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Solveit V4.0, very friendly & versatile financial package, much improved.
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Contents of the SLVIT4.DOC file



Abridged Manual

Pine Grove Software
67-38 108th St., Suite D-1
Forest Hills, NY 11375


CompuServe #72366,306

Table of Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Copyright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Installing SolveIt! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Initial Install . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Selecting From the Menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Setting Other Options, The Install Menu . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Important Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Some Relationships Between the Routines . . . . . . . . . . 14


Thank you for selecting SolveIt!, The Financial Calculator. We
believe that you have chosen a program second to none in its
application class. SolveIt! performs more calculations faster and
with less effort than any other program we have seen. SolveIt! is
easy to use. There is never any programming needed to solve a
problem. All you have to do is answer each question in a routine
and press and in most cases the results will be displayed

SolveIt! 4.0 is a major upgrade from 3.1. The program sports a
new interface along with several new routines. EVERY routine has
been upgraded since the last release. Each routine has been made
more powerful and yet there has been no sacrifice with respect to
ease of use.

This manual is an abridged version of the SolveIt! 4.0/4.1
manual. We doubt though that you will even need a manual to use
the program. However, if you do get stuck at any time, press the
key to display a help window. Help is now available for
every question that SolveIt! asks. And if you are on the main
menu and need information about a routine, simply highlight the
routine's name and press and a description of the routine
will be displayed.

Since the help system is so extensive, much of this manual is
used to discuss how these routines can be used. After we review
several of the basics of the program, we will discuss some of the
interrelationships between the routines that may not be so
obvious. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive. Rather
they are meant to illustrate several ideas and to get you think-
ing about the power of the program that you are about to use.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 3


(c) 1990 by Pine Grove Software & Karl Thompson, All rights

SolveIt! is copyrighted software and as such is protected by
the laws of the United States. You may distribute the shareware
version (version 4.0) of this software to others but you may not
sell it. If you are a distributor of shareware software, you may
charge up to $6 for your disk duplication services. This product
may NOT be distributed along with any other product that is being
sold for profit without the expressed, prior written permission
of Pine Grove Software.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 4

Installing SolveIt!

SolveIt! is easy to install. It is not copy protect. (We ask
that you respect out license agreement which states that you can
only use a copy of SolveIt! on one machine at a time.) The
program as it is distributed is compressed in order to save disk
space. Therefore, the program can not be run from the original
disk. To prepare for use, follow these steps (we assume you are
putting the program on a hard drive):

Type this: Press this:
C: use any drive, example D:
cd \
md Slvit4
cd \slvit4
copy a:*.* copies all files to new directory
slvit decompresses files
slvit4 runs program

Initial Install

The first time you run SolveIt!, you will be asked to enter
your name and to tell the program whether you are using a
monochrome monitor or a color monitor. Also, simply enter the
name that you will want to have printed on the reports and answer
the question "Y" or "N" as to whether or not you see colors on
your screen.

You may change your answers to these two questions as often as
you like. Once you are done, press to set the software for
your computer. When you have done this, you will be asked to
restart the program.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 5

Selecting From the Menus

When the program starts you will see the SolveIt! logo. You
may pass by this screen quickly by pressing the space bar. Once
you have done this you will see the opening menu. This menu is
refereed to later in this manual as the main menu.

You may pick a menu item two ways. You may use your cursor
keys to move the highlight bar up and down. When the bar is over
the menu item that you want, press . Or secondly, you may
type the highlighted letter (or capital letter) of a menu item
and that item will be selected.

Setting Other Options, The Install Menu

The install (or setup) function will allow you to customize
certain features of the program.

To start install, you must first be in the directory that
SolveIt! is located in. Then enter:


You will then be shown a menu from which you can set the follow-
ing items:

Color Picker

Selecting the color picker will give you another menu of
choices so that you can completely customize SolveIt!'s screen
colors. You will be able to change:

Frame (menu frame or window border)

Title (menu/window title background)

Unselected Text (normal menu and screen text)

Selected (text in menu's cursor)

Pick (character that is menu choice)

Help (text in help line at bottom)

Before you start to change the default colors, please make
sure that you are working with a backup copy!!

