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Tools for portfolios and...
Old 12-28-2005, 02:56 PM   #1
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Tools for portfolios and...

... investing, can anyone recomend any ?

I presently use M*premium , but isn't complete in trying to figure assest allocation. I tried using Quicken, but found it tedious lacking in downloading the right information. I don't mind paying for a program/website/optimizer/whatever that could assist in getting a good handle on ones allocations/strategy in a portfolio. I am budgeting a certian amout each year to help myself run my portfolio, but don't want to pay for something that just doesn't quite work.

I would be interested in other folks experiences with various tools they have used. I have a VG and Fido account, but if you've used them .. well you know... they like to keep the good stuff for their advisors.

Thanks, Christopher
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Re: Tools for portfolios and...
Old 12-28-2005, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: Tools for portfolios and...

Just a friedly piece of advice: optimizers can only tell you what the optimal portfolio would have been for a historical period of time. They are always wrng for future periods: its just a question of how much they are off. Acccordingly, don't get too worked up about getting your allocation perfect to the third decimal point.
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Re: Tools for portfolios and...
Old 12-28-2005, 03:11 PM   #3
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Re: Tools for portfolios and...

For investing, I use a variety of tools, to name a few: S&P, Morninstar, Schwab, Fidelity, Edgar, Quantum, Value Line -- each has bits and pieces of information that I find useful.

To keep track, Schwab does a fair job. I use a spreadsheet on my PC as well.

Over the years learned that most of all I need a written plan. Have it now. Helps to cut down on the daily noise.

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Re: Tools for portfolios and...
Old 12-28-2005, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: Tools for portfolios and...

I really like the tools at* I use the deluxe stock screener, fund screener, charting, and the portfolio manager there.* It's all free, but you do have to install the deluxe versions of the tools.* *I use MSMoney for real record keeping.

I have not found an "asset allocator" anywhere that will take your holdings and classify them.* *My broker, TDWaterhouse, has lots of research tools, including all the Morningstar stuff, but it is not at my fingertips like the moneycentral stuff is.* The Morningstar X-ray tool is severely lacking.* *TDWaterhouse will run a free portfolio review with a Morningstar tool that I can't seem to find online.* It gives you an overall Sharpe ratio for your holdings, and some other tidbits, but it ain't quite all the way as far as asset allocation goes.

I really like the S&P research tearsheets and The Outlook provided free online by TDWaterhouse. The Argus and GoldmanSachs research I don't bother to read.
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Re: Tools for portfolios and...
Old 12-28-2005, 04:32 PM   #5
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Re: Tools for portfolios and...

Originally Posted by Chris24
... investing, can anyone recomend any ?
Your workplace or 401(k) provider or fund company may offer free access to, or you can cough up $40 for a quarter's subscription.

It's extremely detailed (maybe an hour or two of data entry) but among all the websites I've used it's the only one that understands Berkshire Hathaway. It knows almost all stocks & funds if they've been around for at least a few months. Once you enter your current assets and give Financial Engines an idea of what's available (401(k) provider) and where you want to go, it'll make the suggestions.

Once you've done the data entry it's pretty easy to tinker with your assumptions on tax brackets, inflation, pensions, & asset allocations.

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