Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
The act or practice of buying and selling securities on a portfolio immediately before a report is due in order to make the portfolio look more profitable or otherwise healthier than it has been. For example, the portfolio manager may sell stocks that have performed poorly and buy those that have performed well. Portfolios receive window dressing in order to make them look more attractive to prospective investors, which in turn makes the portfolio manager look more successful. The practice is also called dressing up a portfolio or portfolio dressing. See also: Manager Universe (benchmark).
The addition and deletion of securities by an institutional investor before a financial reporting period in order to make the portfolio appear acceptable to investors. Typically, portfolio dressing involves the sale of big losers and the addition of big gainers to convey the impression that the portfolio manager is competent. Also called dressing up a portfolio.