I am a Linux user, and taking an investment and portfolio management course that uses excel. I was wondering if there are open source alternatives to excel for optimal portfolio calculations? If yes, are they used basically the same way as excel?
closed as off topic by vonjd, Dmitri Nesteruk, Tal Fishman, Andrey Taptunov, chrisaycock♦ Sep 16 '11 at 14:27
Questions on Quantitative Finance Stack Exchange are expected to relate to quantitative finance within the scope defined in the FAQ. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about closed questions here.
You can try CrossOver Office or LibreOffice/OpenOffice Calc. And let me qualify that with: Don't go down the LibreOffice road, you run in al sorts of issues such as rounding errors and that one missing function and you will not get any support from your professor.
On a personal note: During college I preferred to dual boot or use a VM.
One answer is to use R (see the Finance taskview http://cran.r-project.org/web/views/Finance.html ). In this case it does not work like Excel (and that's a good thing).