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SusanAthena, Master's Degree
Category: Calculus and Above
Satisfied Customers: 102
Experience:  Tutor for Algebra, Geometry, Statistics. Explaining math in plain English.
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Ok I have what seems to me a simple question but have had

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Ok I have what seems to me a simple question but have had incredible difficulty finding a good answer or resource. I've asked a statistician on this website and got a very disappointing answer. I was basically told this is not possible. But it clearly IS possible. So here is the question. It has to do with finance. Specifically tracking a stock portfolio strategy. So what I am looking for is a method, program or way of setting up an excel spreadsheet to do the following: I use a couple of different strategies to buy/sell stocks. I would like a way to track the UNREALIZED gains and losses BUT this calculation must include those stocks that have already been sold. Morningstar does not have a way of doing this. On their service, once I sell a stock it clearly stops taking into account that that stock was ever part of the portfolio (i.e. the gain/loss percentage changes immediately once I sell stock). Obviously it shouldn't because the value of the portfolio has not changed and the gain or loss from that specific stock should still be considered to assess the effectiveness of that specific stock strategy. Again I once used this site and was given the answer that it is not possible. Well clearly it IS possible because every single mutual fund does exactly this to demonstrate its yearly average loss/gain in the prospectus. This includes numerous stocks bought and sold by the mutual fund. There must be some simple program or solution which makes this possible. Maybe I am not asking the right type of expert? Any guidance would be appreciated.Thanks,Angelo
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Calculus and Above
Expert:  Ryan replied 5 months ago.


Thank you for using the site.

Unless I have misunderstood what you are asking for, I think it would be relatively easy to set up a spreadsheet to do this. The challenge would be in updating the sheet when you add or delete stocks from your portfolio, or when you add or remove cash from it. If you keep track of cash additions during the year, those could be removed from the year-end value of the portfolio, and a percentage of growth or loss could be calculated that would reflect the change in stock prices over the year.

Alternatively, you could track the gain/loss of each stock purchase based on your buying and selling price (for your closed positions), or your buying price and the current price (for your open positions). These changes could be averaged to give you an indication of the overall success of your strategy or strategies. The drawback with this method is that if you have positions that span across two or more different years, it would take some extra effort to annualize the performance.

Does it sound like I'm on the right track here, or have I missed something?



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