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Old 12-21-2010, 05:37 PM   #21
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I've been using Quicken Premier and its predecessors for 20 years. Its a bit of a hassle to set up but once its done, everything is automatic. I track my investment accounts, bank account, and primary credit account with automatic downloads every week or so. It gives me the asset allocation view that you're looking for.

I didn't use to track bank and credit card accounts but found the couple of years of data before retirement very handy when I put together my retirement budget and made the decision that I could afford to FIRE. Now I'm using it to make sure that my forecasts were right.

I also use Morningstar and Vanguard's portfolio manager. Frankly, I'm finding that Morningstar's portfolio manager is redundant and I may cancel my premier membership. Between Quicken and Vanguard's portfolio manager, I'm getting all the information that even a dedicated data hound needs.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
If you have an account with Vanguard they have a "My Portfolio" tool that also allows you to input non-Vanguard assets. This software will keep track of your investments and also provide asset allocation information. Simple, easy to set-up, requires little maintenance, and the price is right - free.

Ditto at Schwab.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:18 PM   #23
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Well, I think you have plenty of suggestions re:software tracking tools. I just want to suggest doing backups! Simple to do a CD/DVD burn onto disk, buy (if you don't have one already) and store on an external hard drive (they're very cheap now) and/or using an online backup facility, I've used Norton online since it was free and included w/my antivirus security package.
+1

Every disk will eventually fail if you use it long enough. The problem is that an early failure can be catastrophic if you don't have a backup. Considering the hours that you have invested in your data, and the fact that you may not be able to recreate the data (could I recreate my expense data from 1996 to present? Probably not. May be able to go back three or four months at most, but that misses some significant stuff). External storage is pretty cheap these days. A good strategy would be to have two external drives and periodically alternate between the two -- weekly or monthly and keep one offsite at a friend, relative, or neighbor's house. I use Acronis True Image backup software. There are other good ones.

And every now and then I hear of someone losing all their digital photos.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:25 PM   #24
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Yikes...all the drama required to backup the backup....doesn't anybody do hard copies anymore?
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:06 AM   #25
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The OP's post suggests they have a computer with a web browser and an internet connection.

Try using the Morningstar Portfolio Manager and X-ray tools as described in the Asset allocation tutorial? They are all free to use.
I use the Morningstar Portfolio Manager for tracking with real data and also for modelling "what-if" portfolios for projections of AAs I may want to migrate to in the future.
I am a Preferred Subscriber, renewing on a 3 year basis. The low monthly cost (approx $12/month based on my renewal cost 3 years ago) and freedom from having to buy/install/update COTS shrink wrap financial tracking software is my justification for the subscription cost. YMMV on this.
I have considered cancelling the subscription. But if it ain't broken....
Periodic data entry requirements: All I have or do to update the data is log on, Modify the portfolio's ticker symbols or share counts, and presto....instant update. It takes me less than 10 minutes.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:10 AM   #26
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The low monthly cost (approx $12/month based on my renewal cost 3 years ago) and freedom from having to buy/install/update COTS shrink wrap financial tracking software is my justification for the subscription cost.
You pay $360 for this? ...every three years? What kind of ROI do you get?
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:24 AM   #27
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I like to use a fairly simple excel spreadsheet that has all my accounts in one spot. Unlike the fancier tools, it is transparent (no need to worry about how MoneyQuickenWhatever categorizes the beaver cheese futures position) and I can customize it any way I like.

Having said that, OP, you may want to consider finding a fee-only planner who can help keep tabs on your portfolio.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:54 AM   #28
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Yikes...all the drama required to backup the backup....doesn't anybody do hard copies anymore?
Well, sort of.
Besides the external hard drive, I do an annual backup to CD. I probably should do it more often. The thought of printing and then re-keying all that information is too daunting to even consider.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #29
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I'm with Brewer on this. A software package is not going to help you if you don't have the desire (discipline, whatever) to manage your portfolio and make the necessary changes to lifestyle from time to time. Better to spend some money on a trusted adviser than to wake up one day to find that only drastic measures will save your retirement. All the best with whatever you decide.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:00 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
If you have an account with Vanguard they have a "My Portfolio" tool that also allows you to input non-Vanguard assets. This software will keep track of your investments and also provide asset allocation information. Simple, easy to set-up, requires little maintenance, and the price is right - free.
The suggestion from REWahoo is the path I intend to follow. Starting an account at Vanguard has been on my mind for some time. Thanks again for all the suggestions from everyone. Greatly appreciate the help.
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