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M* Tracking vs Google
Old 10-22-2018, 09:35 AM   #1
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M* Tracking vs Google

FWIW
This is the classic "The man with one watch always knows what time it is; the man with two watches is never sure."

I track my portfolio using both Google Finance (uploaded to Excel) and M* Portfolio Tracker. Rarely do I compare the two and even more rarely do I compare them to where the money actually resides: TR Price.

So, this morning for some reason I discovered that my M* and Google weren't lining up on my YTD performance.

After comparing to TR Price, (who would obviously be correct) I found that M* was saying my YTD performance was .35% when in fact Price and Google said it was 3.88%. Price and Google agreed to the decimal.

On M*, the numbers added up correctly but the YTD percentages for each fund were waaay off.

No big point here, just an observation and a caveat for those who track such things. YMMV.
[Edit] After more poking around I found that Google might be only updating YTD info once a month while M* does it daily. At TR Price I hadn't hit "refresh", so....moot post.
#nevermind.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:45 PM   #2
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Synchronicity. I just happened to be looking at my tracking Googlesheet about 10 minutes ago and thought my YTD gain figures seemed way high compared to what I thought it should be and in comparison to my total portfolio today vs the beginning of the year. I looked at YTD performance at Morningstar and it too looked way to high. Then I looked down at trailing return on a daily basis and bingo - that caught the recent plummet.

Google's Performance YTD function is calculated to either the last quarter or month (they happen to be the same on Morningstar right now).
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:22 PM   #3
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Synchronicity. I just happened to be looking at my tracking Googlesheet about 10 minutes ago and thought my YTD gain figures seemed way high compared to what I thought it should be and in comparison to my total portfolio today vs the beginning of the year. I looked at YTD performance at Morningstar and it too looked way to high. Then I looked down at trailing return on a daily basis and bingo - that caught the recent plummet.

Google's Performance YTD function is calculated to either the last quarter or month (they happen to be the same on Morningstar right now).
Great minds run in the same channel!

But from what I can see, M* updates nightly on the YTD as it did align with my TR Price (once I refreshed TRP to 10/19's numbers).
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Old 10-22-2018, 03:35 PM   #4
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We may be looking at different things. Google's daily COB ticker price figures are fine and match what I expect and want. I assume M*'s are too but I never look. What Google is behind on is YTD gain ("returnytd"). It looks like it tracks what M* reports as quarterly or monthly YDT gain (since they are same right now I don't know which one Google Finance uses for the "returnytd" function). M* has the up to date figure if you click on "daily."
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:01 PM   #5
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We may be looking at different things. Google's daily COB ticker price figures are fine and match what I expect and want. I assume M*'s are too but I never look. What Google is behind on is YTD gain ("returnytd"). It looks like it tracks what M* reports as quarterly or monthly YDT gain (since they are same right now I don't know which one Google Finance uses for the "returnytd" function). M* has the up to date figure if you click on "daily."
Yes, this is exactly what I've just discovered. Seems that Google updates the YTD monthly or quarterly and M* does it nightly. The COB numbers are accurate each night.
I was only thrown off by the Google YTD number which completely messed me up.
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M* Tracking vs Google
Old 10-22-2018, 04:45 PM   #6
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M* Tracking vs Google

I noticed this recently too while using Vanguard’s mobile app to look at YTD numbers. If you look at them from the “top-level” menu that gives an array of fund choices broken down by asset class, you see the YTD at quarter end (and dated so). But if you go to individual funds and scroll to the “Performance” section, you can see more up-to-date results.

Maybe it’s caused by what Vanguard’s feed to Google Finance (and the GoogleFinance function in Sheets) is? I preferred the more timely behavior previously.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:48 PM   #7
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I usually update my investments in the M* portfolio in Jan and find that their portfolio YTD performance, which assumes reinvested dividends, is pretty close.

I’m not sure google does total return.

I use Quicken reports and a spreadsheet to do my own portfolio tracking.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by marko View Post

I track my portfolio using both Google Finance (uploaded to Excel) and M* Portfolio Tracker.
I do the exact same thing. They don't match exactly, but are generally within .2% of each other in total dollars.

I don't use google to compute total return.
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:42 PM   #9
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My Vanguard statement return calculation didn't seem to handle an individual stock buyout correctly; my sheet was tracking the monthly percent return number precisely for a couple of years, but diverged after the buyout. I double checked my cash flows and it balanced to the penny. So I guess I'm just saying the institutional calc might not always be perfect either.
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:38 AM   #10
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OP here.
So what I've learned from this is that Google (and Yahoo) updates prices every night but only updates YTD performance every month or quarter or every so often.

