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The end of Portfolio Visualizer as we knew it

Any fans of Portfolio Visualizer seen the update? It’s a whole new world and it’s a hot mess. Just horrible.


  • edited May 18
    I do NOT like the new layout of PV's site. I dare say it's been Morningstar'd in its user interface and is much more cumbersome to use and setup, even if it might look prettier to some.

    Looks like they're going for subscriptions now, too -
  • @rforno. Morningstar’ed. A new verb. We all know what it means. Can you imagine if brother Crash had used PV? He would be going crazy. He would be using words that had never been used before.
  • edited May 18
    Well, the PV data input interface has changed, and the result format has changed, but on a quick look, almost all of the old free features are still there. The results are still linkable. I think that if one spends 30 minutes to 1 hour, one can get up to speed on this revised PV.

    Sample PV Run Link for PRWCX, VWELX, FMSDX with benchmark VFINX,

    I had PV Guide/Pointers that I will be revising soon.
  • Seeing this for the first time - must have changed in the last week.
    I dislike the design of the new UI.
    I primarily used the Portfolio Backtest tool in the past.
    Portfolio data sets were previously listed on the x axis while metrics were listed on the y axis.
    It's the opposite now - I much prefer the former.
  • Thanks Yogi
  • Feels like you now have to scroll down though a lot of noise to get to the comparative data. Annoying.
  • edited May 19
    One PV LOOPHOLE is that the 10-year periods don't have to be recent, so free PV runs can be made for successive 10-year periods. Following are the PV runs for Bengen-type 4% withdrawals with annual COLA for 3 10-yr periods covering 30 years. Of course, some additional calculations will be needed to consolidate the data for straight 30 years.

    5/1/1994 - 4/30/2004, PV Run 1
    5/1/2004 - 4/30/2014, PV Run 2
    5/1/2014 - 4/30/2024, PV Run 3
  • edited May 19
    Just ran a Portfolio Backtest.
    It appears that all prior metrics / data are still available.
    The web page that lists backtest results is now very cluttered.
    In the "old" Portfolio Visualizer, some backtest data was accessed via provided links.
    I prefer that design as it minimizes clutter.

    A HUGE negative development (or possibly a software bug?) is that Portfolio Visualizer
    now only allows backtests for 10 yr. periods!
    I went to Customize Data >>> Settings and modified Time Period, Start Year, and First Month.
    Settings were modified to coincide with the first full month of operation for the newest fund (>30 yr. old).
    These changes had no effect as the rendered results just showed the latest 10 yr. period.
    Forget about performing a single backtest from inception date to end of prior month for funds that are >10 yr. old!
  • @Observant, new limitation is for 10 years. But you have to change both the start and end dates to capture the older 10-yr periods. Some periods > 10 years do slip by randomly, but I haven't figured out any pattern.

    For example, these old 20-year periods ran,

    5/1/1994 - 4/30/2014

    5/1/1990 - 4/30/2010
  • edited May 19

    I realize that multiple PV backtests can be executed for funds >10 yr. old by changing start / end dates.
    This is suboptimal when compared to running a single backtest from inception date
    to prior month end (especially for older funds).
    It's interesting that you were able to obtain 20 yr. period PV results for these two portfolios.
    Seems like there may be some bugs in the new PV!
  • looks like PV took a perfectly simple decent to use tool and "improved" it!!
  • Devo said:

    looks like PV took a perfectly simple decent to use tool and "improved" it!!

    Yes, that seems correct.
    As previously mentioned, PV was Morningstar'd! :-(
  • Devo said:

    looks like PV took a perfectly simple decent to use tool and "improved" it!!

    I believe that the correct terminology these days is that they 'enhanced the user experience'.
  • edited May 19
    You are not wrong!
    Ha! Ha! Ha! :-)
  • edited May 21
    It seems that PV runs for the RECENT YEARS can go back only 10 years from now (i.e. 5/1/2014 in Month-to-month and 1/1/2015 in Year-to-year in 05/2024), but longer than 10-year runs are possible for start and end dates before this 10-year window.

    If so, that seems an odd way to implement the 10-yr restriction.

    BTW, these issues (and loopholes, workarounds, tricks, etc) are for free PV only. The PV subscribers may have a different view of this update or streamlining. Unfortunately, there is free/$0, and then quite steep $360/yr and $660/yr. If there was a tier around $100/yr, I could consider subscribing. As a subscriber to M*, Stock Rover (SR) and MFO Premium already, I don't find additional value in PV to justify $360-660/yr, but it's good for what it does.
  • beebee
    edited May 20
    Playing around with the new version of PV and the Backtesting Asset Allocation Portfolio tool:

    1. I first select "Custom Portfolio" and eliminate the four funds that are preloaded as the "Sample Portfolio".

    2. I enter a single ticker for Asset 1 (I used PRWCX) for my purposes. Change this as you please.

    3. I keep SPY as the Specified Benchmark ticker. Change this as you please.

    4. I run "Analyze Portfolio".

    5. I then select the "Link" option and copy this link to a location such as an email to myself or as a hyperlink in a spreadsheet file.

