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Track Your Portfolio Performance.

  You can watch the portfolio tracker charts live and read the post at www. georgevargheseonline.com

  It is important to calculate and track portfolio performance accurately. Most people look at few stocks or transactions and assume the performance based on that and not track the portfolio as a whole. The portfolio tools available on different sites like Yahoo finance or brokers provide a snapshot of your portfolio at any given time and does not provide the history. It also does not take into consideration how much money you added or withdrawn during a period and its effect on the numbers.

  The information Portfolio Tracker provides (which I am discussing here) is crucial in understanding if the time we spend picking our own stocks and the risk we are incurring doing so is worth or not. You can easily look at how a low cost index fund would have performed during the same period versus your own fund. It also provides information on how your portfolio performed at any given point in past. Once you have the data in this format, you can use to present it in any formats e.g. Charts.

  I have been using this simple method to track my portfolio performance since last 2 years.

Highlights:

  • The portfolio is tracked similar to Mutual Funds, which are based on units.
  • You can keep using the existing portfolio tools (from your broker or free). No need to track individual stock transactions like purchase or sale of stocks in the tracker.
  • You can decide on the frequency of updating the tracker. I update it every weekend, once every month also works. It takes only around 5 mins of your time everytime ou update it.
  • All you need is an Excel like spread sheet. I use Google Docs, as it allows me to access the data from anywhere. It has almost all the features including charts and works like Excel. Charts are similar to what you see in Google Finance.
  • Flexible and customizable according to your own needs. We could even added other investments like fixed deposit or bonds while calculating the total portfolio value. These values may not change every week, but adding it helps calculate accurate value of your portfolio.
  • Provides data on how the fund performed during any of the previous weeks or months. With current fund price, users can look for the index values and portfolio totals which corresponds to same unit price in the past.
  • Ability to add multiple investors and track their investments in the portfolio. Run your own fund!

Screenshot:  

Entry Types:

  • Status: Weekly status of portfolio
  • Purchase: New Money Addition
  • Withdraw: Withdrawal of money.

*again, there are not individual transactions of shares.

Sample portfolio tracking sheet:
View as web page: http://spreadsheets.go...
View and copy as Google spreadsheet: http://spreadsheets.go...
Download as excel sheet: Sample Portfolio Performance Tracker

  Send me an email or add a comment with email id if you have trouble accessing or getting a copy of the spreadsheet or if you have any questions regarding the post.

Steps:
1. Add total portfolio and cash position and divide it by an arbitrary number (initial unit price) like 10 or 100. This gives the number of units. At this point we have the total portfolio value, unit price and number of units or shares. What are the critical values in the spreadsheet. Later when you add or withdraw money, you are adding units or reducing the number of units and the unit price will remain same.
2. Choose an interval to update the document. e.g weekly once.
3. Update the portfolio value and cash positions along with indexes values.
4. If there is addition of new money or withdrawal of money, update the document by marking it.
5. Use this information while making investment decisions.

  This is a simple but very effective way to see how your investments are doing compared to benchmark like stock market indexes. The graphs on this site is generated based on this calculations.