You may pick a color for SolveIt!'s text by picking the unse-
lected text option. By selecting this or any color option, you
will be shown a box with text written in it. If you press the
space bar the colors will change. Note how first all possible

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 6

text colors are displayed for a particular background color. Once
all text colors are shown for the background color, the
background color will change and you will be rotated through all
of the text color combinations again for the new background

You can move "BACKWARD" or "FORWARD" through the color choices
by using the <+> or <-> keys on the right side of the keyboard
near the numeric keypad.

Once you see a color combination that you like, press
to accept it. If you wish, you may press to cancel the
color picking option and to return to the install menu without
setting a color.

You may set the colors for any of the options using the same
technique. When you are finished setting the colors, hit
from the "color picker" menu to return to the main install menu.
(Remember, If you hit while the color pick window is shown
you will not be setting the new color, is to exit the color
pick menu only.)

Default Subdirectory

The default subdirectory is the directory that SolveIt! looks
into to find its overlay and data files. There is no need for you
to install a default subdirectory if the program is started while
you are in the subdirectory that SolveIt! is in on your hard

If you do set a default subdirectory, when you want to save or
retrieve your data files (files with interest rates, budget info,
etc.) you will be prompted with the default directory. This, of
course, will keep your data files from being scattered all over
your hard disk. (You can override this setting when you are doing
a save or retrieve.)

Budget Items

You can change the titles (descriptions) of all of the items
listed in the budget. This way, the budget routine is not limited
to being a personal budget program. Rather, if you run a small
business, you can change the category name for example from
Mortgage Payment to Rent. The item descriptions that are preceded
by a "T" are the descriptions of "TOTAL" items. That is the
descriptions that are entered into these field should say
something such as "Advertising Total". These total descriptions

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 7

are referencing the items immediately preceding the "T". The
total descriptions appear in the reports.

You are limited to 21 characters plus a ":" including all
punctuation and spaces for all descriptions.

Net Worth Items

You can change the titles of all of the items listed in the
Net Worth Statement. This way, the Net Worth Routine is not
limited to personal use. Rather, if you run a small business, you
can change the title for any category. (Don't forget to work with
a copy of the program before you start to modify it!!)

You are limited to 21 characters plus a ":" including all
punctuation and spaces for all descriptions.

Page Length

Enter the length in lines of the paper that you are using. For
standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper on a dot matrix or daisy wheel
printer this is usually 66 lines. However, if you are using 8.5 x
11 inch paper in a laser printer, enter 60. You can set any page
length from 5 lines to 255 lines.

Save Changes & Quit

This option will save the changes that were made in the
install so that when you start SolveIt!, these changes will
become the default settings.

Quit Install/No Save

This option will ignore all changes that were just made while
in the install routine.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 8

Important Keys

Throughout the SolveIt!'s instructions and help screens, you
will see symbols such as or . This means, find the keys
on your keyboard that have an F1 or Esc written on them and press
them to activate the feature.

Often you will also see a symbol such as <^Y>. This means to
hold the (pronounced: "control") key while pressing the
key. The technique is not unlike using the shift key to
produce a capital "Y". This symbol <^Y> is called "Control Y".

While the help lines at the bottom of a routine's screen will
remind you about some of the keys that you may use at any given
moment, it is impossible to list all of the keys available. It is
VERY IMPORTANT for efficient use of SolveIt! to become familiar
with these options that are available. In selected fields, these
keys will produce the following:

exits what you are doing and restores the original value to
field. This is the "I don't want to be here key!". You can press
this key any time and it will take you back out to what you were
doing previously. This is particularly useful when you are
printing. You can stop printing at any time using the key.

brings up the help system. Press a second time and you
will see a help index. Use the cursor keys to high light a topic
of interest and then press to display the help informa-
tion for that topic.

saves and retrieves client data. (File Key)

starts printing. In some routines you will have the option
of sending the report to the printer, disk drive or screen. When
appropriate, simply select the destination from the menu.

sends a line feed to the printer. Use this key (rather than
the line feed on the printer) to advance the paper so that you
can have the desired spacing between the print outs for the

NOTE: By using this key instead of the printer's line feed key,
you will keep the program's internal line counter synchronized
with the printer. This will prevent a print out from being split
across two pages.

sends a form feed to the printer. This will eject the
current page and IF the paper has been correctly set in the
printer, it will align the printer to print at the top of the
next sheet of paper. Use this key INSTEAD of the form feed button
on the printer. (See the note on the key.)

