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Investment Portfolio Definition and Quiz

Despite being the central focus of much of the investment industry, it is surprising how few people care (or know how) to keep track of portfolio performance.
  1. Define - Define a Portfolio of investments.
  2. Context - Use Portfolio in a sentence.
  3. Quiz - Test your knowledge.
face pic by Paul Alan Davis, CFA
Updated: February 18, 2021
Calculating risk-adjusted return measures and drawing comparisons between a portfolio and a relevant benchmark is a highly sought after skill. Learn more below.

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What is an Investment Portfolio?


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.

In a Sentence

Tom:  Could one stock be considered a Portfolio?
Doc:  Certainly, but not a diversified one.


Many terms have 4-5 minute videos showing a derivation and explanation. If this term had one, it would appear here.

Videos can also be accessed from our YouTube Channel.

Video Script

If this term had a video, the script would be here.


Click box for answer.

Owning one mutual fund can be a diversified Portfolio all by itself. | True or False?


Investors rebalance their Portfolio when they trade. | True or False?


Questions or Comments?

Still unclear on the term Portfolio? Try out the course Quant 101.

Related Terms

Our trained humans found other terms in the category investing concepts

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closed-end fund
pension fund
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portfolio of securities

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