Personal Finance

Here are your instructions for the stock portfolio assignment:

Select 10 stocks of companies you are interested in investing in. You should select companies in different industries; you want a diversified portfolio to help manage your risk exposure. You can invest up to $1000 in each company(but not more) starting with the closing price as of the day you set up the account (overall, your portfolio cost should be no more than $10000).

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For example, if the price of a share is $34.21 (the day you decide to “buy” it), you can buy 1000/34.21 = 29 shares whole shares (round down since you are not allowed to own fractional shares in this assignment, even though you could in real life).

You can set up a watch account on finance sites like, or, or cnn money, etc. A watch account will maintain the value of the account and your profit or loss on each stock if you enter the number of shares and the price paid per share. You should set up the display field options to include fields like your purchase price, dollar gain or loss, % gain or loss, and if the company pays a dividend that would also be useful.

As an easy alternative, I’ve created a stockwatch spreadsheet (attached) that you can use by entering the price you paid, the date you bought, current price, and any dividends it pays into a color coded Excel spreadsheet. Just enter your data in the green cells ONLY. Just don’t touch the other colored cells or you will overwrite the formulas that make it work. The green cost cells you only enter once. When you update the value of your portfolio each week, you’ll be updating the current price cells. PROTIP: Enter the price you paid first, then adjust the # of shares you bought up and down until your cost drops below $1000 so that way you know you didn’t overspend per stock.

This also illustrates that you can build a successful portfolio without really expensive stocks like Amazon whose shares are around $1900, or Alphabet (parent of Google) whose shares are over $1400.

So, this week, using my easy spreadsheet, or an online portfolio tracker, figure out what you want to buy (within the above guidelines) and record your data, so you’ll have something to report next week with the updated prices.

This upcoming week (starting next week) your first upload will be here answering the following questions based on stocks you buy this week:

How are you doing overall? Gain? Loss? (provide both the dollar gain or loss and percentage gain or loss) 10 points

What was your best performing stock? 10 points

What was your worst performing stock? 10 points

Why did you select the stocks you did? 20 points

Also upload your spreadsheet showing your data or a screenshot from the web tracker you use to manage your portfolio. For more information on  Personal Finance check:

 Personal Finance

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