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 9

performs the action. Usually calculates. While in the copy
menu, it performs the copy. When a screen is asking you for
information, such as before a printout, it will finish the data
input and go on and print. (Consider this to be the "DO-IT!"

moves the cursor from one field to the next field.

moves the cursor back one field.

moves the cursor to the top of the column.

moves the cursor to the bottom field of the column.

<^PgUp> moves the cursor to the first field on screen.

<^PgDn> moves the cursor to the last field on screen.

<^Y> clears the field. That is, it deletes the contents of a
field. If you are having trouble entering data and SolveIt! is
beeping at you, try clearing the field using <^Y>, and start
entering data again.

<^R> restores the original contents of the field

moves the cursor to the beginning of the field.

moves the cursor to the end of the field.

<^ <-- > (Ctrl left arrow) moves the cursor a word at a time to
the left.

<^ --> > (Ctrl right arrow) moves the cursor a word at a time to

deletes character at the cursor.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 10

deletes character to left of the cursor.

<^Home> deletes from beginning of subfield to cursor. Example:
When entering a date in the 'MM/DD/YY' format, using <^Home>
while on the second 'D' of the 'DD' part of the date will delete
just the 'DD' part of the entry. In other words, the 'DD' is the

<^end> deletes from cursor to end of the subfield. This is the
opposite of the <^Home> key.

<^T> deletes word to right of the cursor.

toggles insert mode on and off.

will display the previously called help topic.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 11


By pressing from almost anywhere in the program you will
be shown a menu that will allow you to either retrieve or save
data. (While a menu or while an error message or instructional
window is displayed, is the only times that is not active.)

Once you have selected whether you want to save or retrieve
data, you will have to pick what data you want to save or re-
trieve. Select from the menu, using the standard menu selecting
techniques, what data you want to save or retrieve.

You will next be prompted for a file name. You may either
enter a file name, or you may enter a DOS wild card character
(Examples: *.*, S*.*, S???.???, A:*.*). If you enter part of a
file name or a name containing a wild card, you will be presented
with a list of the files on the drive. Using the cursor keys,
move the highlight selector to a file name and press enter. If
you are saving data, you will be prompted to confirm that you
want to overwrite the existing file. If you are saving only some
data, (i.e. adjustable rates), you will only overwrite the
adjustable rate part of the file.

SolveIt! automatically checks to see that you are updating a
SolveIt! file. It will not allow you to alter a file that is not
one of its files. You will also not be allowed to retrieve a file
that is not a SolveIt! file.

One final note, the file structure for all of our financial
programs is the same. So if you have, for example, AmortizeIt!
and you want to upgrade to SolveIt!, you will still be able to
use the same data files.

The file structure was changed between 3.0 and 4.0. The two
structures are NOT compatible and therefore a file from version
3.1 and earlier cannot be used with version 4.0.

File Structure

All of the data that can be saved, is saved to one file. That
is, the budget, net worth, amortization data for one client can
be kept in one file. We feel that this is easier for the user
than keeping track of say 4 or 5 different files for one client.
On the other hand, you, the user, has to give it some thought as
to what data is being worked with when a save or retrieve is
being done.

For example: If you are doing some amortization projections
for a client, and you want to save the data to an existing file,
you must be careful to select just the interest rate and/or the

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 12

extra payments options. This is done in order not to overwrite
the information in the file that might be there for the budget,
net worth or IRR/Net Present Value routines.

Likewise, when you retrieve data, you must pick the data that
you want to retrieve. That is to say, if you are currently
working on a budget for Mr. & Mrs. Rivadeneyra and Mr. Langenhahn
calls with a question about a prospective mortgage for a summer
house, you will want to make sure that you only retrieve the
adjustable rate and/or the eXtra payment data in order that you
do not overwrite (destroy!) the information that you have keyed
into the budget routine for Mr. and Mrs. Rivadeneyra.

The program's data file is structured so that the following
elements of data can be saved, updated or retrieved individually:
Adjustable Rates, eXtra Payments, Budget Data, Net Worth Data,
Cash Flows, Inflation Rates, Rates & eXtra Payments, Everything.
In addition to these elements, the current value of Present
Value, Future Value, Payment Method, Payment Period, Compounding
Period and Starting Date are also saved.

