In Stock Investor, you can create your own portfolios—unique groups of stocks you find interesting, the stocks in a market index, or the results of a stock screen. Portfolios allow you to examine a list of stocks from update to update without having to sift through Stock Investor’s entire database. It is important to note, however, that Stock Investor does not provide portfolio-tracking capabilities. In our discussion here, a portfolio is simply a collection of companies that you specify.
The benefits of using Portfolios include:
Creating a Portfolio
There are three ways to access the Portfolio Editor: click on the Portfolio Editor button on the toolbar, select Portfolio Editor from the Tools menu (Tools - Portfolio Editor), or simultaneously press the Alt and P keys on the keyboard (Alt + P).
Once the Portfolio Editor (Figure 1) is open, you can create new portfolios or edit existing portfolios. You can browse the database for companies you want in a portfolio by either company name or by ticker symbol. However, to avoid potential complications created by abbreviations, it is best to select companies by ticker symbol. To browse by ticker, make sure the By Ticker option is selected on the Portfolio Editor. If you do not know the company’s ticker, select By Name and begin typing the company’s name. The company name and ticker will appear in the scroll box above where you are typing.
Select companies for a portfolio by double-clicking on names in the scroll box, by highlighting the company name and using the Add button, or by typing the ticker in the Find box. Please note that there will not be a cursor in the Find box; you can simply begin typing either the ticker or company name. For example, if you were to type the ticker symbol for (The) Boeing Company, BA, the selection bar would move to Boeing. Pressing the Enter key on the keyboard, clicking the Add button with the mouse, or double-clicking on Boeing in the scroll box will add (The) Boeing Company to the portfolio. As you add ticker symbols to the portfolio, the company names will appear in the text box on the right-hand side of the Portfolio Editor window. You can keep adding symbols (EXC, SLE, TRB, and WWY ) until the portfolio is complete (Figure 2). Click on the Save button. The program will then prompt you to name the portfolio (Chicago Stocks) and, if you wish, provide a description of the portfolio. When you are finished, select OK and Stock Investor will save the portfolio. Finally, exit out of the Portfolio Editor.
To work with a portfolio, you need to apply it to Stock Investor’s active notebook. Click on the down arrow of the Portfolio pull-down menu on the toolbar to reveal your list of saved portfolios. Selecting our Chicago Stocks portfolio will load the list of companies contained in the portfolio into the stock notebook.
After loading this portfolio, the active notebook should look like the one in Figure 3. Note that the *Share Statistics View has been applied to the active notebook (click the down arrow of the View pull-down menu on the toolbar for the list of views that are available; those designated with an asterisk are built into the software).
You can edit any portfolio you have created and save the changes. In order to edit the Chicago Stocks portfolio, we need to return to the Portfolio Editor as described earlier. If you have already loaded the portfolio you wish to edit, those companies in the portfolio will appear in the text box on the right side of the Portfolio Editor. If you have not loaded the portfolio you wish to edit, select it by clicking on the arrow of the Name pull-down menu at the top of the Portfolio Editor. Scroll down and select the name Chicago Stocks.
Say you want to remove Sara Lee Corp. from the Chicago Stocks portfolio. Click on the gray square found to the left of Sara Lee in the text box on the right-hand side of the Portfolio Editor. This will select Sara Lee Corp. To remove the selected company from the portfolio, click on the Delete button in the lower left-hand corner of the Portfolio Editor window. This will remove Sara Lee from the portfolio. If you wish to overwrite the original portfolio and save the portfolio that reflects the changes you have made, click Save. However, if you wish to keep the edited portfolio as well as the original portfolio, click on Save As. You will then be prompted to name and describe the new portfolio, at which point this portfolio will be saved and the original portfolio kept intact.
Importing a Portfolio
Stock Investor allows you to import a list of ticker symbols into the Portfolio Editor to save you from having to choose companies manually. You can import a portfolio from an external file, created using any of a variety of programs. In order for the process to succeed, however, the file must be a text file containing only ticker symbols. Additional information or characters—tabs, commas, and quotation marks—cannot be imported by the Portfolio Editor.
To begin the importing process, open the Portfolio Editor. In the Portfolio Editor window, click on the Import button. This will open a window where you can locate and specify which ticker file you wish to import (Figure 4). Once you have selected the file, click on the Import button in the Open window. If the import process is successful, a window will appear telling you how many tickers were added to the portfolio, how many of the tickers in the import file were already in the portfolio, and how many could not be identified and, consequently, were not imported (Figure 5).
If any of the tickers could not be identified, an Unidentified Tickers window will appear, displaying how the tickers are formatted (Figure 6). In this example, quotation marks and an invalid ticker symbol were the culprits. After importing the ticker symbols into a portfolio, you can save it just as you would if you had manually selected the symbols.
Saving Screening Results as Portfolios
One final way to create a portfolio is to save the results of a stock screen as a portfolio. Stock Investor comes with over 50 predefined stock screens and also allows you to create your own. Once you have applied a particular screen—either by selecting a screen from the Screen pull-down menu at the top of the Stock Investor window or by clicking on the Apply button for a selected screen in the Screen Editor—you can save the companies passing the screen as a portfolio. To do this, click on the File menu at the top of the Stock Investor Program window and then select Save Notebook as Portfolio (File - Save Notebook as Portfolio). The program will then prompt you to name the portfolio and, if you wish, provide a description of the portfolio. When you are finished, select OK and Stock Investor will save the portfolio. Portfolios that are created in this fashion are also accessible from the View pull-down menu and can be edited from within the View Editor.
Applying Screens to Screens
Occasionally, a subscriber will ask us how to run a screen against another screen in Stock Investor. One way to do this is by using a portfolio. Begin by running the first screen: either select it from the Screen pull-down menu at the top of the Stock Investor Program window, or apply the screen within the Screen Editor. You can then save the companies that pass the screen as a portfolio, following the steps we just outlined. Next, load that portfolio into the Stock Notebook by selecting it from the Portfolio pull-down menu at the top of the Stock Investor window. Finally, load the second screen by either selecting it from the Screen pull-down menu at the top of the Stock Investor Program window or by applying the screen within the Screen Editor. (In this same fashion, you can run screens against custom portfolios as well.)
As an example, we would like to see which stocks pass both the *IBD Stable 70 screen and the *EPS Est Revisions Up screen. To begin, we select the *IBD Stable 70 screen from the Screen pull-down menu (Figure 7). After the screen runs, there are 51 companies in the Stock Notebook (as of October 22, 2004). We then click on the File menu and select Save Notebook as Portfolio (Figure 8). When prompted, we save this portfolio as IBD 2004-10-22 and click Ok in the Save Notebook as Portfolio window.
We then load the IBD portfolio we saved into the Stock Notebook by selecting it from the Portfolio pull-down menu. Lastly, we select the *EPS Est Revisions Up screen from the Screen pull-down menu. When the screen is completed, three of the 51 companies that were in the IBD 2004-10-22 portfolio also passed the earnings revision screen—CAI International, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and ScanSource, Inc. (Figure 9).