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A Portfolio is a basket of securities managed as a pooled investment with a single objective. Portfolios are often compared to benchmarks and competing portfolios. Examples of portfolios include: mutual funds, hedge funds, ETFs, closed-end funds, pension funds and separately managed accounts (SMA).
Synonym: investment fund, asset portfolio, portfolio of securities
For context, it helps to think of a Portfolio at a snap in time. Holdings change minute-by-minute during trading hours as security prices change so typically for reporting purposes investors focus on a monthly or quarterly statement of holdings, like a balance sheet. Additionally, a Portfolio is 'rebalanced' periodically to reflect new views on holdings and also to accomodate cash flows in and out of the Portfolio.
There are many ways to account for what is ideally a diversified investment portfolio yourself so you don't have to perform the calculations by hand. Choices include online stock trading software, online portfolio tools, portfolio tracker software, online stock brokers, online stock trading simulators and some stock exchanges themselves.
Tom: Could one stock be considered a Portfolio?
Doc: Certainly, but not a diversified one.
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