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How To...

The purpose of this page is to help new users become familiar with the different features bankinvestor.com offers.

Reading the forum

For optimal use of the site, always be sure you are logged on. If you are logged on, you will see: "Welcome, ___" at the top of the page (where "___" is your user name). It should look something like this:

Next to the "Welcome" message is a link to log off, and links to "jump to my last read post" in either the "headline view" or the "full post view." "Headline view" displays a list of links to the latest 15 messages posted to the forum (clicking a link brings you to the full post). "Full post view" displays the full messages, one after the other, on the same page.

Browsing the forum

In the "Discussion Forum" section of the site, below the main menu, you will see an information bar similar to the above image. A link to the latest "group poll" is shown, as well as a link to the latest "group stock rating." In the middle, current most active posters, most actively mentioned symbols, and a list of "topics" is displayed. You can click any of the drop-down lists to make a selection, then click "go." A selection from the most active posters list performs a search for messages posted by that user. A selection from the most actively mentioned symbols list performs a keyword search on that symbol. Finally, a selection from the "Discussion By Topic" list brings up messages where that topic was attached.

"newer / older" -- These two links allow you to browse through messages chronologically.

"View" -- Here you can toggle the view between the "headline view" and the "full post view."

"Post" -- These are links to post a new message, to the public board or to members of your private group.

"Search" -- You can search the discussion forum messages for keywords, an exact phrase, or by date.

"Settings" -- Here you can get a quick snapshot of how many people you ignore, how many ignore you, how many people you have added to your private group, and how many people have added you to their private group. Click through on any of these links to enter the "Settings" section (discussed later).

Adding a user to your private group, and "ignore"

Above is a snapshot of the top of a discussion forum message. In the center of the message, it reads "public post by sysop" where the word "sysop" is a link to search the forum for messages posted by that user. If this message was a private post, the word "private" would appear instead of "public," and would be highlighted by a blue background. Below this is a link to "view sysop's profile" (you can update your profile at any time from the "Settings" section). The upper right corner of the message contains two links: one to add the user to your private group, and one to ignore the user (private group and ignore settings can be updated from the "Settings" section). Ignoring a user means you will no longer see messages posted by that user. Users you choose to ignore can see that you are ignoring them, unless you choose to "ignore anonymously" which you can do from the "Settings" section. Adding a user to your private group allows you to post messages privately to that user (you can post privately to one or more users in your private group).

Recommending and storing posts

Above is a snapshot of the bottom of a discussion forum message. The link "recommend this post" adds your recommendation -- posts with the most recommendations are archived under the "Recommended Posts" section of the site. The next link, "post a reply" brings you to the page for posting a new message, and shows the message you are replying to at the right side of the screen. At the bottom right corner of the message, there is an icon of a folder. Clicking this icon adds the message to your personal "stored posts" folder. You can access your stored posts folder at any time from the "Settings" area.

Posting to the forum

When posting a message, a user can click the radio button next to "Post to whole board" or "Post to my private group." Within your private group, you can check the boxes next to the users to post the message to, and there are links to "select all" and "unselect all." You can attach a topic to your message by clicking the radio button next to the topic of your choice (there is also a link to create a new topic, if you would like to add something to the list).

When posting a private message, you can attach/upload a document in .csv format (spreadsheet), .pdf format (Adobe acrobat), .gif or .jpg (image files). To do this, first post your message as you normally would, then on the next page under the "Message posted" message followed by your post, you will see a button labeled "Attach a file to your post" -- click this button (the resulting page will allow you to attach/upload a file).

You can "mark up" text in your message to show as bold, italic, or both. To do this, place "<i>" before the text you want in italics ("<b>" for bold) and "</i>" after the next you want in italics ("</b>" for bold). So, entering:
... into your message, will cause the text to look like:
... when your message is viewed by other users. To check to make sure you got the "tags" right, you can click the "Preview" button before posting your message.

Group Polls

-- To vote on a poll, click the radio button next to the choice you wish to vote for, and click the "Vote" button.

-- Any user is allowed to create a poll

-- Like the discussion forum, if you enter the "Group Polls" section of the site, you can browse through older polls by clicking the "newer / older" buttons, and you can search through polls by keyword, exact phrase, or date.

Stock Ratings

The group stock ratings system allows any user to rate any stock from a Strong Buy to a Strong Sell, and add a paragraph or two to justify their rating. If a stock you wish to rate does not appear on the list, there is a link to "add a symbol to the list"

Stocks are rated using the following scale from 1-5 (Strong Buy - Strong Sell):

Strong Buy = 1
Buy = 2
Hold = 3
Sell = 4
Strong Sell = 5


In the "Settings" section of the site, you can update your profile, view/change your stored posts folder, update your "ignore" settings (including whether to ignore anonymously), see who is ignoring you, update your private group, and see which users have added you to their private group. In the section listing the users you have added to your private group, you may see this icon:

This indicates that the user has not yet reciprocated by adding you to their private group (you may wish to send them a private message letting them know that you have added them to your group and hope they will add you to theirs). In the section listing the users who have added you to their private group, there will be links next to each user to add that user to your group. You can also click on the user name to search for discussion forum messages posted by that user. Below the list of users is a link to alphabetize the list.

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Thanks, and please always feel free to post any questions, comments, suggestions or concerns!

- Sysop

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