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Stock portfolio trackers
They can help you manage your investments and effectively monitor your portfolio's performance.
Looking for a better way to manage your stock portfolio? Relying on an excel spreadsheet can be a time-consuming process with lots of room for error. A dedicated stock tracking platform can save you time, help with tax reporting and give you a more accurate picture of your portfolio.
What is a portfolio tracker?
A stock portfolio tracker is a program that monitors the movements and allocation of your investments.
Investing in stocks isn’t a set-and-forget strategy. Stock prices can be volatile and are constantly shifting, and it’s important to track your stocks closely so you can make changes to your portfolio when needed. This is known as portfolio management, and it also involves keeping on top of all your tax obligations, such as reporting any realized capital gains or losses and dividend payments. Portfolio trackers can help with this.
What are the different types of stock portfolio trackers?
There are a few different strategies for managing a stock portfolio. Which one you choose will depend on the value and complexity of your portfolio, how much time you have and your budget. Some of these options include:
- Spreadsheet. If you’re new to stock trading and you only have a few holdings, you could opt to track your portfolio in a simple spreadsheet. This option is free, but it can become time-consuming and leave room for error unless you leverage new technology to help. With Google Sheets, you can utilize the Google Finance function to automatically pull real-time stock prices into your spreadsheet.
- The portfolio tracking tools offered by your broker. Your online stock trading platform will likely offer a range of basic portfolio tracking tools. The extent of tax reporting and dividend tracking, if at all, will depend on which platform you’re using.
- Professional financial planners. If you’ve got a large, complicated portfolio of stocks as well as other assets, you could opt to pay a professional financial planner to manage your portfolio for you. This option can be expensive and is more suited to high-net-worth investors.
- Portfolio tracking platforms. If you’re somewhere in between these options, a portfolio tracking platform could be a good fit. These are online platforms that work alongside your online brokerage account to track your stocks for you.
Advantages of using a stock portfolio tracker
There are a few key advantages to using a dedicated portfolio management platform instead of relying on a spreadsheet, including:
Saves time and minimizes errors
A portfolio tracking platform will help you import your trading data automatically from your online trading account instead of having to manually enter the data yourself. Plus, it will keep up-to-date with stock prices in real time in the one place, without you having to keep an eye on your stocks individually.
Presents a complete picture of your portfolio
Your online trading platform will only track the performance of the stocks you’ve bought through that broker. If you’ve bought stocks with other brokers or investment apps, or if you also own other assets or are trading different financial products, these won’t be included in your online broker’s platform. An external portfolio management tool can help you pool all your investments into one place so you can see how your portfolio is performing as a whole.
Understand the true value of your dividends
It’s nice when dividends land in your account, but you might forget about them when you’re looking at how your stocks are performing. Some tracking platforms allow you to include dividend payments and dividend reinvestment plans into your portfolio performance to give you a better idea of how your stocks have performed overall.
Helps with tax reporting
Stock tracking platforms help you meet your tax obligations by providing reports that split up all the different tax-related items from your trades, whether that’s dividends, short-term capital gains, long-term capital gains, wash sales, foreign taxes paid or fees.
Provides market research and trading ideas
Portfolio management platforms offer a suite of market reports, broker recommendations and detailed stock analyses that aren’t often available through your online broker. These platforms also give investors access to an online community of investors to share trading ideas and reports with.
Compare stock portfolio trackers
While you can use a portfolio tracker as a standalone tool, many platforms will monitor your assets and allow you to buy stocks and other investments so you can track everything automatically on one platform.
Automation can simplify and streamline the process of tracking your investments as your portfolio grows. To get started, compare the capabilities and prices of various stock tracking platforms to find one that fits with your portfolio, then connect it to your trading accounts.
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