To give you a few examples, if you want to save the deposit
amounts in the future value routine, you would save the eXtra
Payments. (Extra Payments and Deposits are the same thing to the

If you want to save the cash flow values from the Net Present
Value or the IRR routines, you would save the Cash Flows. If you
want to save the inflation rates for the Purchasing Power Rou-
tine, you would save the Inflation Rates. And if you have an ARM
(adjustable rate mortgage) and you make extra payments to reduce
the outstanding principal, you would save Rates & eXtra Payments.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 13

Some Relationships Between the Routines

As we stated, the help screens should provide you with all of
the information that you will need on how to operate SolveIt!.
The purpose of this section of the manual is to show by using
examples how you can solve financial problems with the program
where the choice of routine may not be obvious.

Let us look at how two professional people might use the
program to solve problems for their clients. Mr. I. M. Smart is a
financial planner. He often, as might be expected, needs to do
financial presentations and he finds SolveIt! very useful for
generating figures to back up his opinions.

Ms. Penney Rich is an attorney whose cliental includes a
number of sports stars and entertainment personalities. She is
often involved with negotiating settlements that require her to
use the financial, budget and net worth routines.

Let us start with an example for one of Mr. Smart's clients.
Reds Mason is a builder who also likes to speculate in the real
estate market. He owns several properties which he rents out to
commercial tenants. He wants to know the best way to manage his
money. He particularly wants to know the effect of prepaying his
mortgages. (Making an extra payment toward principal.) (Three
routines will be used to arrive at an answer.)

First, Mr. Smart goes to the Remaining Balance routine to see
how much is still owed on one of the loans. He enters the
original loan amount of $250,000, 180 for the number of monthly
periods and 11% for the rate. Since the loan has been held for
exactly 2 years, he enters 24 to find out the remaining balance
after the 24th payment. The result is that there is sill $235,315
owed on the loan.

After this calculation, Mr. Smart goes to the Loan Table
Routine and notes that the details of the mortgage are already
entered as the result of having entered them in the remaining
balance routine. The only thing he needs to do is to change the
amount of loan to equal the remaining balance ($235,315) and to
change the term from 180 to 156, since there are only 156
remaining periods.

At this point, while he is on the amount of loan field he
presses to enter the extra payments that Mr. Mason wants to
make. Mr. Mason feels that he can pay an extra $2,000, once a
year. SolveIt!'s copy feature is used to enter the extra
payments. Once that is done, the amortization table is displayed
and it shows that the loan is paid off after 138 payments instead
of the 156 payments it would have taken if the extra payments
were not made.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 14

To summarize the details of the savings, press and
summarize the loan through the 138th period (156 is NOT entered
here since there are no longer 156 periods.) Mr. Smart can now
show Mr. Mason that his extra $2,000 a year, if paid for a total
of 12 years, will save him $25,222 in interest payments.

Now that sounds pretty good to Mr. Mason. But in fact, Mr.
Smart has to point out that this is not the real saving to him.
He suggests that Mr. Mason could do something else with the
$2,000 rather than apply it toward his mortgage. What happens if
he decides to invest the money in tax free CDs? How much would
$2,000 a year grow to after twelve years?

Again, Mr. Smart turns to use SolveIt!. He taps a few
times to get back to the main menu. He picks the future value
routine from the finance menu. Once in the routine he changes the
present value to $0 and the interest rate to 8.5% which is the
going rate for tax free CDs. Since the $2,000 payments were
entered in the Amortization Schedule, there is no need to re-
enter them in the Future Value Routine. Therefore, all that is
left to do is to press and the Future Value Routine
calculates that the $2,000 deposited every year for 12 years will
grow to $41,329.70 over the 138 periods. It also shows that there
is a gain of $17,329. over the $24,000 that was invested.

Now the idea of making extra payments does not look as good as
it did at first. Mr. Smart is able to demonstrate to his client
that the actual cash savings is only $7,893 (The $25,222 interest
savings less the $17,329 gain.) when the future value of the
series of $2,000 payments is taken into consideration. And in
fact, the savings is even less when you consider that the
interest on the mortgage is probably tax deductible. If Mr. Mason
is in a 28% tax bracket and if he pays the $25,222 interest he
will realize an additional tax savings of $7,062. So therefore,
as incredible as it may seem, Mr. Mason would actually LOOSE
$267. if he makes the extra payments!

