early leaving the junior personnel in charge.

We regret the inconvenience to you. The FastTrack senior guys are always notified of problems detected and are involved in the remedy.

FastTrack June 15, 2017 8:00PM  Central

We have an unacceptable number of missing prices. We are rerunning the evening update . . .more later

8:30PM We found the problem with our code. The rerun is complete. If you have already updated, please do an Integrity Check to fix the problem. For later updaters, the regular FTComm update will suffice. We appreciate your patience. It was my code. Please accept my apology.

Best returns, Paul Charbonnet

FastTrack May 26, 2017 10:00PM  Central

 Data should be up by 10:15PM. The number of missing prices from the NASDAQ feed this Friday before holiday caused halts in our processes. After the NASDAQ second  feed this evening, we a had acceptable numbers and  reran the processes.

FastTrack May 24, 2017 8:00PM  Central

 Data should be up by 8:15PM.

FastTrack May 9, 2017 8:00PM  Central

We started the update process late. Data should be up by 8:15PM.

FastTrack May 4, 2017 6:35PM Central

This time for sure! We changed our source for the Spreadsheet MarketCap and SharesOutstanding columns. Consequently, they didn't have the proper values for some months. More than one FastTracker called about the problem. We have had partial fixes and incorrect fixes. We weren't sitting on our hands . . . Changes in IDC (our main source) dividend source took 75% or more of our maintenance programming time during this period.

Tonight, I think we've got the columns corrected. They will be updated monthly from here out.

9:00PM ETF's MarketCap needs to be X 1000. That will happen in tomorrow mornings update.

FastTrack May 2, 2017 7:23AMM Central

A flat out hand entry error late yesterday caused many March distributions to be dropped from the fund databases. The distributions will come backin this morning's update (available about 11:00AM Eastern). Do a regular Update or an Integrity Check. In this case, either FTComm process should fix the problem.

We appreciate the emailed comments over night that alerted us to the problem. We had a hint that there was a  problem in the late afternoon, but the messages did not clearly point to the source. We investigated a potential programming problem while, in reality, it was a hand entry problem.

We appreciate your feedback and patience.

FastTrack April 26, 2017 8:10PM Central

Our connection to our data provider failed. Alarms went off at a few minutes ago.  We expect to have the download available at 8:20PM Central tonight.

FastTrack April 19, 2017 3:15PM Central

The "morning" process is complete and dividend integrity is restored. The problem resulted from changes at our primary source, Interactive Data. We wish nothing would ever change, but that could become boring. Our goal is to insulate FastTrackers from such logical and operational changes that might require FastTrackers to change their normal use of the products. We appreciate your patience.

9:25AM We have a dividend problem. Many fund/ETF dividends previously posted are missing. We will post corrections later today. We are still reviewing the cause and fix.

FastTrack April 12, 2017 9:25AM Central

11:23AM - The MLPs have been added. Try FTComm 's Integrity Check to get the database fixes including a new ALL-S family.

We refreshed the stocks databases last night inadvertently leaving out the MLP stocks. We will upgrade the databases in this morning's run and get the MLPs back in.

For the last week we have been our collecting evening data from our provider, IDC, using a retry algorithm along with a timeout algorithm. The process is taking a few minute longer, but not hanging. Updates previously became available between 7:30PM and 7:40PM Central. Now updates have been running closer to 7:40PM, but there have been (for a week) with no hangs which were delaying the process for an hour or more.

FastTrack April 5, 2017 8:25PM Central

Our connection to our data provider failed. Alarms went off at a few minutes ago.  We expect to have the download available at 8:47PM Central tonight.

FastTrack April4, 2017  9:05PM Central

Our connection to our data provider failed. Alarms went off at a few minutes ago. We had extended  the timeouts to to relieve the timeout failures, but all that seems to have done tonight is to cause our alarms to go off later. We expect to have the download available at 9:20PM Central tonight.

We regret these problems, and appreciate your patience.

