Portfolio Contests

Near the end of the year, various discussion groups have contests where you start with $umpteen dollars and post your trades and the winner is the contestant who ...

>Who ends up with the largest portfolio by the end of the year, right?
Yes. Somebuddy keeps track of the standings each month and generates some neato HTML file which might look like this when viewed by a browser:

>And you always win such contests, eh?
Uh ... hardly       ... but I was gettin' better here and I actually won here

Anyway, the HTML and Excel files that I've used to keep track of the standings ... they may be of use to others.

The HTML file that generates the picture shown above looks like this:

Every month you gotta change the date, paste the standings into the HTML file and make a new chart and ...

>Huh? That ain't easy!
Actually, it's pretty easy. I use an Excel spreadsheet to generate the chart and the HTML code for the standings.
The spreadsheet looks like this:

with an explanation like this:

>That's pretty confusing. I mean, what if I don't know nothing about HTML or Excel or ... ?
Then never volunteer to keep track of contest standings.


  • There are two files you're responsible for putting somewhere on the Internet:
    1. an HTML file ... which contestants can view with their browser (like this one).
    2. a CHART showing the start-of-month balances ... as the months go by.
  • There's an Excel spreadsheet that'll generate the table of monthly balances that goes into the HTML file -- as well as the CHART.
  • The HTML file is here:    contest-stuff.htm
  • The Excel spreadsheet is here:    Contest-Standings.xls

>You say end-of-month balances, then you say start-of-month. Which is it?
Uh ... I can never remember the last day of the month ... 30 days hath September, then there's somethjing about leap year and ...

>So, to make it easy on yourself, you call 'em first-of-month balances.
You got it! I've noticed that the first of the month always starts on day 1.