I’ve known for a while that there was a discrepancy between what ShareBuilder says my portfolio’s profit is, and what my personally designed portfolio says. You would assume one of us is wrong.
You’d be wrong.
See, the thing about numbers is that numbers never lie, but sometimes they bend the truth. ShareBuilder is a business, and in their business you need to be making money, or at least not losing a lot of it. So if you happen to sell off every share of stock that you own–or even just one share–they remove it from the calculations. Poof. It’s gone. Does not exist. Cannot be used to calculate a loss.
In the Capitalist Cares Stock Portfolio I keep a running total of every single trade that I’ve ever made. I do this to know exactly how my portfolio has performed over a lifetime. That means that the value you see in my portfolio doesn’t just include stocks that I currently own, but stocks that I have ever owned. So when you see that portfolio in the green, you know that the profit is lifetime, and not just this one time thing.
I do this portfolio wide, but I also do it individually for each and every stock symbol I purchase. This lets me know which stocks are performing, and which aren’t. I know which stocks I need to start cutting my losses on, and which stocks are holding up the value for the entire portfolio.
So if you happen to use the same portfolio for your own trading and you see this discrepancy, don’t worry, you’re right. The numbers are different.
But they’re also both correct.