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Tracking investments
Old 07-25-2006, 01:25 PM   #1
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Tracking investments

My old online brokerage firm (recently bought by E-Trade) used to provide what they called a "cost basis" on their statements. This gave you a rollup per stock of how much money (include the reinvestment of dividends) had been invested in each particular stock. I found this quite helpful in evaluating each stock's position. Is this something that others use regularly when reviewing a stock's position?

ETrade does not provide this information on their statements and my rep there tells me it's not available on the website either (had looked myself first to no avail). Am I the only one that finds that information valuable? I was told to manually add all the dividends up myself from each statement to get the number.

How do others go about evaluating a LTBH stock wherein you are regularly adding to your position through purchase and drips?

Thanks
Rosalita
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 07-26-2006, 04:29 AM   #2
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Re: Tracking investments

Hi Rosalita.. Schwab does this automatically for re-invested dividends, but not for dividends paid out! I have stocks set up both ways, so while it is tempting to ponder the numbers they display, they are essentially worthless for comparison. I have also not bothered to input all my past history into their site for some of the stocks I had before putting everything into Schwab.

Instead I use Quicken. I look at the IRR figures for overall yield. There are some buggy aspects when dealing with mergers and stock splits so I would not trust Quicken's numbers 100% for tax reporting of gains (see Quicken forums for discussions of this) but it gives a good general idea. I can download from Schwab to Quicken so keeping track is easy. You will have to expend some effort in entering the history but I got over (most) of that a few years back.

Other people use MSMoney, which I believe is similar. I am stuck with Quicken for Mac (ONLY bad thing about owning a Mac* , though the product was free with my computer). Neither software seems perfect but until something better comes along they are OK. It takes some w*rk to set up, less to maintain, but is the only way you will really be able to track your individual stocks, unless you want to set up your own Excel worksheets, which some people here do. Not a bad idea if you don't want to shell out for Quicken/Money and don't need/want their checkbook mgmt. aspect.

Check to see if your current brokerage allows for downloads to MSMoney or Quicken (if a Mac user beware as many institutions support the PC version but not the Mac, since Intuit apparently makes them pay for the privilege of offering the service). If they don't then you lose the benefit of not having to enter your future transactions and you might as well go with a spreadsheet.
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 07-26-2006, 04:32 PM   #3
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Re: Tracking investments

Rosalita: I am an independent financial advisor and familiar with the company that bought Brown & Co.* *You can get the cost basis on your portfolio by clicking on the "Accounts" tab, then click on your account, and one of the columns you should see is "Price Paid".* That is your cost basis for each individual security you own.* Click on the "Gains & Loses" tab to get info on things you have bought and already sold.
If you have any trouble, feel free to email me directly.
Again, I'm an independent financial advisor specializing in investing during retirement and not affiliated with the company you are doing business with.
Good Luck* *
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 07-26-2006, 04:59 PM   #4
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Re: Tracking investments

Thanks so much for the info. I have got everything currently input into a spreadsheet (excel) - past 5 years of stock history and I find that great, particularling being able to create on the fly charts of the various data points to graphically view trending.

That said, I was recently given a copy of MSMoney as a gift and am hoping to spend part of this weekend loading in the information. I'm hoping that I can import the data directly from excel into Money (same software company ....?). Has anyone had any experience in doing this?

If push comes to shove I can manually enter the data I guess, however, that's a great tip to see if I can download the data from the brokerage company - that would be very cool. I'll look into it.

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Re: Tracking investments
Old 07-27-2006, 04:04 AM   #5
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Re: Tracking investments

Rosalita, great! Sounds like you've already made a lot of headway! Can't offer advice on the M$ transfer but good luck with that. I know that Schwab at the time allowed for downloading of up to 2 years' worth of transactions. Earlier than that and you have to enter manually.. but it's great for maintenance.
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 07-27-2006, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Tracking investments

I'm not a Microsoft Money expert, but before you comit
yourself to using Money for tracking everything, figure out
how you will EXPORT the data once you want to use
something else.

Personally, I'm using an older Quicken version. Unfortunately,
I have found that while Quicken will let me easily import data
into Quicken, it does not seem to give me as many good ways
to export the data out of Quicken.

If someone knows how to export an entire register
of transactions, please let me know. I would also love
to export just my stock holdings information, with associated
lot information (size, acquisition dates, and cost basis).
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 07-27-2006, 06:12 PM   #7
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Re: Tracking investments

Bamsphd - I had the same problem. I had been using Quicken (gosh must have been out in the mid-to late 90's) and hadn't bothered upgrading as I didn't need any of the new features, and couldn't export any of the data. I work in the IT industry and consulted with a few IT expert colleagues to see what they could do, but unfortunately the format that we could export the data in, wasn't importable (or recognized for that matter) by excel/Money. Hopefully someone here might have a solution for you. Anyway, that's what prompted me to use excel for tracking my stock.

And thanks for reminding me of the original debacle that had me using Excel! I'll check out the importing of data on Money before I do anything.
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 07-28-2006, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: Tracking investments

Rosalita, are you sure it's not available at etrade? On the website click on your portfolio, and the "gains and losses" one of the top tabs. It should all be there (even the stuff moved over from brownco, if that was your old firm). My information didn't transfer immediately, but it's all there now.
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 07-28-2006, 08:23 PM   #9
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Re: Tracking investments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosalita
How do others go about evaluating a LTBH stock wherein you are regularly adding to your position through purchase and drips?
I don't buy those pesky stocks that go down in price anymore because just the pain of entering transactions (or downloading transactions) has saved me time and money.* I have much fewer transactions than ever before just to avoid having to enter them into MSMoney.
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 08-02-2006, 09:59 AM   #10
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Re: Tracking investments

Rosalita: I agree with bongo2 who said gains & losses should be available on eTrade.* In fact, they are.* I have accounts there and you can get the info without complex downloads or using other programs.* See my post from July 26th (joby133).
Feel free to email me directly and I'll be glad to walk you through it.
All the best,
Joby
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 08-02-2006, 10:54 AM   #11
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Re: Tracking investments

I am not sure that any brokerage will give you the kind of ROI or IRR figures that you need to assess your holdings clearly. They WILL tell you 'gains' (i.e., PRICE gains and PRICE losses). They won't tell you how you are doing once dividend payouts are in the picture.

That's a BIG oversight, IMHO. Some of my big 'losers', even going negative according to Schwab, are doing fine at 8-9%/annum once you factor in dividends, which they don't.

I'm happy to have someone prove me wrong if that type of analysis is truely available on eTrade. Until then I would rely on Quicken or Excel.
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Re: Tracking investments
Old 08-02-2006, 10:11 PM   #12
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Re: Tracking investments

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
I'm happy to have someone prove me wrong if that type of analysis is truely available on eTrade. Until then I would rely on Quicken or Excel.
I have never seen that from the 3 brokerages I've dealt with in Canada -- just like the major indices (DJ30, S&P500, etc) do not include dividends. I rely on Quicken to give me 'all in' returns.
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