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is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:52 pm
by Eric76
I'd love if Vanguard offered a feature through the website where you could enter a ticker symbol and be provided with a dollar value of your personal holding in that stock for every fund you own (at least as of the end of the prior quarter when the fund holdings are published). It seems to me that the data is there to provide that functionality.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:50 pm
by stimulacra
I use a similar free service from T.Rowe Price (Portfolio X-Ray) that does an individual security breakdown as a % of investments as well as market value of each security whether held individually or within an active or passive mutual fund, so I think it is feasible and possible.

Does it make sense for Vanguard to offer such a service? I don't know, I guess it could help alleviate FOMO to know that you are invested in whatever hot stock is blowing up the headlines on a day-to-day basis but it might also detract from their low fee/passive investing ethos.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:54 pm
by Eric76
I don't see how offering such a feature would detract from the Vanguard ethos. I do see how it would detract from my free time as I'd be popping in ticker symbols constantly!

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:15 pm
by stimulacra
My understanding is that Vanguard wants investor to buy the whole market, or broad sectors of it, and hold it over time. By providing an X-ray tool to let passive investors zoom in on individual tickers within each fund, or across multiple funds, and parse out the info, that seems like a distraction that will only be utilized by a very small percentage of users to the site.

Also once you get past 50–60 of the underlying tickers, you're really looking at pretty fractional shares of stocks for the remainder of your portfolio.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:34 pm
by Dirghatamas
Eric76 wrote:I'd love if Vanguard offered a feature through the website where you could enter a ticker symbol and be provided with a dollar value of your personal holding in that stock
This is fairly trivial to create. A long time back I created a simple excel based spreadsheet (took maybe 10-15 minutes) and now I update it every year (takes maybe 2-5 minutes). Because I invest in world stocks, philosophically I don't want to think in terms of countries but companies. As such, instead of thinking how much I own in countryA or countryB in fund X or Y or Z, I wanted one place with all the companies I own and how many dollars in each. I don't do anything with this sheet, just look at it once in a while when there is some news: when BP oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico or when Volks Wagen had their diesel scandal or whatever. I want to know how much I could lose if a companyA went bankrupt..I usually calm down when I realize I am so well diversified, anything catastrophic to one company or even a sector doesn't really hurt..but it is cool to have in actual dollar numbers.

In terms of how to do it, this is trivial. Vanguard makes it difficult to do 1 click download of holdings but BlackRock/iShares is more advanced/user friendly in their software. Because VG and BlackRock funds are usually equivalent for broad classes, it is good enough to use BlackRock. Just go to the fund website and download with 1 click. Then I put all the downloads (1 per fund) in one sheet (asset allocation). If you are remotely familiar with business spreadsheets etc. this is pretty trivial.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:48 pm
by telemark
This is trivial to implement as a private spreadsheet or add-on, where if it stops working you can tweak it until it works again. Offering the same through the Vanguard web site means it would have to be designed, debugged, tested (ideally by writing regression tests), and maintained by the same staff responsible for the rest of the site. Hard to justify for a feature of such limited appeal.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:03 pm
by livesoft
Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:43 pm
by Eric76
livesoft wrote:Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?
How?

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:46 pm
by Eric76
Dirghatamas wrote:
Eric76 wrote:I'd love if Vanguard offered a feature through the website where you could enter a ticker symbol and be provided with a dollar value of your personal holding in that stock
This is fairly trivial to create. A long time back I created a simple excel based spreadsheet (took maybe 10-15 minutes) and now I update it every year (takes maybe 2-5 minutes). Because I invest in world stocks, philosophically I don't want to think in terms of countries but companies. As such, instead of thinking how much I own in countryA or countryB in fund X or Y or Z, I wanted one place with all the companies I own and how many dollars in each. I don't do anything with this sheet, just look at it once in a while when there is some news: when BP oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico or when Volks Wagen had their diesel scandal or whatever. I want to know how much I could lose if a companyA went bankrupt..I usually calm down when I realize I am so well diversified, anything catastrophic to one company or even a sector doesn't really hurt..but it is cool to have in actual dollar numbers.

