How to Create Your Own Stock Portfolio Charts

Stock portfolio charts allow investors to visually compare the performance of different stocks in their portfolios. Charts can provide greater clarity than raw data, as they help traders to conceptualize the relative strength of different holdings at a glance. Although many free stock charting platforms are available, some investors prefer to create their own stock portfolio charts using spreadsheet software. Creating your own charts may require a bit of extra time and effort, but it can allow you to customize the way in which the price data is presented according to your personal preferences.

Identify and List Stock Holdings

In a spreadsheet, list all of your current stock holdings, the number of shares of each stock that you hold and the price per share you paid for each holding. If you have purchased shares of one stock at different times, separate them and list the quantities bought and prices paid for each batch. Choose a method of organizing your holdings that makes sense to you. You might decide to group holdings together by industry, for example, or to organize a simple list according to the original purchase dates.

List Current and Historical Data

Determine which data you will include in your chart, and list each item in the row or column corresponding to the appropriate stock in your spreadsheet. Include data such as opening, closing, highest and lowest prices, volumes, dividend yields and performance. Consider including company financial data such as profitability, revenue or price-to-earnings ratio. List current values as a starting point, then decide how far back you wish to track the data. If you are creating charts for stocks already in your portfolio, it can be helpful to include past data to analyze historical performance. If you set up your spreadsheet and charts before purchasing stocks, on the other hand, it may be more helpful to simply start with current data. Depending on your chosen spreadsheet software, you may be able to import raw data directly into your document using one of numerous data providers.

Create Your Chart

Use the charting tools in your spreadsheet software to create a chart displaying any combination of data and holdings that you choose. Depending on your chosen spreadsheet software, you should be able to use a step-by-step chart wizard to specify which data to include and how to present it. You might create a line chart showing historical prices for each individual holding, for example, or a bar chart comparing the profitability of all holdings in your portfolio. You might also create a pie chart showing the relative dollar amounts invested in each holding. Make as many charts as necessary to give you a wider breadth of insight about your holdings.

Update Stock Data

Decide how often you will update the data in your chart and be consistent in following your decision. Use a frequency that meshes with your trading schedule. If you look at your holdings once a week, for example, consider updating the info each week to analyze your portfolio. If you are a long-term investor mainly seeking dividends, consider a monthly or even bi-annual frequency. Update all of the information included in your chart and add or remove holdings as necessary.

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About the Author

David Ingram has written for multiple publications since 2009, including "The Houston Chronicle" and online at Business.com. As a small-business owner, Ingram regularly confronts modern issues in management, marketing, finance and business law. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts in management from Walsh University.

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