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moving holding period comparison tool

This tool implements the moving buy/hold comparison tool, which complements the Back to the Future analysis. The MHP technique analyzes one fund/stock/ETF over a five year time scale, for two different moving buy/hold periods. Historical data feeds are accessed from the Google finance database, while Google spreadsheets power the calculation and generates the plot.

Just fill in the first box with your choice of a single stock or fund symbol, then choose two holding periods (a number, in weeks), and hit "SUBMIT". Finally, click on the yellow box below to launch a new window with the calculation's results.

After about a 30 second delay, the new chart will appear as a locked Google spreadsheet in this new window, displacing the old plot from a previous run. The weekly closing price, arbitrarily normalized to fit the screen, is shown in blue for the fund. The remaining two curves plot the continuous, moving buy/hold period results. Also included are an "annualized" average return (the average total return annualized based on the holding period length), as well as a measure of volatility (the "Normalized Perimeter" is a rough guide to how likely a single buy/hold period would achieve the average. Smaller is better).

There are some limitations:

  • Some funds do not license their data to Google. If the chart appears faulty, check with google.com/finance first to see if the requested data is available.
  • The weekly closing price is sometimes missing or reported on varying dates. Missing datapoints are bridged, and the two curves are aligned in time.
  • Dividends, splits, etc are not (yet) available to include in the return calculation. More critical for some investments than others.
  • If the stock or fund hasn't existed for at least five years, the tool will not generate a complete plot.
  • The plot in the new window may have been generated by the most recent user of this tool- don't use this tool if you are worried that others will free-ride on your brilliant stock selection.
  • This is a SHARED spreadsheet-- only one person at a time can choose a pair of stocks, so its possible someone else might be selecting and plotting different funds while you are waiting for your selection to appear. Wait a minute and try again.
  • If you want to analyze only one holding period, enter the same value in the form for both periods.
  • Check for mistyped stock symbols and holding periods- Google is unforgiving (the stock symbols do not have to be in capital letters, but the holding period must be a positive integer like 24, not "24 wks", or "twenty four")
  • This tool is a bit flaky and occasionally misfires (Google spreadsheets are wonderful but still relatively primitive, so I had to code around many of its current limitations). USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
After filling in the form and submitting, you must click here to load the calculated chart in a new window.
If the new chart does not appear within a minute, try clicking this box again.
Make sure your browser allows pop-up windows.


Contact Greg Blonder by email here - Modified Genuine Ideas, LLC.