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By James Levin | 09-23-2008 10:00 AM

Creating a Portfolio on Morningstar.com

A step-by-step guide to inputting your portfolio in Morningstar's Portfolio Manager.

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James Levin: Welcome, I'm James Levin, Manager of Morningstar.com Portfolio Manager. The Portfolio Manager is a powerful tool that will let you track the holdings you own as well as your cost basis, evaluate your total return and personal return and assess your portfolio's asset allocation and diversification. I'd like to walk you through the simple steps of creating a portfolio.

After clicking the "Portfolio" tab on Morningstar.com, you will see the "Select Portfolio" or "Watch List menu." The default options of "create new" and "portfolio" will allow you to create your fresh portfolio. Click "continue" to proceed.

When creating a new portfolio, you will want to add the first transaction for each of your portfolio's holdings. After saving the portfolio, you will be able to add additional transactions as well as new holdings. You will be prompted to give your portfolio a name. This can be up to 20 characters long.

Now, enter in the ticker and name of the holding which you would like to add to your portfolio. You will notice as you start typing, we will suggest the holding you wish to enter. Alternatively, you can also use the "ticker lookup" feature to search for your holdings.

Next, enter the number of shares, the purchase date and the purchase price. For the purchase price, you can click the dollar symbol, and we will fill in the latest price for you. Last, you can enter in a commission for the transaction. The commission is an optional field that when entered will increase the cost basis for your holding and better represent your real performance.

After entering in the first holding, repeat these steps for additional holdings entering in your initial transaction for each. If you have more than 10 holdings, select the "add more entry fields" button to reveal more lines.

After entering your stock and fund positions, you can opt to "add a bond or cash proxy" to the portfolio manager. Positions entered into bond or cash tabs will not impact your portfolio's performance metrics; however, they will increase the total market value.

To enter in a bond, select the "bond" tabs and enter in all the required fields. To add a cash position, click on the "cash" tab and enter in the name, total amount, and date of purchase.

When you have completed all of your entries, click the "done" button at the bottom of the screen to save your portfolio. You will then be given the option to receive portfolio updates and alerts. Leave the "portfolio updates" box checked to receive a daily e-mail update with your portfolio stocks' and funds' performance along with related articles.

Leave the "alert" box checked to receive e-mail alerts such as changes in fund star ratings, swings in stock prices, updated fund portfolios, changes in fund management, and newer updated Analyst Reports for your portfolio holdings.

When you have made your selections, click the "done" button to save your selections. Now you can begin to utilize this powerful tool to monitor and manage your portfolio holdings.

For Morningstar, I am James Levin. Thanks for watching.

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