In terms of how to do it, this is trivial. Vanguard makes it difficult to do 1 click download of holdings but BlackRock/iShares is more advanced/user friendly in their software. Because VG and BlackRock funds are usually equivalent for broad classes, it is good enough to use BlackRock. Just go to the fund website and download with 1 click. Then I put all the downloads (1 per fund) in one sheet (asset allocation). If you are remotely familiar with business spreadsheets etc. this is pretty trivial.
Apparently you find it trivial. I don't use excel spreadsheets, so for me it isn't trivial.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:21 pm
by alex_686
I can think of a couple of non trivial reasons.

ETFs constantly report their holdings. Active managers want to keep their trading strategy a secret and can delay reporting their holdings from between 30 to 60 days. How do you reconcile this?

Figuring out holdings is harder than you think. Stocks can be duel listed on multiple exchange. One fund may hold a foreign stock directly, the other a ADR.

How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? Do you look through a Fund of Funds to see what they hold? Often the underlying fund will hold other funds, do you look through that? Often funds will handle cash flow issues by using cash to take future positions in the underlying index. We want to subtract out that "cash being used as collateral" from the cash position? And do we take 5% of the S&P future position and treat those as Apple Inc. shares?

I had to program the last 2. It is harder than you think. The big positions fall in place nicely, it is the details that kill.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:52 pm
by Ron
Eric76 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?
How?
Via the X-Ray Stock Intersection screen. For instance, our holdings in Apple (AAPL) shows the various funds we have a position, along with current dollar value and % of portfolio net assets.

I can see that we hold AAPL in six different funds, the dollar value along with % of each funds holdings in AAPL and the total value across all funds held. It shows that it is our #1 holding across the combined portfolios of both me and my wife in our various TIRA and Roth holdings, both at VG and FIDO. I can also see its effect in separate portfolio holdings of me/wife on an individual portfolio breakdown.

M* is already giving you this service. Of course you have to buy a subscription to use it :mrgreen: ...

Sorry, I'm not getting into a debate on the value of M*, just wanted to answer the OP's question with a possible solution. However, let's just say that this is only one reason that I've been a long term M* subscriber.

- Ron

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:00 pm
by jhfenton
Eric76 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?
How?
The Portfolio X-Ray Stock Intersection tool. It is a premium feature, though.

My largest overall holding is Tencent Holdings Ltd. at 0.68% of my portfolio. Tencent is currently 4% of VEMAX/VWO which is 20% of equities, which is 85.39% of our portfolio. That works out to 0.68%.

My next 3 largest holdings are at 0.44%, 0.36%, and 0.33%. Everything else is 0.25% or lower.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:01 pm
by livesoft
jhfenton wrote:
Eric76 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?
How?
The Portfolio X-Ray Stock Intersection tool. It is a premium feature, though.
Also available free at TDAmeritrade.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:17 pm
by Eric76
jhfenton wrote:
Eric76 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?
How?
The Portfolio X-Ray Stock Intersection tool. It is a premium feature, though.

My largest overall holding is Tencent Holdings Ltd. at 0.68% of my portfolio. Tencent is currently 4% of VEMAX/VWO which is 20% of equities, which is 85.39% of our portfolio. That works out to 0.68%.

My next 3 largest holdings are at 0.44%, 0.36%, and 0.33%. Everything else is 0.25% or lower.
This is the kind of info I want Vanguard to give me for free!

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:35 pm
by Dirghatamas
Eric76 wrote: Apparently you find it trivial. I don't use excel spreadsheets, so for me it isn't trivial.
I wasn't trying to be dismissive, rather helpful in providing the source information to download so that you could do this yourself. Sorry if my post came across as being dismissive. In the long run, I do think it is far superior to just bite the bullet and do basic programming oneself instead of looking at Brokerages to provide all sorts of custom data. You may have funds in many brokerages..so Vanguard would need to be up to date on all of them and figure out how to aggregate them. Some may be active funds so how would it know the latest holdings? It would need to know how to parse duplicates, ADR issues and many others. There are subscriptions services like Morningstar but they are not free and may still not provide the level of customization you desire.

