My favorite quotes

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. In the April 2011 JofA (“A Refreshing Change in Your Portfolio,” page 57), you described how to set up a stock portfolio using MSN MoneyCentral investor stock quotes. Following your advice, I set up a large portfolio using this procedure, which has served me very well. However, in December 2014 the portfolio update function stopped working; is there a solution to get the stock quote updates working again?

A. Several CPAs have written about this same problem. It appeared that in late 2014, Microsoft discontinued my favorite stock price quote tool—the MSN MoneyCentral Stock Query. However, as of February 2015, this stock quote query functionality can be restored by creating a new query, as follows.

1. Launch Microsoft Notepad by selecting Start, Programs (or All Programs), Windows Accessories (or Accessories), Notepad. Enter the following information exactly as pictured below (the required text is repeated below the image):


1["QUOTE","Enter stock, fund or other MSN MoneyCentral Investor symbols separated by commas."]

2. Save the Notepad file as MSN MoneyCentral Stock Quotes 2015.IQY into the My Data Sources folder as pictured below.


The My Data Sources folder is in your Documents (or My Documents) folder, which may be hidden by default. If necessary, you can unhide your My Data Sources folder as follows: Launch File Explorer, navigate to the Documents folder icon, right-click the Documents (or My Documents) folder icon, select Properties, and on the General tab, uncheck the box labeled Hidden, as circled below.


3. To use this new query tool, from Excel’s Data tab, select Get External Data, Existing Connections, and then scroll to and launch the new stock price query tool you just created labeled MSN MoneyCentral Stock Quotes 2015. In the resulting Import Data dialog box, click OK. In the resulting Enter Parameter Value dialog box, as pictured below, enter the stock tickers you want to query (separated by commas with no spaces after the commas) in the Enter stock, fund or other MSN MoneyCentral Investor symbols separated by commas text box, check the box labeled Use this value/reference for future refreshes, and then click OK.


4. This action will return current stock price and related information for each stock ticker symbol you entered in step 3.


Thereafter, these query results will refresh instantly whenever you press the Data tab’s Refresh button. Of course, your resulting queried stock quotes could then be referenced to an Excel-based portfolio, an example of which is pictured below. This example can be downloaded at  


J. Carlton Collins
is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2013, 2010, and 2007 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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