The Simplest Methods to Monitor Investments

The Simplest Methods to Monitor Investments

Ten years ago, Microsoft Money was the finest alternative for the average investor who wanted to keep track of investments. It made it possible for regular individuals to keep tabs on their various investments, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, cash, and CDs.

Microsoft Money could be used to track finances for a complete family or just one person’s 401(k) or Roth IRA. It took care of dividend reinvestment programs, computed tax basis for each position, and drew in real-time stock quotes from the internet.

In the years since Microsoft’s announcement that it would no longer support the program, a number of viable replacements have emerged, including both web-based and locally installed applications.

If you want to keep tabs on your investments, here are some of the most common methods available.

Online Portfolio Tracking

If you have an internet connection, you can access your online account with any of the following service providers.

Client Portals: High-net-worth investors typically work one-on-one with a financial advisor or an asset management firm. They typically provide clients with web portals that provide them access to information about all of their accounts, including those “held away” at other companies. The fees you pay for investment advice typically include access to such portals, which are major time-savers.
One of the most widely used investment tracking tools is Personal Capital, which caters to investors who aren’t working with a conventional Registered Investment Advisor. It presently manages over $800 billion in assets for more than 12 million customers.1 Income, expenditure, and investment portfolios may all be shown with the help of this SaaS application. It may examine your holdings across accounts and institutions to give you a sense of your genuine exposure to certain firms, and it can compare your performance to your preferred stock market index. It examines the specifics of your 401(k) to clarify the mutual fund expense ratio associated with your retirement savings.
Another widely used platform for keeping tabs on investments is, which lets you input data from multiple accounts at different financial institutions and view it all in one place. You can compare your individual accounts to benchmarks like the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average, as well as set budgets, monitor your spending, and keep tabs on your investing fees. subscribers have access to Morningstar’s ratings on stocks and mutual funds and may also create online portfolios. The X-Ray function that it offers is unique among similar products. Enter the mutual funds you own, and this X-Ray tool will reveal your true portfolio holdings by revealing the individual equities that make up each fund. If you have invested $1,000,000 in the Vanguard S&P 500 index fund across your 401(k), Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, and brokerage account, for instance, the report will detail the exact amounts of stock you possess in each of those accounts. This is because you are purchasing equities individually through a pooled structure, and not the index itself.
Using Spreadsheets to Monitor Your Investments
Custom spreadsheets are a great alternative for people who desire a higher degree of autonomy in monitoring their investments. Usually, you can pick between two main options when faced with this problem.

Microsoft Excel: Although its ability to import real-time stock quotes is inadequate for the average investor, Microsoft Excel can be used to track the cost basis for taxes on individual lots, as well as calculate aggregate dividend income or map it out on a dividend schedule, including warning you about an ex-dividend date.
Google Spreadsheets: While not as robust as Excel, Google’s free online spreadsheet tool makes it simpler to have documents automatically update with data gathered from public finance websites like Yahoo. Plus, as an online service, your Google spreadsheets are accessible from any location with an internet connection.
Investment Monitoring Software
The installation of software on a local system is still preferred by many investors. The web versions of several apps lack features that are present in the desktop versions. As a rule, you have a few choices.

The typical individual investor will find that their needs are met by Quicken’s investing edition, which can be purchased for a reasonable price.

QuickBooks: Accountants and other experienced investors familiar with GAAP will appreciate the familiarity of utilizing a tried-and-true accounting application to keep track of their investments. Some people utilize both Excel and QuickBooks Pro to keep track of their estate’s finances. QuickBooks Online, an online accounting service developed by Intuit and offered at a variety of price points and feature sets, is the company’s current focus.

The closest thing that retail investors have to professional investment tracking software is a tool called Fund Manager. It’s extremely potent for bond investors, whether in municipal or corporate debt. Accrued interest, the next coupon date, and yield to maturity are all monitored.

Choose the Method That Serves You Best

The greatest investment tracking software is the one you really use. If you don’t utilize the program or find it inconvenient, it doesn’t matter how good the application is.

Questions and Answers (FAQs)

Can you explain the process of constructing a financial portfolio?

Opening a brokerage account and funding it is the first step in constructing an investing portfolio. There are a number of options for investing such monies. A core-and-satellite strategy, for instance, might consist of making a major investment in a large-cap equities fund and then supplementing it with many smaller, more specialized investments.

Exactly what role does risk management play in a diversified portfolio?

Picking winning stocks is a challenging endeavor. Professional money managers, despite their best efforts, often fail to outperform the market. The odds that at least one of your investments will do well are increased when you spread them out. By providing a single product with exposure to hundreds (or even thousands) of different investments, broad index funds streamline the diversification process.

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