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Portfolio Tracking Tools

As I start to trade more, moving from a purely fundamental investor, there is the requirement to keep good records. I have the buys and sells, notes on my research (fundamental and technical), portfolio positions across multiple accounts and types (taxable, IRA, etc.), decisions not to buy or sell, etc.

I'm using a combination of Morningstar, spreadsheets, evernote, stockcharts (lists and to a lesser degree annotation), in addition to what my brokerages offer. I'm finding this is not adequate and time consuming.

What are you using, Any recommendations?


  • Keeping good trading records is a good idea. You can review your records to learn from mistakes.

    I have turned out to be a purely technical investor/trader. I simply use I don't use news anymore like I used to, but I still check the news - not frequently. The reason for pure TA approach is due to certain tenets of TA that I have finally learned. They are 1. Price Discounts Everything and 2. Semi-Strong Form market efficiency.

    You can learn about these concepts in ChartSchool:
    Technical Analysis

    Getting good at TA is much more difficult than it seems. It is also an art, which I have been working to learn.
  • I do believe that keeping good records is a key to successful investing. Gatis Roze is a very bright fellow who posts a blog at "The Traders Journal". Keeping good records is one of his first suggestions.

    I currently use 3 methods of tracking my trades, my portfolio positions, and my overall portfolio.

    1st (and easiest) I have an Excel sheet that tracks the value of my portfolio; daily, weekly, and monthly. It has both the value data and bar charts to visualize.

    2nd - I have a series of Excel sheets that I use to record buy-hold-sell signals for a half-dozen indicators for a few dozen stocks and ETF's. I update these sheets manually every day. And on a weekly basis, too. I have colour-coded the buy-hold-sell signals. This gives me a good visual tapestry. I include a column for price. And I note my buy and sell decisions with price.

    3rd - I do annotate all my buys and sells on the relevant charts. Sometimes I also add brief reasons. When I have completed a trade, I use the range in SharpCharts view to select a start and finish (with todays date), then save that chart to a Trades Completed list. That gives me a way to visually see where the indicators I follow were when I made my decisions.

    This is time consuming, but I find it worthwhile. It works for me.

  • rshaw, I too search for better way of tracking my trades. Still looking for the "best thing", but I thought I would mention StockMaster by Astontek Inc, an iPad APP that provides me some tracking help as well as lots of info in one place: fundamentals, charts, earnings history, news, analyst recommendations, screens, alerts, and so on. I paid the $20 to unlock all features. StockMaster helps track my current holdings in an easy visual format: cost basis, % change per day & since purchase, chart, pie chart. The one drawback for me is there is little by way of online help or a user's manual, so the learning curve is slow. ... But this just means that I keep learning new features as the months go by. I'm glad I found StockMaster.
  • I use a spreadsheet with buy date, security, why I bought, how much. Then I log sell date, why I sold it, gain/loss, holding time. I also put a line on the chart at the purchase price. That way I can see how the holding is performing compared to purchase price.
  • I've been recently using a free soft called "Medved Trader" (Google it). It's incredible! You can create many watchlist, plus your live portfolio. Unless you are with one of their suggested brokers, you can use either Yahoo or Google Finance to track your stock. Most stocks come with a 15-20 minutes delay. You can read news on any stocks in your watchlist, put up some alert, and many more stuff. I don't have any link with them, but it's nice to have as a tracking tool.
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