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Hi, and welcome to the Views FAQ for the My Portfolio feature. If you are having trouble using My Portfolio, please read the questions and answers below. There's a good chance you'll find the answer there (OK, maybe not a good chance, but a chance anyway).

If you don't find the answers you're looking for, or to report a malfunction or other problem, just click on the Post New link above, type a brief description of your question in the Subject box, and type the full question in the large text box below it. (Do not click on the Post Reply link, or post in all caps, as this annoys the semi-friendly My Portfolio Experts who are at this very moment waiting to help.) After you type your question, click the Preview Message button, and if everything looks OK, click on “Yes, Submit Message” to post your question. You can post your notes of gushing praise using this same method, too!

Viewing portfolios

How do I see a summary of all my portfolios?
At the top of your screen, you'll see a drop-down box labeled “Portfolio”. To see a summary of your portfolios, choose “All Portfolios (Daily)” or “All Portfolios (Long term)” from the list. To go back to viewing your portfolios individually, click on the name of one of your portfolios in the summary.

How do I select a different portfolio?
At the top of your screen, you'll see drop-down box labeled “Portfolio”. To select a portfolio, choose it from the “Portfolio” list.

How do I change between daily and long-term views?
In the colored bar, you'll see drop-down box labeled “View”. Choose the view you want from the “View:” list. You can choose daily or long-term views, or select one of your custom views.

What's the difference between By Trade Lot and By Ticker?
When you have multiple transactions for a particular stock, By Trade Lot will show each transaction, whereas By Ticker will combine the transactions for each stock. For example, let's say your portfolio has 20 shares of Caterpillar at $47 each bought on 1/4/99, 25 more shares at $44 bought on 2/1/99, and 30 shares of International Paper at $42 bought on 1/4/99, each with an $8 commission.

In the By Trade Lot view you might see:
Ticker  Trade Date  # Shares  Cost/Share  Cost
CAT 1/4/99 20 47.400 $948.00
CAT 2/1/99 25 44.320 $1,108.00
IP 1/4/99 30 42.267 $1,268.00

And in the By Ticker view you'd see:
Ticker  Trade Date  # Shares  Cost/Share  Cost
CAT 1/4/99 45 45.689 $2,056.00
IP 1/4/99 30 42.267 $1,268.00

Notice that in the By Ticker view, the two purchases of Caterpillar have been totaled onto one line. The “trade date” shows the date the first lot was purchased.

To change between By Trade Lot and By Ticker while viewing a portfolio, click the button next to “By Trade Lot” or “By Ticker” (in the blue bar). If the display doesn't automatically update, click the “GO” button.

How do I change the order my stocks appear?
To change the sort order for the display, click on one of the underlined headings. For example, to sort the display by stock value, click on the heading “Current Value”. A small arrow pointing down will appear next to “Current Value”. This means the highest value stock appears first. Click on “Current Value” again, and the arrow changes to an upward pointing arrow and the lowest value stock appears first.

How do make this portfolio be the one that shows next time I log in?
Click on the “Set this portfolio as default” link. If you want to add the URL to the favorites in your browser so you can easily return to your default view, click on “Home” and then click on the My Portfolio tab near the top of the screen (your default portfolio should appear) before telling your browser to “add to favorites”.

Can you explain the numbers in the Summary?
No. Well, OK, maybe I can.

Summary items
“Current Value” is the current value of all your stocks based on the most recently available quote, plus your uninvested cash.
“Daily Change” is the change in value from the prior close. This number is expressed in both a dollar amount and a percentage.
“Cash Balance” is the amount of cash you have available.
“Cost of holdings” is the cost of all your stocks (including commissions).
“Simple Return” is the percentage change between cost and current value.

Annualized Return items:
“My Portfolio” is the return on your portfolio annualized based on the amount(s) you have purchased and the current value.
“<Benchmark>” is the index or Fool portfolio that you would like to compare your return to. The default is the S&P 500, but you can change this by clicking on the “Change/Explain Benchmark” link. The benchmark is calculated by “purchasing” the benchmark with every purchase and “selling” the benchmark with every sell. This number is annualized.

How can I see Year-To-Date (YTD) figures?
Create a new portfolio, and enter the stocks and funds you held as of the beginning of the year. Use the first day of the year as the date, and the values of the stocks and funds as of that date.

How do I print my portfolio?
While you're viewing your portfolio, click on the “format for printing” link at the bottom of the screen. When the screen refreshes, just click on your browser's Print button. If your portfolio is too wide to fit on a page (or on your screen, for that matter) try changing to a smaller font (in Internet Explorer, click on View then Fonts, in Netscape click on View then Decrease Font) or, if possible, change your printer to “landscape” mode instead of “portrait” mode (in Internet Explorer or Netscape, click on File, Print, Properties).

If you've created a custom view that's too wide to print (or see on your screen), try creating two or three views, each of which shows part of the information you want to see. Then each view can fit on the screen or on the page.

Another possibility is to use a spreadsheet program, if you have one. While you're viewing your portfolio, click on “Download Current View”. This will allow you to download a CSV file (comma separated values) either directly into your spreadsheet program (such as Excel) or saved to disk for future use. Once in your spreadsheet, you can use its formatting and printing functions.

Customizing views

You can display your portfolios any way you like by creating your own custom “view”. You can even create several different views, so you can see your portfolios with different information.

How do I create my own “view”?
Begin by selecting “Create New View” from the View drop-down box. The first step is to select a view, which will be the basis for your new view. If you want to start completely fresh, leave it on the default “Select a view”.

Next you will see a section with all of the Available Column options. Click on the column that you wish to include in your view. Once you have all of the columns in your view, you can rearrange them into a format that works best for you. Simply highlight the column name and click on the up or down buttons to place your columns in the order you want. If you want to remove a column, highlight it and click on the “X” (Remove) button.

Finally, enter the name of your portfolio. Be creative! (Make sure you don't pick one of the standard names, like “Long-Term” since they are reserved.)

How do I pick a view to see now?
In the colored bar near the top of your screen, you'll see drop-down lists labeled “View”. Choose the view you want from the “View:” list.

How do make this view be the one that shows next time I log in?
Select your view from the “View” drop-down box. Once your view is onscreen, select “Edit Current View”. Scroll down to the bottom and check the box labeled “Set as default view for all portfolios”.

How can I change a view I've created?
Select your view from the “View” drop-down box. Once your view is onscreen, select “Edit Current View”. You can now add, delete, or change the order of your columns. This is also the screen where you would rename your view.

How can I delete a view I've created?
Select your view from the “View” drop-down box. Once your view is onscreen, select “Edit Current View”. At the top of the screen, there is a link to “Delete View”. Select the link and confirm your choice.

Updated 3/11/02
TMF Dawn
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