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Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:34 am
by dp102288
I'm a long term investor, "buy & hold", (30 years old now), but I love data mining; this isn't for market timing or trading my investments. Currently every Sunday (because I just finished doing such), I login into my Vanguard account, & copy my account balances for the past week into an Excel spreadsheet. Then I'll make up a little graph or chart. It amuses (but never worries) me to see my money fluctuate day to day.

Is there an easier/automated way to do this? A daily email from Vanguard? Some other buried-in-the-site function?

I know about balances over time, but that's monthly. Looking for more detailed data.

I've read about, but never delved into Personal Capital or Mint. A bit hesitant about having another provider see my accounts. But maybe I'm missing out on some good features. Would those do it?

(Side note: A while ago I read a thread that maybe checking your balances frequently is a good thing as it gets you used to big market swings. I can say I don't care that in one day I loose what I make in a month!)

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:07 pm
by Silk McCue
For a once a week activity I think the approach is good that you are using. If it is just a handful of accounts and you are recording the new balance for each account that won’t be much more difficult than anything else you could do. I have used Quicken for over 20 years and all of our financial accounts are updated automatically daily but I still extract data from that on a monthly basis to do a similar thing to what you are doing. If you are using Windows 10 and can run apps in split screen with the browser on one side and the spreadsheet on the other it MIGHT be ever so slightly easier

Cheers

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:39 pm
by dbr
Weekly seems a little often, but anyway for periodic update over the years I have found that in the end just looking stuff up and plugging it in by hand has been the most certain and simplest way to keep track. Automated accounting has been a siren song that has just never worked out for me. It isn't a bad idea to actually see your accounts from time to time, meaning in the sense of logging in, picking up messages, looking over what is there, etc.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:29 pm
by 2015
dbr wrote: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:39 pm Weekly seems a little often, but anyway for periodic update over the years I have found that in the end just looking stuff up and plugging it in by hand has been the most certain and simplest way to keep track. Automated accounting has been a siren song that has just never worked out for me. It isn't a bad idea to actually see your accounts from time to time, meaning in the sense of logging in, picking up messages, looking over what is there, etc.
Pretty much what I do, only monthly, and do so to ensure everything makes sense.

What I would never do is look at my accounts for the purpose of data mining. There are just too many other things I have to "mine" in this life to ensure it continues going in the direction I want it to.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:30 pm
by MotoTrojan
Do you contribute less frequently? Could setup a Google Sheet (online excel) to track daily fluctuations. I use this for such, and balancing.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:42 pm
by dp102288
Thank you everyone for the replies.

It takes a few minutes just weekly. If I dropped to monthly then it'd feel too burdensome, the time I'd be spending.

Because I derive some enjoyment from the numbers ("wow, 1% is that many thousands???") its not so much a chore, yet, plugging numbers into my spreadsheet.

I don't contribute on a regular basis. Whenever there is excess money laying in the bank. Income isn't regular most of the time.

I'll keep going with Excel. It was worth asking if a better way had been formulated.

Thanks.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:05 pm
by dcop
dp102288 wrote: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:34 am Is there an easier/automated way to do this? A daily email from Vanguard? Some other buried-in-the-site function?
I track daily. I use google sheets using the finance formula to to calculate my '# of shares X closing price'. Its all done on Googles end so I don't actually have to open Google Sheets unless I need to update the number of shares. Then I have a macro in Excel that gets that data via me hitting a button in my spreadsheet to run the macro which puts the data on Googles end into the cells in my spreadsheet. I do this every week night and if I miss a night or more I dont care. So every night I see my updated investments. And in the same excel workbook i have all my other finances suck as taxable investments, check book etc so I have a total for my current networth....to the penny. VBA knowledge is needed tho.

As far as daily goes I back up the workbook automatically every morning and save the daily ones for the past 15 days and on the 1rst of the month I save those forever.

