Do you need a simple method for tracking the performance of stocks, mutual funds, or other investments? Setting up a spreadsheet involves time and effort to keep track of everything and remember to update figures. Instead, consider the different online and software options for maintaining your growing portfolio.
Try the popular Mint.com website for tracking assets. This free site allows you to enter your account information from any institution and see all activity combined on a single screen. Set budgets, see how much you’re spending by category, or track paid investment fees. You can also compare your accounts to benchmarks such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index or the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Microsoft is not only a familiar name, but also a well-trusted one. Microsoft Money lets you stay on top of your investment portfolio with a free software program.
When you use Microsoft Money, you’ll be directed to MSN Money. Click the tab labeled Portfolio Manager and follow the prompts for inputting your information. Given the sensitivity of information, you’ll also receive the support of Microsoft’s security tools. For extra protection, add a cloud access security broker (CASB), which can help you keep sensitive investment data secure when storing information in cloud applications like Office 365.
A free online spreadsheet program from Google can allow you to track your stocks and other funds. The data automatically updates with information from Yahoo and other public finance sites. Since the account is internet-based, you can log in from anywhere in the world to see your most recent reports.
Another free site, Personal Capital helps track investments when you’re not working with a Registered Investment Advisor.
More than 1 million people use Personal Capital’s charts and graphs for viewing income, spending, and holdings. This site also offers comparisons on your preferred stock market index. You can also view your 401(k) reports to understand the mutual fund expense ratio payout on your retirement package.
Alternatives to Web-Based Software
Some investors prefer loading software on their own computers rather than logging into a website. Quicken offers an investment version that meets the needs of retail investors managing only their personal accounts.
If you’re an accountant or an investor comfortable with generally accepted accounting principles, using QuickBooks for managing investments through standard accounting software is an option. However, a QuickBooks online option exists for those who want a web-based program with familiar software.
The software program Fund Manager is another choice. According to users, it’s the closest package to professional investment tracking for retail investors. This software works especially well if you invest in municipal bonds or corporate bonds. The program tracks interest accrued, the next coupon date, and yield to maturity.
Selecting the correct investment program is a personal preference. Some investors prefer software installed on their home computers, while others are more comfortable with a web-based provider. Either way, keeping track of your investments does not have to mean paying for managers or purchasing costly software.