As some people know, I’ve taught individuals and corporations for over 15 years on how to use Argus DCF, or what we used to just call “Argus”.

It worked, and while it had its issues, it basically got the job done. Yes, it was expensive, and it was annoying to use, and the user interface was downright primitive, but the cash flows made sense, and when you’re trying to buy a shopping center, you care a lot more about the cash flows than you do about the software that helped you buy it.

Then, Argus Enterprise came along.

The original argument for Argus Enterprise, or as some call it, “AE”, was that traditional Argus, “DCF”, was horrible at portfolio analysis. You’re buying one building? Great. You want to buy 10? Well, first you have to run each model separately, dump it into Excel, roll it up with a bunch of VLOOKUPs and/or INDEX(MATCH()) functions, etc. You get the idea.

AE eliminated all of that. Then, the AE people figured out that it made a lot more sense to just rewrite the cash flow model and kill DCF entirely than it was to support DCF and AE simultaneously. This makes sense. After all, what company would want to support two programs that do fundamentally the same thing, especially if one of them was antiquated.

So, as of today, DCF is no longer to sold to new customers, and as of 12/31/17, the Argus people claim that DCF will stop being supported; I guess if you try calling technical support on 1/1/18, you’ll just hear crickets chirping. It’s not exactly clear what that means, but in practice, it means that if you’re using DCF, you’re going to switch to AE sometime between now and 12/31/17.

Needless to say, a lot of people are unhappy about this. Change is hard. In the long term, they’ll see the light, but in the short term, there’s a lot of teeth gnashing about do we switch now, or later?

For my two cents, as someone who has used the software for 20 and taught it for 15, I would just say change as soon as you can. AE is actually better than DCF, and whether you change now or later, it’ll still unpleasant. Sometimes you just need to jump in the icy waters; you know it’s going to sting, but if you’re going to have to do it, you might as well get it over with. In the long term, you’ll be happy that you did.