I find it liberating to just think about the actual information I am interested in and program it myself. For example, another minor twist is time of day. I invest a lot in mutual funds (also ETFs depending on which account) but sometimes have only time during lunch..so if I am interested in what's going on with my portfolio, results are not current. Instead, having live links to equivalent ETF, my spreadsheets tell me what's going on in my portfolio on all the vectors I may be interested in.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:50 pm
by triceratop
Dirghatamas wrote:
Eric76 wrote:I'd love if Vanguard offered a feature through the website where you could enter a ticker symbol and be provided with a dollar value of your personal holding in that stock
This is fairly trivial to create. A long time back I created a simple excel based spreadsheet (took maybe 10-15 minutes) and now I update it every year (takes maybe 2-5 minutes). Because I invest in world stocks, philosophically I don't want to think in terms of countries but companies. As such, instead of thinking how much I own in countryA or countryB in fund X or Y or Z, I wanted one place with all the companies I own and how many dollars in each. I don't do anything with this sheet, just look at it once in a while when there is some news: when BP oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico or when Volks Wagen had their diesel scandal or whatever. I want to know how much I could lose if a companyA went bankrupt..I usually calm down when I realize I am so well diversified, anything catastrophic to one company or even a sector doesn't really hurt..but it is cool to have in actual dollar numbers.

In terms of how to do it, this is trivial. Vanguard makes it difficult to do 1 click download of holdings but BlackRock/iShares is more advanced/user friendly in their software. Because VG and BlackRock funds are usually equivalent for broad classes, it is good enough to use BlackRock. Just go to the fund website and download with 1 click. Then I put all the downloads (1 per fund) in one sheet (asset allocation). If you are remotely familiar with business spreadsheets etc. this is pretty trivial.
I believe Vanguard provides this data on their Advisors website, e.g. Investment Profile for VXUS, though only to people with special access. Someone could ask at the Bogleheads conference about opening this up to retail investors.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:57 pm
by avalpert
Eric76 wrote:
jhfenton wrote:
Eric76 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?
How?
The Portfolio X-Ray Stock Intersection tool. It is a premium feature, though.

My largest overall holding is Tencent Holdings Ltd. at 0.68% of my portfolio. Tencent is currently 4% of VEMAX/VWO which is 20% of equities, which is 85.39% of our portfolio. That works out to 0.68%.

My next 3 largest holdings are at 0.44%, 0.36%, and 0.33%. Everything else is 0.25% or lower.
This is the kind of info I want Vanguard to give me for free!
Right, you want them to provide you all the advanced tools for 'free' and charge the lowest fees... I also hate it that walmart doesn't give me free champagne while I browse but life is full of tradeoffs.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:01 am
by Eric76
Dirghatamas wrote:
Eric76 wrote: Apparently you find it trivial. I don't use excel spreadsheets, so for me it isn't trivial.
I wasn't trying to be dismissive, rather helpful in providing the source information to download so that you could do this yourself. Sorry if my post came across as being dismissive. In the long run, I do think it is far superior to just bite the bullet and do basic programming oneself instead of looking at Brokerages to provide all sorts of custom data. You may have funds in many brokerages..so Vanguard would need to be up to date on all of them and figure out how to aggregate them. Some may be active funds so how would it know the latest holdings? It would need to know how to parse duplicates, ADR issues and many others. There are subscriptions services like Morningstar but they are not free and may still not provide the level of customization you desire.

I find it liberating to just think about the actual information I am interested in and program it myself. For example, another minor twist is time of day. I invest a lot in mutual funds (also ETFs depending on which account) but sometimes have only time during lunch..so if I am interested in what's going on with my portfolio, results are not current. Instead, having live links to equivalent ETF, my spreadsheets tell me what's going on in my portfolio on all the vectors I may be interested in.
Fair enough.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:04 am
by jhfenton
Eric76 wrote:
jhfenton wrote:
Eric76 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?
How?
The Portfolio X-Ray Stock Intersection tool. It is a premium feature, though.