Now that Mr. Mason knows that he does not want to make the
extra payments. He changes the subject to ask about his rental
properties. He knows (or at least he thinks that he knows) that
he his making money. The question is, is he making a reasonable
return on his investment. (Two routines will be used to arrive at
an answer.)

To answer this question, Mr. Smart uses SolveIt!'s Rental
Income Analysis Routine. We wouldn't bother you with lots of
details here since there are thirty variables involved in
analyzing rental income. But so you can follow along using the
program, let us assume that he bought a building for $300,000 and
he has a mortgage of $250,000 for 180 months at 11%. There are 2
points charged on the loan. Also assume that the building will

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 15

appreciate at 9% per year. We will not allow for any inflation of
expenses, income, or property taxes. In fact, we will not even
have a property tax figure! (Don't we wish!) Our monthly expenses
will be $3,000 and our total monthly rental income will be
$6,000. The depreciation basis is $275,000, the useful life is
31.5 years, the purchase date is 10/11/1990 and the date that the
property is sold is 4/11/2000. This scenario will generate a
bottom line cash flow of $339.502.

But remember, the question is, "Is this a good investment?".
Mr. Smart hits the key a few times and goes to the finance
routines. Under Evaluation he chooses the IRR routine. The
internal rate of return is used to determine the rate of return
on a series of complicated cash flows. In this case the cash
flows are already entered, since they are carried over from the
calculations of the Rental Income Analysis routine. All that is
left to do is to press . The result is that the annual rate
of return is less than 1%. No comments needed. Changes must be

Moving on to Ms. Rich, we find her is in the middle of
negotiating a contract for a local sports star. The client, Sam
Fielder, wants to sign for $1,000,000 bonus, payable at the start
of the new contract. The owners of the franchise, who are anxious
to keep the local hero on their payroll, fear that they will
severely jeopardize the financial health of their organization if
they meet his demands. They counter propose that they will pay
him, $220,000, a year for ten years starting after five years.

Of course, the challenge here is to see if the offer is as
good as the current demand. Ms. Rich uses the Present Value of a
Series Routine to see if it is. Instead of filling in a payment
amount, she press to enter individual cash flows. She
selects "extra annually" . She then uses the copy feature to copy
$200,000 as the amount from period 6 through period 15. Once this
is done she escapes out and press to solve for the result.
Ms. Rich sees that the series of future payments is worth
$1,006,181.18. She can therefore advise her client that the two
compensation packages are essentially the same. And in fact, she
points out that if Mr. Fielder does not need the cash now, then
he may be better off postponing the income to a time when his
cash flow may be less.

Next, Mr. Fielder wants to provide some income for his Mother
who has nearly reached retirement age. Initially, he thought that
he would buy her an annuity to generate income. His goal is to
provide her with $5,000 a month for the next fifteen years. He
has $400,000 readily available for this investment.

As would be expected, Ms. Rich uses the Time to Withdrawal
Routine to check the feasibility of this plan. She discovers that

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 16

$400,000 invested earning 8.5% annually will pay the desired
$5,000 a month for only 119 periods, or for a little less than
ten years.

Now the question is, if Mr. Fields wants to provide the $5,000
a month, and he wants to do so for fifteen years, how much would
he have to invest. To arrive at the answer is simple, but not so
obvious. Ms. Rich exits from the Time to Withdrawal routine and
from the main menu she selects the Loan Analysis Calculator
Routine. There she keys in 0 for the Amount of Loan and she
enters 180 for the term. (Monthly payments for fifteen years is
180 payments.). She assumes the same rate of return or 8.5% and
she sets the payment to $5,000. When she solves for the result
they learn that it will take an initial investment of $507,748.47
to generate the kind of income that Mr. Fields is seeking. (You
can go back to the Time to Withdrawal Routine to confirm this

There we have it. These are some real life examples of how
users use SolveIt!. We hope that these illustrations expand your
understanding of how the program can be used. Again, these are
only some to the applications for these routines. We strongly
encourage you to "play" with the program. Experiment and try to
answer other "what if" questions. Let us know what you find out.

(c) 1990 Pine Grove Software, All Rights Reserved Page 17

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