I'm a huge data freak for my finances. And also an Excel freak.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:05 am
by retire2022
dp102288 wrote: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:34 am
Is there an easier/automated way to do this? A daily email from Vanguard? Some other buried-in-the-site function?
You could use Morningstar Portfolio Manager (free) and get an email at the end of the day balance of price of each of your securities. With that email you could input that to spreadsheet as others have mentioned.

You could also use your Vanguard account under performance table and it will show you a running balance gain or loss.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:29 am
by LinusP
I manually entered data into my Excel spreadsheet every month (# of shares, share price, and confirming the balance) for years. I'm in the process of switching over to to keeping a transaction ledger (from which Excel derives the number of current shares) and using an add-in (from this thread: Excel Quotes Add-In: Stock quotes from Gaier Software) for current share prices. The plan is to only log into the website when either 1) I expect new transactions (contributions/distributions, or 2) quarterly - and when I do, I'll confirm the balances match. Pretty happy with how it's going so far.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:04 am
by dbr
I have used some of the add-ons or code in Excel to auto download such things as security prices. It seems that anything that works for a couple of years eventually stops working and you have to find something else. I have never found a code or application that can capture all the items of data I have chosen to enter, so just plugging in by hand has evolved as the solution.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:20 pm
by LinusP
dbr wrote: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:04 am I have used some of the add-ons or code in Excel to auto download such things as security prices. It seems that anything that works for a couple of years eventually stops working and you have to find something else. I have never found a code or application that can capture all the items of data I have chosen to enter, so just plugging in by hand has evolved as the solution.
Understood. For this reason, I have cells in my spreadsheet that use the add-in, and I copy-paste the values from those into my monthly records. So even if the tool stops working, it made it easier to get that data for the time that it was working.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:28 pm
by Godot
I've read about, but never delved into Personal Capital or Mint. A bit hesitant about having another provider see my accounts. But maybe I'm missing out on some good features. Would those do it?

I'm familiar with the reservations regarding aggregators like Wealthfront and Personal Capital, but I must say I use the latter and love it. It updates (most) accounts in real time, but for index accounts you need to wait until markets close. Tracks balance, performance, allocation, etc., over various time frames.

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:59 pm
by Kevin M
First, you can download current shares, price and values to a CSV file with the Download button/link near the top right of your "Balances and holdings" screen. It also downloads transactions for 1-month to 18 months (you must download at least one month), but I usually just download to get the latest number of shares, and ignore the transactions. You can then import this into a spreadsheet (using Chrome, you can just click on the download file in the bottom downloads area and open it in Excel).

Second, as already mentioned, with Google Sheets you can use the GoogleFinance function to look up the share price, although it may lag by a day (I think on the weekend you'll get the Friday close price). Unless your number of shares changes through a buy/sell transaction or dividend reinvestment, there is no need to download again. Just multiply the number of shares from the last download by the latest price to get your value. You can pull the number of shares from the download into another sheet, and in that sheet multiply the number of shares by the latest price.

GoogleFinance can also return historical prices, but I mostly use it to just get the latest price to update my portfolio values.

Kevin

Re: Vanguard Daily Balances

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:36 pm
by coldnose
LinusP wrote: Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:29 am I manually entered data into my Excel spreadsheet every month (# of shares, share price, and confirming the balance) for years. I'm in the process of switching over to to keeping a transaction ledger (from which Excel derives the number of current shares) and using an add-in (from this thread: Excel Quotes Add-In: Stock quotes from Gaier Software) for current share prices. The plan is to only log into the website when either 1) I expect new transactions (contributions/distributions, or 2) quarterly - and when I do, I'll confirm the balances match. Pretty happy with how it's going so far.
:sharebeer Thanks for the link to Grair Software's Add-In! It's great! I've been looking for a clean solution for a long-time and his is one of the best. Highly recommend to other Bogleheads to take a look. The price (free) is good also; I donated though as it is very useful!