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The Value Research Portfolio Manager is the most sophisticated and powerful portfolio tracking tool available for mutual fund investors. Here are the vital questions that it can answer

The Value Research Portfolio Manager at www.valueresearchonline.com is the most sophisticated and powerful portfolio tracking tool available for Indian mutual fund investors. As regular users know, the Portfolio Manager offers two different types of portfolios tracking systems: “Quick Portfolio” and “Transactional Portfolio”. Quick Portfolio just tells you the current value of a collection of funds and stocks. It doesn't feature any sophisticated analysis but does have the advantage of being quick to set up. The Transactional Portfolio, on the other hand, looks at each historical transaction that has gone into your portfolio and answers practically every question that one may want to ask about a portfolio. Let's look at some vital questions that it can answer:

1. How much is my portfolio worth? How much did its value change since yesterday?
This is the first question that any investor wants to know about his portfolio. The basic “Snapshot” view of the Transactional Portfolio, as well as the Quick Portfolio, gives the latest value of your holdings. To serve as a well-rounded quick overview, the Snapshot view also offers the Value Research Fund Rating of each fund, the latest NAV (or market price) of each fund or stock, the change from the last NAV/price (which is normally of the previous day), the percentage of your portfolio that is taken up each security, the total market value of your holding in each, and some other basic data. While the Snapshot is light on any major insight into the portfolio, it's enough for any experienced investor to get a quick overview.

2. How have the funds in my portfolio performed over various time periods?
This is fundamentally a different question than the previous one. Your funds may have performed well or badly during the period that you have invested in them but you'd like to know how they have fared in other periods, especially in comparison to other funds of the same type. The “Fund Performance” view of the portfolio manager does this job. For each mutual fund in your portfolio, it tells you not just its returns but also its rank within its category. This information is presented over different time periods, which are: one week, one month, one year, three years, five years and year-todate. Year-to-date is the period from the beginning of the current calendar year to the current date.

3. How much has my portfolio earned for me?
Figuring out the gains that investments have made is the heart of the Portfolio Manager. The Gain Loss view gives a detailed view of what you have gained or lost on each holding in your portfolio. Systematically, this view lists the date on which you made the initial investment, the number of units you bought originally, the cost of each unit, the total investment you made, the current market value of each investment, the gains on each (whether you've realised them by selling or not), and the total returns on each individual investment, expressed as an annualised percentage. The last figure enables you to make a fair comparison between different investments that may have been made on different dates and with different amounts. The returns are calculated internally by the Portfolio Manager using an Internal Rate of Return algorithm that is similar to the 'XIRR' function that is available in Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice and other spreadsheet software.

4. What kind of volatility have the funds in my portfolio shown in the past?
The 'NAV High Low' view of the Portfolio Manager gives you a quick overview of the range within which each fund's NAV has moved over various periods. While one should not pay too much attention to the link between past performance and future returns, directly being able to compare past high and low NAVs provides a quick insight into the relative riskiness of different funds' management styles. Sometimes, the data may turn up a surprise and you may realise that a fund (or a fund type) that you thought to be very stable is actually capable of turning up some nasty surprises.

5. How much of money is invested in a particular sector or company?
The main advantage of investing in mutual funds may be that one can be hands off and never have to worry about where one's money is actually invested but this lack of knowledge is exactly what bothers the thinking investors. Of course, portfolio data is available for all funds, compiling it for all one's investments and then cross-tabulating it get a meaningful picture is something that an individual investor just can't do.

This is where the Value Research Portfolio Manager comes in. The Portfolio Manager collates the actual holdings of the various funds that you have invested in, tabulates it against the actual value of your investment in each and thereby creates a view of your actual underlying investments. What's more, this view combines not just data from your fund investments, but also your stock investments.

This data can then be presented as a macro view of how your investment are split between equity, debt and cash (the Portfolio Checkup - Overview); how your equity investments are split across sectors and companies and how your debt investments are split across actual instruments and instruments of different types and ratings. It also tabulates your investments under different investing styles (value vs growth) and company size.

The kind of insight this gives you is unparalleled. If you are, for example, considering whether to buy into a pharma sector fund but can't decide whether you already own enough pharma stocks, then all you need to do is to come to Value Research Online and select the “Portfolio Checkup - Equity” view. At one click you'll get a precise xray of exactly what your exposure is and which are the actual companies you are invested in.



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