    6. I now have my own personal link to PV backtesting and my personal "Sample Portfolio".
    Here's my Link to my personal "Sample Portfolio" that I could further customize.

    7. Eliminate or keep the Asset 1 as Portfolio 1, enter assets for Portfolios 2 & 3 as you have in the past.

    My PV Sample Portfolio


    Changing setting to stress test your Portfolios

    To Stress test Custom Portfolios, select individual 10 year periods. I have used 2002 - 2011 as one stressful investment period. To choose your 10 year period, click on the setting tab adjusting the start and end dates.

    To stress test your portfolio further (say by taking annual withdrawals), I set my withdrawal amount by selecting the "Cashflow" options . I use 4% withdrawals as my annual withdrawal.

    With only a 10 year look back period I segment my look backs into distinct time periods.

    One of most stressful decades (10 years) to have started retirement would have been the start of the Tech bubble followed by the GFC say, 2002 - 2011.

    I compare these withdrawal results to other 10 year time frames, including the last 10 years (2015- 2024).
  • edited May 20
    @bee, now try to run 10 years to 2020, i.e. 2010-2020 (i.e. 1/1/2010-12/30/2020 under Year-to-year), but you can not. The result is truncated to 1/1/2015-12/31/2020 (well under 10 years). Then see my post just before yours - my guess is that your 10-year test periods were all pre-mid-2014 except the full 2014/2015-2024.
  • beebee
    edited May 20
    @yogibearbull, I follow. Hmmm

    You can start and end before 2015... up to ten years
    You can start and end after 2015... up to today's date (almost 10 years)

    But you can not start before 2015 and end after 2015 without PV shortening your inputs dates.

    Hopefully they'll be a fix coming.
  • edited May 27
    I used Portfolio Visualizer (PV) earlier this evening to perform some backtests.
    I then focused on other tasks before returning to Portfolio Visualizer.
    A 500 Application Error was generated when accessing

    500 Application Error
    The application has encountered an unexpected error. Please reload the main page.
    The error has been logged and the system administrator has been notified.

    This was first noticed at 8:45 PM PT and the issue still exists at 11:30 PM PT.
    It's possible system maintenance is in progress but it's customary
    to post announcements during maintenance windows.
    I don't recall experiencing any 500 Application Errors prior to the recent PV upgrade.
  • edited May 27
    @Observant1, I see 500 Error too at 5:30am Central 5/27/24 - on Chrome, Edge, Firefox. These 500 0r 50# errors are for some server issues. I did use PV yesterday afternoon.

    But technically, the PV site is UP,

    Edit/Add - I sent an email to [email protected]

    HTTP Errors
    "500 error. the most generic error possible. It doesn’t tell you anything more than the error is in the server.
    501 Not Implemented. The server does not support or has not implemented the functionality required to fulfill the request.
    502 error. bad gateway. The server was doing a job as a proxy or a gateway and got an invalid response from another upstream server.
    503 Service unavailable. This you can see when the server gets too many task and overload or is down due to maintenance.
    504 Gateway Timeout. The server, who was performing as a proxy or a gateway, didn’t receive a response in time from the upstream server. There could be a problem with the next server on the network.
    505 HTTP Version Not Supported. The server does not support the HTTP protocol version used in the request."

  • edited May 27

    Thanks for sending an email about the 500 Application Error.
    As you mentioned, this is a very generic error which doesn't provide much information.
    I'm curious if you received a response regarding the cause of the issue.

    Here's one way to run a basic diagnostic test for an HTTPS connection from a Windows computer.
    If the TcpTestSucceeded value is True, the destination computer is listening on port 443.

    1) Open Windows PowerShell.
    2) Input Test-NetConnection -ComputerName -Port 443

    ComputerName :
    RemoteAddress :
    RemotePort : 443
    InterfaceAlias : Ethernet
    SourceAddress :
    TcpTestSucceeded : True

    Note: Although a computer may be listening on port 443, other issues may impede proper website functionality.
    This is a good "quick and dirty" test.
  • @Observant1, no response (yet) to my email about 4 hours ago to PV/SRL Global support.

    After you posted about access, I checked it too and it works.
  • edited May 27

    @Observant1, no response (yet) to my email about 4 hours ago to PV/SRL Global support.

    After you posted about access, I checked it too and it works.

    OK, the reply just came:

    From: Analytics Support
    Sent: Monday, May 27, 2024 10:37 AM
    To: xxx; Analytics Support
    Subject: Re: Portfolio Visualizer - HTTP 500 Error

    This issue should be fixed. Apologies for the inconvenience.

    PV Support Team
  • edited May 27

    Thanks for the update!
    I wish "Analytics Support" provided info regarding the cause of the issue.
    Perhaps, there are legal or reputational concerns?
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