A few months ago Google made the unfortunate decision to end their Google Finance portfolio tracker. This was the main way I checked my stocks and the first website I visited every weekday after the markets open at 9:30. They replaced with… something. It’s terrible. Now I can only view 6 of my stocks at a time and only very limited information about them.
Goodbye Google Finance.
Now, I needed to find a replacement portfolio tracker. I reached out to the masses on Twitter. One person suggested using Google Spreadsheets. I love spreadsheets. (Yes, I’m weird. I know.) However, the value of a portfolio tracker is that you get updated data. It’s not helpful if I have to manually put in the price of Vanguard’s Total Market Index (VTI) each day. After a little research, it seems that Google Spreadsheets supports all kinds of (mostly) real time stock data. Yes, the quotes may be delayed 20 minutes, but for my purposes, that isn’t that big of deal.
I decided to “nerd out” and create my own portfolio tracker. Better yet, I can share it with you! Go to this link and select the File –> Make a Copy. Then edit it to suit yourself. You should only have to put your own stock tickers and cost basis in there. You also might want to look up the price of the stock from Jan 1, 2016 if you want to make use of the 2016 YTD column. Unfortunately, I had some difficulty getting Google to import historical price quotes automatically.
I’ve found this tool really helpful. I’ve consolidated information from three brokerage accounts so now I can see everything at once.
However, it’s not perfect. It’s got three disadvantages from what I had before with Google Finance.
- No stock charts – It was always great to click in and use Google’s great financial charts. Now, I have to go elsewhere for that information.
- No stock news – Whenever a stock moved 5% or more, I could fairly easily look at the news and see if they released earnings or an analyst gave them an upgrade. Now, I have to do separate research in another browser tab.
- It is slow – Doing all the calculations really drags down my computer. Of course, the 50 browser tabs that I already have open don’t help. And having only 4GB of memory isn’t making things better. Your experience may be better than mine. Even though it is slow, I can get most of the information very quickly and move on. It’s not something that I leave running for a long time.
The lack of stock news is kind of a killer. I’ve started using Marketwatch, and it’s okay, but not great. What do you use to track your stock portfolio and where do you get your stock news? Let me know in the comments.
I use Yahoo Finance and Personal Capital. Mostly, Yahoo Finance for casual check.
The Google spreadsheet sounds good, though. Hopefully, Yahoo Finance sticks around for a long time.
I have used MS Excel since 1999. I do the data extraction once a month (after statements have posted) when I download the PDF statement from the brokerage site. Otherwise, I just login and see what the account looks like in the main page if I want a mid-month look.
I can use LibreOffice if I want as well …
Lazy Man says
I use the brokerage statement totals in Excel for my monthly net worth reports. However, because I do hold some individual stocks for a 6-18 months at a time, I like to keep up with their performance and news about them. I don’t know what your investments look like, but if they happened to mostly index funds, I can see not tracking things very often. We have over 90% of our money in those kinds of investments, but I still like to play with the last 10%.
Also, I have a few different brokerages due to legacy stuff. I could bring them under one roof, but I don’t think USAA offers a SEP-IRA (and we’d mostly consolidate there). Also, I have TD Ameritrade since the Datek acquisition, so I kind like having my Roth at the same place for something like 2 decades now.
Do you have individual stocks? If so, do you look at the individual news with them?
I have stock (individual picks) that I track in excel. I just add a tab (worksheet) for each one. I have a few dozen tabs in my sheet that goes back to the 90’s for the various stocks I have purchased (MSFT, Apple, RedHat, Google, Facebook, Tesla, WWE, etc). It just makes the calculations longer, but nothing more complex (it is just another row in the sum). Each of these are in a “XYZ account details.xls” file, which are referenced in a “XYZ monthly account.xls” file. I care really about the monthly status of stocks and set prices which I will set at in my brokerage firm. I really don’t track day to day, just a monthly overview, and sell when I think the run is going to end.