Simulator How-To Guide: The Portfolio Summary Page
  1. Simulator How-To Guide: Introduction
  2. Simulator How-To Guide: The User Interface Tabs
  3. Simulator How-To Guide: Purchasing Stocks
  4. Simulator How-To Guide: The Portfolio Summary Page
  5. Simulator How-To Guide: Ticker Symbol Look Up
  6. Simulator How-To Guide: Stock Quote Information
  7. Simulator How-To Guide: Diversified Portfolio
  8. Simulator How-To Guide: Selling Stocks
  9. Simulator How-To Guide: Advanced Trade Types
  10. Simulator How-To Guide: Short Selling
  11. Simulator How-To Guide: Covering Short Positions
  12. Simulator How-To Guide: Cancelling Orders
  13. Simulator How-To Guide: Margin Accounts
  14. Simulator How-To Guide: Buying Options
  15. Simulator How-To Guide: Options Usage
  16. Simulator How-To Guide: Conclusion

Simulator How-To Guide: The Portfolio Summary Page

If you followed the directions from the previous section, your portfolio should now contain 100 shares of WMT and a large cash balance. We will now take this opportunity to explain what each aspect of the portfolio summary means.

Note: If you completed it outside of market hours (9:30am – 4:00pm EST) or on a day in which the real stock markets are not open (such as on the weekend or a major holiday), your Portfolio Summary may not include your WMT purchase at this time. If that is the case, please refer to the sample Portfolio Summary below. Your WMT purchase will appear in your portfolio at the beginning of the next trading day.


Let's start with the main sections at the top of your Portfolio Summary:


Account Value displays the total current value of your portfolio, which is updated nightly after the market's close. It also shows in the brackets which currency (either US or Canadian dollars) the account is denominated in.

Buying Power refers to your ability to make trades and is based on the value of your portfolio and cash position. You cannot make a trade that exceeds your current buying power.

Cash displays the amount of cash you presently have in your account. (*Note that your buying power is a better representation as to how much you can spend on further investments, since the default Investopedia Competition (no end) allows you to trade on margin, which will be explained later on)

Annual Return refers to the percentage of return that you would have earned if your returns were extrapolated for a year.

Next, notice that your Portfolio Summary is divided into three parts: Stock Portfolio, Option Portfolio and Shorted Stock Portfolio. Don't worry about the latter two for now, we'll discuss them in later sections of this guide.

The Stock Portfolio contains the names of all the stocks you have purchased and currently hold. Each position includes the stock's ticker symbol, description (name of the company) and the quantity of shares in each position, which are fairly easy to understand. Furthermore, there are the following subheadings within each position of stock:


Purchase Price displays the original cost per share of your purchase.

Current Price displays the current market value per share. This value will change as time goes on.

Total Value reports the current total dollar value of your holdings. In this case, you bought 100 shares of WMT; therefore the Total Value will be equal to 100 times its Current Price per share.

Today's Change gives the dollar amount and % Change of your gains or losses for each position as a result of today's market activity.

Total Gain/Loss gives the dollar amount and % Change of your gains or losses from when the position was first entered into.

Now that you have learned how to interpret your Portfolio Summary, let's look at how to find other stocks to buy in the next section of this how-to guide.

Simulator How-To Guide: Ticker Symbol Look Up

  1. Simulator How-To Guide: Introduction
  2. Simulator How-To Guide: The User Interface Tabs
  3. Simulator How-To Guide: Purchasing Stocks
  4. Simulator How-To Guide: The Portfolio Summary Page
  5. Simulator How-To Guide: Ticker Symbol Look Up
  6. Simulator How-To Guide: Stock Quote Information
  7. Simulator How-To Guide: Diversified Portfolio
  8. Simulator How-To Guide: Selling Stocks
  9. Simulator How-To Guide: Advanced Trade Types
  10. Simulator How-To Guide: Short Selling
  11. Simulator How-To Guide: Covering Short Positions
  12. Simulator How-To Guide: Cancelling Orders
  13. Simulator How-To Guide: Margin Accounts
  14. Simulator How-To Guide: Buying Options
  15. Simulator How-To Guide: Options Usage
  16. Simulator How-To Guide: Conclusion
RELATED TERMS
  1. Portfolio Weight

    The percentage composition of a particular holding in a portfolio. ...
  2. Portfolio Investment

    A holding of an asset in a portfolio. A portfolio investment ...
  3. Portfolio Return

    The monetary return experienced by a holder of a portfolio. Portfolio ...
  4. Trading Effect

    A measure of performance that examines the difference in returns ...
  5. Capital Growth Strategy

    An asset allocation strategy that seeks to maximize capital appreciation, ...
  6. House Excess

    A term used by brokerage houses to describe the amount you are ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do I calculate the percentage gain or loss for my portfolio when all of the stocks ...

    Finding the total percentage gain or loss on a portfolio requires a few simple calculations. First, you should understand ... Read Answer >>
  2. What will happen to my U.S.-based stock portfolio if the U.S. dollar substantially ...

    The effect of a significant depreciation in the value of the U.S. dollar on the value of an investor's U.S-based portfolio ... Read Answer >>
  3. When looking at my online broker account, I see an account value, cash value and ...

    When looking at some online brokerage accounts, there are a few figures that may be confusing, including account value, cash ... Read Answer >>
  4. How can I use equity options to protect my stock portfolio from downturns?

    Learn about stock options, how to use them to hedge stock positions and how they could help to protect stock portfolios from ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do I calculate my gains and/or losses when I sell a stock?

    To begin, you need to know your cost basis, or the price you paid for the stock. If you did not record this information, ... Read Answer >>
  6. Why is purchasing stocks on margin considered more risky than traditional investing?

    Learn why purchasing stocks on margin is riskier than traditional investing, although it can be more profitable when it is ... Read Answer >>

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