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I'm looking for a tool that helps me creating an investment portfolio. I'd like to decide the percentages first, and then the tool would output quantities. Also, percentages should be hierarchical. So, for example:

- 60 % Stocks
     - North America (50%) - This would be 50% of the parent 60% (so 30% of the Grand total)
     - Europe (50%) - Same as before
 - 40% Bonds

I'm trying to manage this using Excel or Google docs without success. I have several problems and wishes:

  • Can I automatically adjust the totals to 100%? If I change stocks to 70%, I'd like Bonds to change to 30% automatically.
  • Can I compose the percentages visually instead of typing numbers?
  • How can I implement hierarchy. How to indicate that Europe has 50% of the total 60%?
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After re-reading and answering the question, I think you'd be much better served by researching/asking all three issues as three seperate questions. To provide a high quality answer, they all deserve more detail than can easily be provided in a single answer. – dav May 31 '12 at 11:50
Interesting suggestion. However, Excel is just a suggested tool. I'm also looking for a tool that allows me to do all this, so having everything together makes sense in that regard. – rgargente May 31 '12 at 11:54
That makes more sense. I think Excel can do everything you mentioned without trouble-you'll just need to put the time up front to organize that data so that Excel can do the calcs. If you need any further explanation of my answer, just comment it. – dav May 31 '12 at 11:58
  1. Excel can easily change one variable for you based upon your other entries. You'll need a formula that has the relationship defined (e.g. 100% - stock % = bond %). More than one variable is possible, but again, you'll need all relations defined in a way that Excel can calculate.

  2. In Excel you can't directly control the size of a part of a chart (without serious VBA intervention). However, you can use controls (e.g. a slider) to control the value in a cell, which then change the corresponding chart shape size.

  3. Similar to your first question, hierarchy is simply a matter of showing the relationships in a different way, depending upon the level you're exploring. You should consider reviewing Excel's subtotals functions for something like this.

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