My largest overall holding is Tencent Holdings Ltd. at 0.68% of my portfolio. Tencent is currently 4% of VEMAX/VWO which is 20% of equities, which is 85.39% of our portfolio. That works out to 0.68%.

My next 3 largest holdings are at 0.44%, 0.36%, and 0.33%. Everything else is 0.25% or lower.
This is the kind of info I want Vanguard to give me for free!
It's only actionable, if at all, at for the most concentrated positions in your portfolio (assuming that your goal is to make sure you are not overly concentrated in individual stocks). So just take the top 10 or 25 holdings from each fund and do the math like I did for Tencent Holdings. As I showed, the math matches what M* Portfolio X-ray tells me (0.68%).

If you have 50% of equities in Total Stock and have 80% of your portfolio in equities, your largest U.S. position is going to be Apple at 1.14% of your portfolio. (Apple is 2.85% of Total Stock.) Microsoft would be 0.80%. Amazon, 0.60%. And so on. The fund data is free and easily copied from M*.

Beyond the top holdings, it's just a curiosity. It's not really actionable to know that I own some minuscule amount of Vermilion Energy Inc. (one of the smallest holdings in Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small Cap).

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:14 am
by livesoft
jhfenton wrote:It's only actionable, ....
Maybe the OP wants to say something when a friend, colleague, or acquaintance says they own AAPL, MSFT, FB, AMZN, etc.?

When I look at a M* Stock Intersection, I see than my approximately 60/40 portfolio has about 2% of the portfolio in 5 stocks --- all from funds.

So, when my son says, "I see that AMZN went up today", I can say, "Oh, you own that in your funds. Good for you."

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:51 am
by triceratop
jhfenton wrote:It's only actionable, ....
Maybe the OP wants to say something when a friend, colleague, or acquaintance says they own AAPL, MSFT, FB, AMZN, etc.?

When I look at a M* Stock Intersection, I see than my approximately 60/40 portfolio has about 2% of the portfolio in 5 stocks --- all from funds.

So, when my son says, "I see that AMZN went up today", I can say, "Oh, you own that in your funds. Good for you."
Or, and I'm going out on a limb here, the person is a hobbyist on a DIY website. I myself would be mildly interested in this information.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:45 am
by jhfenton
triceratop wrote:
jhfenton wrote:It's only actionable, ....
Maybe the OP wants to say something when a friend, colleague, or acquaintance says they own AAPL, MSFT, FB, AMZN, etc.?

When I look at a M* Stock Intersection, I see than my approximately 60/40 portfolio has about 2% of the portfolio in 5 stocks --- all from funds.

So, when my son says, "I see that AMZN went up today", I can say, "Oh, you own that in your funds. Good for you."
Or, and I'm going out on a limb here, the person is a hobbyist on a DIY website. I myself would be mildly interested in this information.
I'm guilty of that too. It's mildly interesting, and I look at it occasionally. But I don't usually scroll past the first page to see the stocks that make up <0.20% of my portfolio. (We're so heavily tilted to small/mid that's there very little concentration. Stock #10 is Newell Brands Inc. at 0.23%. Stock #25 is Newmont Mining Corp. at 0.16%.)

I suppose I could tell my son that approximately 0.04% of our portfolio is invested in Ubisoft, makers of the Assassin's Creed games.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:52 pm
by Doc
avalpert wrote:Right, you want them to provide you all the advanced tools for 'free' and charge the lowest fees... I also hate it that walmart doesn't give me free champagne while I browse but life is full of tradeoffs.
Funds give M* data other than return in a format proscribed by M*. In return the funds get exposure and the ability to quote the star rating. They wouldn't give the same data to Vg and Vg has nothing to give them in return .

