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I'm a high school technology teacher and sponsor for the Charity Student Investment Project. Currently our students track our investment portfolio via a google spreadsheet (http://charitystudentinvestmentproject.com/index.php/portfolio) that calculates unrealized capital gain, total ROI (excluding dividend payments), market value, etc..

We are looking for a solution that will allow us to track the 'total return' including dividend payments for our entire portfolio and each individual investment. A bonus feature would be the ability to share the report on the internet, but this feature is not a requirement.

Any suggestions for free or low-cost solutions for calculating 'total return', including dividend payments?

Basically, I want a solution that 'automatically' calculates (total dividend payments + unrealized gain) to show the 'total return' of a current investment.

Thanks, Todd

A little background on the Charity Student Investment Project. We are a high school student organization and part of a 501 c3. Our mission is to teach students about personal finance and how to invest in the stock markets via real-world experience and actively managing a real-money student-managed investment portfolio.

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Maybe I'm missing something but what is stopping you from calculating Total Return on your own through the spreadsheet or adding it as a function to the site? –  jeff m May 30 '13 at 19:43
@jeffm, the =GoogleFinance function does not send dividend $ amounts or yields. Also it will not 'auto calculate' the dividends from the purchase date to current. I'm looking for a solution that automatically calculates dividend payments + unrealized gain. –  Todd Benrud May 30 '13 at 19:50
Can you pull adjusted close? That would give you a total return between dates. –  jeff m May 30 '13 at 20:08
@jeffm, Google Finance does not provide 'adjusted close' data. I did find this post thought, it relates to my question but it does not offer a portfolio management solution that shows 'total return'. I am not tied to using Google, I just want to find something that tracks 'total return' automatically. money.stackexchange.com/questions/21963/… –  Todd Benrud May 30 '13 at 20:29
Yahoo finance data should provide what you are looking for. I second what Jeff said: do not make your life harder by introducing a software application. Just add to your spread sheet. –  Matt Wolf May 30 '13 at 21:31

2 Answers 2

You should definitely check out the Virtual Stock Exchange Games* by Marketwatch it provides simple interface, and many options for the rules of the game. Its instantly online, free, and uses real-time prices, but it only allows trading NASDAQ stocks, as far as I know.

These games are meant to be played by students, and thought, so I hope it fits your needs.

*a random guys current virtual portfolio in a major competition, for example. You can set portfolios to be hidden btw.

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Thanks Jani, we use the simulator at INvestopedia.com. It allows us to trade any US market. –  Todd Benrud May 31 '13 at 17:20
It seems similar, but why doesn't it fit your needs? –  Jani Kovacs May 31 '13 at 17:37
Because that is a 'simulation', I'm looking for a solution for 'real' investments. The current portfolio that I built in Google Docs does not include 'dividend' payments in the ROI and I want to know the 'total return' for the investment, not just the unrealized capital gain. –  Todd Benrud May 31 '13 at 18:25

Very few websites give Total Returns...Morningstar and mutual fund companies give performance numbers which include dividends... the ReturnFinder app and CorrectCharts app give this information in tabular and graphical form with the plots showing both price and total returns.

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