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What is Your Method of Tracking Your Portfolio(s)?
Old 10-23-2008, 12:49 AM   #1
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What is Your Method of Tracking Your Portfolio(s)?

I've always been one of these who choose the funds, put in the money, and just let the market do its thing. I know I'm supposed to review once a year at least, but I don't really. Sometimes I don't even look at my statements, but most of the time, I will at least look at the balance and the variance from the previous month. I just turned 42. Things are a little different compared to when I was 22 and first started saving for my retirement!

Can you share your method of what you do? How often? Other great ideas? My method now is to call the fund companies' reps and take their recommendations.

On top of that, is there a specific website you go to, to track your investments or to look up prices that would save previous info?
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:18 AM   #2
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I keep my portfolio in Quicken and every Friday I update the prices. I then have a spreadsheet I created in Excel which manages my asset allocation targets. Generally once a month, I update that to see whether I am still on target.
Quicken will give you a variety of reports about allocation, performance, etc though they continue to remain weak on their asset allocation categories (which is why I use the excel spreadsheet).
Good luck
Larry
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:42 AM   #3
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Since knowing your asset allocation is one of the most important aspects of investing, I keep track of my portfolio using the free Morningstar portfolio manager which has one of the best asset allocation tools available anywhere. For more info on that see:
Asset allocation tutorial? which is one of the most viewed threads on this forum.

I also use MSMoney and the Vanguard portfolio watch tool.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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I keep every investment listed on my Excel spreadsheet. I update it on a regular basis which only takes a few minutes since it normally just involves entering the closing price per share for each fund.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:33 AM   #5
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I don't put a lot of effort into it. I just use the portfolio analysis feature at Fidelity. Gives me all the info I need. I don't need a lot of detail to tell me that my portfolio sucks.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:35 AM   #6
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Yodlee.com is my choice these days. I have also used the Vanguard tools including outside investments which update share prices daily. Eventually, I transfer the values to a google spreadsheet so I can play with the numbers, AA, predictions, etc.

I check it irregularly, but in recent weeks I've been fretting more and checking it a couple times a week. Bad idea, but hard to resist.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:39 AM   #7
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I have also used the Vanguard tools including outside investments which update share prices daily.
This does the job for me as well. Easy to set up and low maintenance.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:27 AM   #8
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I have a dynamic excel spread sheet that tracts - purchase price, # shares purchased and interest/dividends - put in current share price and it calculates the current value and variances.
I haven't updated the share prices since mid Sept.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:39 AM   #9
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I keep every investment listed on my Excel spreadsheet. I update it on a regular basis which only takes a few minutes since it normally just involves entering the closing price per share for each fund.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
I have a dynamic excel spread sheet that tracts - purchase price, # shares purchased and interest/dividends - put in current share price and it calculates the current value and variances.
I haven't updated the share prices since mid Sept.
You can automatically import these prices from the net, no need to type.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:45 AM   #10
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You can automatically import these prices from the net, no need to type.
I have them listed on a Yahoo page.
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:45 AM   #11
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I like Vanguard "Portfolio Watch." I especially like the feature that allows me to enter my account numbers for outside accounts and updates the balances for my bank and credit union. In this way, when I log on to Vanguard I know instantly the value of my portfolio.

Portfolio Watch also gives me the percentage of money that I have invested in stocks, bonds and cash. It also gives the percentage of investments in foreign stocks, large caps, mid caps, small caps and sectors. Additionally, it lets me know the % of money that is going to fund expenses.

Further, I like the link that takes me to "Financial Engines" that automatically allows this company to take a look at my investments to see if I have enough money to live on for the rest of my life. This is a good way to validate their projections with that of FireCalc.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:19 AM   #12
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You can automatically import these prices from the net, no need to type.
I haven't figured out how to automatically import daily prices to my spreadsheet, but I just copy and paste the entire list into a section of my spreadsheet below the investment list and the investments about reference the updated market price cells and instantly update, so it's probably just as fast.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:22 AM   #13
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I have them listed on a Yahoo page.
That's where I have my list as well.

I just copy and paste the list to a designated area below my investment section and it updates my total end of day value all at once.

If I want to see how each of my funds did individually, I manually type in the amounts without using the cut and paste technique.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:28 AM   #14
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M* preferred subscription. i took the multi-year subscription option and deduct a small portion of the cost on federal taxes as an investment expense.
i use it for my periodic share updates (reinvesting all) and also to model some "what if" portfolios using my real one as the base. i enter a single share for funds i want to watch or modify shares held as if i did an exchange from one fund to another. then i watch that modelled portfolio for 6 months to a year.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:31 AM   #15
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Target Retirement 2015, I look it up different places from time to time.

Also have it set up to auto deduct once a year at my Vanguard website where my 'few good stocks' are in Vanguard brokerage acct. My hormone medicine.

heh heh heh -
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:00 AM   #16
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I haven't figured out how to automatically import daily prices to my spreadsheet, but I just copy and paste the entire list into a section of my spreadsheet below the investment list and the investments about reference the updated market price cells and instantly update, so it's probably just as fast.

Look here
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:35 AM   #17
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I'm pretty hands off. I hold a Vanguard Target Retirement fund as the core of my retirement savings, and then a few other investments to tweak it a little to get the asset allocation I want overall.

Since the target fund rebalances itself, I haven't done much rebalancing yet (just redirected new contributions). I generally rebalance the non-target stuff once a year.

The only thing I do on a regular basis is log in to Vanguard and confirm that my overall asset allocation is OK. Lately, I've been trying not to look at the balance numbers ...
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:55 AM   #18
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I used the KISS approach. The only thing I have spreadsheeted are my DRIP funds. I'll be the first to admit I don't even worry about portfolio allocation. I'll probably be crucified for this, but I do things differently from most on this board and will also do things based on our needs rather than that of the masses. I hold no bonds and never will. I couldn't even begin to tell you the breakdown between International and Domestic holdings, however the difficulty for us is not really knowing whether domestic for us is Australia to the US. I also hold 50% cash. I only know this because I keep a spreadsheet which I update every month that contains the balances of my accounts, e.g. Vanguard, 401k. Our 401ks are in Target Retirement Funds so I leave it up to Fidelity to do the record keeping and make sure things are balanced.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:08 PM   #19
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I have 3 methods

1) I can login to Fidelity, T Rowe Price or my company's web site and the front page of each tells me the rate of return for the whole portfolio ytd.

2) I have an excel spreadsheet I edit once per year, around Dec 31 or Jan 1. I plug in the account values and the account deposits and it calculates rates of return for each account and whole portfolio.

3) I have a yahoo page with all my funds listed. I update this 2-3 times per year, but the yahoo portfolio does not update for dividends and I have 1 fund which pays monthly dividends and interest, and another which does it once per quarter, so I know the yahoo page tells me daily performance more than anything else.

I think it is important to keep track.
I have a similar asset allocation in every account (wife's 401k, wife's Roth, wife's rollover, my 401k, my Roth, and my rollover). That allocation is 45% large cap; 15% mid cap; 15% small cap; 15% foreign large and 10% foreign small and emerging markets.

In each account that allocation has lost 40% +/- 2%. Yet when you look at the funds inside the portfolio, none of them has a ytd loss of more than 30%. This means the timing of my deposits suggested I bought high in mid year. At years end I would expect ytd performance to improve back to something closer to the % the funds lost.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:44 PM   #20
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I keep my portfolio in Quicken and every Friday I update the prices. I then have a spreadsheet I created in Excel which manages my asset allocation targets. Generally once a month, I update that to see whether I am still on target.
This is what I do, updated bi-weekly when I get paid
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