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:02 pm
by avalpert
Doc wrote:
avalpert wrote:Right, you want them to provide you all the advanced tools for 'free' and charge the lowest fees... I also hate it that walmart doesn't give me free champagne while I browse but life is full of tradeoffs.
Funds give M* data other than return in a format proscribed by M*. In return the funds get exposure and the ability to quote the star rating. They wouldn't give the same data to Vg and Vg has nothing to give them in return .
Vanguard could license the X-ray tool from Morningstar the way T Row Price, TD Ameritrade and others do - that doesn't mean they should.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:57 am
by Doc
avalpert wrote:
Doc wrote:
avalpert wrote:Right, you want them to provide you all the advanced tools for 'free' and charge the lowest fees... I also hate it that walmart doesn't give me free champagne while I browse but life is full of tradeoffs.
Funds give M* data other than return in a format proscribed by M*. In return the funds get exposure and the ability to quote the star rating. They wouldn't give the same data to Vg and Vg has nothing to give them in return .
Vanguard could license the X-ray tool from Morningstar the way T Row Price, TD Ameritrade and others do - that doesn't mean they should.
Do the licensed versions allow your portfolio to be "saved" so you don't need to re-enter it every time?

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:02 am
by livesoft
Doc wrote:Do the licensed versions allow your portfolio to be "saved" so you don't need to re-enter it every time?
Certainly TRowePrice and TDAmeritrade allow one to have multiple saved portfolios for use with M* Portfolio X-ray on their web sites.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:07 am
by Doc
livesoft wrote:
Doc wrote:Do the licensed versions allow your portfolio to be "saved" so you don't need to re-enter it every time?
Certainly TRowePrice and TDAmeritrade allow one to have multiple saved portfolios for use with M* Portfolio X-ray on their web sites.
Good to know. In that case Vanguard offering the same would just make our ER''s go up.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:10 am
by indexonlyplease
livesoft wrote:
jhfenton wrote:It's only actionable, ....
Maybe the OP wants to say something when a friend, colleague, or acquaintance says they own AAPL, MSFT, FB, AMZN, etc.?

When I look at a M* Stock Intersection, I see than my approximately 60/40 portfolio has about 2% of the portfolio in 5 stocks --- all from funds.

So, when my son says, "I see that AMZN went up today", I can say, "Oh, you own that in your funds. Good for you."
Question Livesoft,

Do you own individual stocks?? If you do, is this something you do on the side with a set amount of money?? Just wondering??

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:11 am
by livesoft
I do not own individual stocks.

Re: is offering this [Vanguard] website feature feasible?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:22 pm
by Eric76
jhfenton wrote:
Eric76 wrote:
jhfenton wrote:
Eric76 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Don't folks just use morningstar.com to do exactly this?
How?
The Portfolio X-Ray Stock Intersection tool. It is a premium feature, though.

My largest overall holding is Tencent Holdings Ltd. at 0.68% of my portfolio. Tencent is currently 4% of VEMAX/VWO which is 20% of equities, which is 85.39% of our portfolio. That works out to 0.68%.

My next 3 largest holdings are at 0.44%, 0.36%, and 0.33%. Everything else is 0.25% or lower.
This is the kind of info I want Vanguard to give me for free!
It's only actionable, if at all, at for the most concentrated positions in your portfolio (assuming that your goal is to make sure you are not overly concentrated in individual stocks). So just take the top 10 or 25 holdings from each fund and do the math like I did for Tencent Holdings. As I showed, the math matches what M* Portfolio X-ray tells me (0.68%).

If you have 50% of equities in Total Stock and have 80% of your portfolio in equities, your largest U.S. position is going to be Apple at 1.14% of your portfolio. (Apple is 2.85% of Total Stock.) Microsoft would be 0.80%. Amazon, 0.60%. And so on. The fund data is free and easily copied from M*.

Beyond the top holdings, it's just a curiosity. It's not really actionable to know that I own some minuscule amount of Vermilion Energy Inc. (one of the smallest holdings in Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small Cap).
I wouldn't find such data actionable, but I would find it interesting.