M* updates everything every night. TRP does as well (as long as you hit the 'refresh' button)

Not a big deal to those who only check their standings every once in a while. But those like me who might check it often and upload the info to a spreadsheet and calculate from there, that YTD delta can be a killer especially after the past few weeks!

Might not be news to others but:
The other thing I just learned is that TR Price (and perhaps others) provides a "Personal Rate of Return" which calculates your 'return' but includes gains, losses, as well as withdrawals. I found that helpful in that I can see my growth profile even after I've taken money out.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:17 AM   #11
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OP here.
So what I've learned from this is that Google (and Yahoo) updates prices every night but only updates YTD performance every month or quarter or every so often.

M* updates everything every night. TRP does as well (as long as you hit the 'refresh' button)

Not a big deal to those who only check their standings every once in a while. But those like me who might check it often and upload the info to a spreadsheet and calculate from there, that YTD delta can be a killer especially after the past few weeks!

Might not be news to others but:
The other thing I just learned is that TR Price (and perhaps others) provides a "Personal Rate of Return" which calculates your 'return' but includes gains, losses, as well as withdrawals. I found that helpful in that I can see my growth profile even after I've taken money out.

I built a google sheet but I just do the math in the sheet.


First I get the current Price in one column =currentprice, 'GOOG' , then I get the price as of Dec31 of last year. Then, I do the math to figure out my YTD for each fund. NOTE Index funds don't update until the next morning. So basically I login before work, and I have a real time # of my current performance YTD. I capture that # and keep a running log of each day's change. Allows me to understand when I personally have a correction, vs say the S&P correcting.



I can easily see I have reverted to Early July's returns. 2 steps forwards, one step back.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:48 AM   #12
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I built a google sheet but I just do the math in the sheet.


First I get the current Price in one column =currentprice, 'GOOG' , then I get the price as of Dec31 of last year. Then, I do the math to figure out my YTD for each fund.
Oh, good idea; I've been doing the calculation using the GF's reported YTD. Is there an easy way to get the Dec 31 prices? Or do you just look them up manually and reenter them each year?
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgtest View Post
I built a google sheet but I just do the math in the sheet.


First I get the current Price in one column =currentprice, 'GOOG' , then I get the price as of Dec31 of last year. Then, I do the math to figure out my YTD for each fund.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
Oh, good idea; I've been doing the calculation using the GF's reported YTD. Is there an easy way to get the Dec 31 prices? Or do you just look them up manually and reenter them each year?
Pulling the difference in prices would not get the same amount as YTD which is total gain including dividends, correct?
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:22 AM   #14
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That includes reinvested dividends. For dividends I login and manually add them up. I am sure there is a way to do the math if you know the price on thr ex dividend date though.
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:24 AM   #15
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I only manually login to add them all up because I like to know ehat % of my total portfolio earnings were just dividends. I track that number yearly and add them up quarterly. But google sheets returns the current price and historic price that includes dividends.
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Old 10-24-2018, 11:24 AM   #16
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Oh, good idea; I've been doing the calculation using the GF's reported YTD. Is there an easy way to get the Dec 31 prices? Or do you just look them up manually and reenter them each year?
It's probably simpler to look up, and type in the result. If you use a function, it may not update, and cause other errors.
=index(GOOGLEFINANCE("APPL", "open", DATE(2018,1,2)),2,2)
That works for stocks and ETFs, but not mutual funds. If you have time and interest to troubleshoot, be my guest. I've solved things when they get broken, but will probably give up a lot of that work in the future.
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Old 10-24-2018, 11:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
OP here.
So what I've learned from this is that Google (and Yahoo) updates prices every night but only updates YTD performance every month or quarter or every so often.

M* updates everything every night. TRP does as well (as long as you hit the 'refresh' button)

Not a big deal to those who only check their standings every once in a while. But those like me who might check it often and upload the info to a spreadsheet and calculate from there, that YTD delta can be a killer especially after the past few weeks!

Might not be news to others but:
The other thing I just learned is that TR Price (and perhaps others) provides a "Personal Rate of Return" which calculates your 'return' but includes gains, losses, as well as withdrawals. I found that helpful in that I can see my growth profile even after I've taken money out.
Right - M* updates their total return figures every night.
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Old 10-24-2018, 02:16 PM   #18
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Right - M* updates their total return figures every night.
...and everything else seems like a whole lot of work. As long as I know what I'm looking at, I'm fine.

What threw me was why Google and M* didn't line up on YTD. Now that I know, I can deal with it.
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