FastTrack March 20, 2017  8:30PM Central

I'd like to blame the delay on someone else. We should be up by 8:50PM. I was working on files that should have been ready at 6:45PM. My activity caused the evening process to fail. The late work was for the purpose of testing a solution for the very delay that I caused tonight.

Please accept my apology. I can do better. -Paul Charbonnet

FastTrack March14, 2017  8:00PM Central

Our connection to our data provider failed. Alarms went off at a few minutes ago. We manually rebooted and restarted the process. It is running now. We expect to have the download at 8:20PM Central tonight.

FastTrack February 21, 2017  8:00PM Central

Our connection to our data provider failed. Alarms went off at a few minutes ago. We manually rebooted and restarted the process. It is running now. We expect to have the download at 8:20PM Central tonight.

FastTrack February 6, 2017  8:10PM Central

We are up. No apparent problem. The server hung mid process. We restarted uneventfully

7:50pm We are rerunning the evening update. We expect to be up by 8:20PM Central. More later.

FastTrack January 17, 2017  7:50 Central

Data is available!

7:26PM We are running late. Expect to be up by 8:00PM. More later

FastTrack January 11, 2017

We did get a batch of about 100 dividends in the second run. It will require and Integrity check to download these tonight. Affects funds and ETF data only.

The problem affected our process reporting, but did not delay the evening update. We have been up since 7:35PM which is normal. False Alarm.

The problem is found and easily fixed. Should be up by 8:30PM.

We failed to produce an update this evening. We are examining. Update will be delayed. Best estimate 8:30-9:00PM.

FastTrack January 6, 2017 at 6:42PM Central

We are adding about 400 distributions tonight. An Integrity Check might be helpful tonight ensuring that you see all of corrections/additions. We should now have the great majority of missing dividends that our subscribers have have emailed to data@fasttrack.net. Our customers are our greatest resource. Over the years, thousands of savvy's investors have made FastTrack what it is today.. .and there is yet, plenty of room for improvement.

Thank you! Happy New Year! We couldn't do it without you.
Paul and Shirley Charbonnet, Founding Partners

FastTrack January 5, 2017 at 7:10PM Central

We are adding 1187 distributions this evening. An Integrity Check might be helpful. We had a 36-hour hiatus on adding dividends which we worked from fund company sources. While we continue to depend on our long-time data sources, primarily, InterContinental Exchange (ICE), it is apparent that much of the former US dividend collection work has been shifted to India. While we make email requests of US Managers, the replies all arrive overnight with Indian peoples names attached.

I believe this will all get straightened out. Both the purchase of IDC by the more international ICE and the Indian labor follow the themes offered by the President-elect. There has beed substantial turnover at IDC in Boston in the past year.

FastTrack January 1, 2017 at 7:35AM Central

Happy New Year! So here we are on New Year's Day suffering over a FastTrackers emails regarding delays in FastTrack  dividends.

Here is what Morningstar [not FastTrack] says this morning, edited for clarity and brevity.

"Due to our  year end update process [from] 2:00 am CST, January 1 to 4:00 am CST . . . saved columns sets and search criteria containing Annual Returns may not have correct column headers [nor] correct results . . .

The display of the data may be off by one year. . .This will impact the display of annual returns back to 2004. During this window of time you may also see incomplete data populate ..until production is complete . .  . Kind Regards, Morningstar Office Team

FastTrack and Morningstar use some of the same institutional data services, and all of us (FastTrack, MStar, and other services) are subject to NASDAQ contractual changes regarding the distribution of mutual fund and stock data. These changes may be at the root of the end-of-year problems.  It is my New Year's hope and prayer that our 22 pages of NASDAQ contracts and 100 pages of rules regarding distribution of market prices will be reduced and that our new US President's government shrinkage efforts will apply to the SEC regulations which underlie the NASDAQ rules. We are expecting a significant increase in expenses this year.

Information on these new costs is currently sparse and only recently released. We learned only on December 2, 2016 from a 3rd party, not via communication directly from NASDAQ. We hope that these costs will not apply to our services.

Click here if you got a new computer for help installing FastTrack.

Link to Data blog for 2016 and prior years