Creating, Using and Editing Portfolios

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In Stock Investor Pro, you can create your own portfolios, which can be unique groups of stocks you find interesting or an index created by a financial institution. Portfolios allow you to examine a list of stocks from update to update without having to sift through the entire database each time. It is important to note, however, that the software does not provide portfolio-tracking capabilities. In Stock Investor Pro and in our discussion here, a portfolio is simply a collection of companies that you specify. Portfolios allow you to view several companies at once; create statistical summary reports that show the characteristics of a portfolio; and export data on each stock for further analysis or use in another program. Portfolios also provide a group against which to perform additional screens.

This issue of Stock Investor News explains the process of creating, using and editing portfolios. The June issue, released next month, will discuss importing portfolios, saving screen results as portfolios and applying screens to portfolios (or other screens).

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 is open, you can create a new portfolio or edit an existing portfolio. 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 under the company list box. 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 be highlighted in the scroll box.

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 is no cursor in the Find box; you can simply begin typing either the ticker or company name. For example, type the ticker symbol for The Boeing Company, “BA,” and the selection bar in the scroll box moves to Boeing. Press the Enter key on the keyboard, click the Add button with the mouse, or double-click on Boeing in the scroll box to 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 until the portfolio is complete (tickers EXC, SLE, H, and NTRS in our example). When you are through, click on the Save button. The program then prompts you to name the portfolio (Chicago Stocks) and, if you wish, provide a description of the portfolio. When you are finished, select OK and the portfolio will be saved. Finally, close the Portfolio Editor.

Using Portfolios

To work with a portfolio, you need to apply it to the 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 loads the list of companies contained in the portfolio into the active notebook.

Note that the *Multiples view has been applied to the active notebook. To do this, 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). Scroll down the list and click on *Multiples to apply it to the active notebook.

Editing Portfolios

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 the portfolio you wish to edit is still loaded as the active notebook, the companies in the portfolio will appear in the text box on the right side of the Portfolio Editor. If the portfolio you wish to edit is not loaded as the active notebook, you will need to 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. Sara Lee Corp. is no longer on the portfolio list. If you wish to overwrite the original portfolio with 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 give the portfolio a new name and description, at which point this portfolio will be saved and the original portfolio kept intact.