Spreadsheets - Out of here!

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abuss368
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Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Bogleheads -

After decades of building and using spreadsheets, I started to question the need and perceived value. In my opinion it was no longer a good or valuable use of time. Time that is better spent elsewhere as a spreadsheet makes zero difference or impact to a portfolio.

After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.

Simplicity! What a major leap forward the past couple of months. Moving from a six fund portfolio to Mr. Bogle's and Mr. Buffett's Two Fund Portfolio and now deleting all spreadsheets: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=188176

Simplicity (both financially and non-financially) is never ending, but rather a rewarding journey.

Best.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
L82GAME
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by L82GAME »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm Bogleheads -

After decades of building and using spreadsheets, I started to question the need and perceived value. In my opinion it was no longer a good or valuable use of time. Time that is better spent elsewhere as a spreadsheet makes zero difference or impact to a portfolio.

After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.

Simplicity! What a major leap forward the past couple of months. Moving from a six fund portfolio to Mr. Bogle's and Mr. Buffett's Two Fund Portfolio and now deleting all spreadsheets: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=188176

Simplicity (both financially and non-financially) is never ending, but rather a rewarding journey.

Best.
+1!
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mrspock
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by mrspock »

For a two fund portfolio the spreadsheet would be pretty boring. When it comes time to rebalance, I just use my phone calculator to figure out how much bonds to buy to rebalance... simple as it gets.

Spreadsheets I’ve used from time to time to project my retirement scenarios. The day to day tracking of my budget, NW and retirement goal is all in mint.
3504PIR
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by 3504PIR »

But then how will anyone count up all their pennies, which seems to be a popular activity for so many here? :?
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

mrspock wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:17 pm For a two fund portfolio the spreadsheet would be pretty boring. When it comes time to rebalance, I just use my phone calculator to figure out how much bonds to buy to rebalance... simple as it gets.

Spreadsheets I’ve used from time to time to project my retirement scenarios. The day to day tracking of my budget, NW and retirement goal is all in mint.
That is what am experiencing. I buy more shares of one of the funds and I found that a simple calculator on my phone works. Seconds.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by TravelGeek »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm Bogleheads -

After decades of building and using spreadsheets, I started to question the need and perceived value. In my opinion it was no longer a good or valuable use of time. Time that is better spent elsewhere as a spreadsheet makes zero difference or impact to a portfolio.

After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.

Simplicity! What a major leap forward the past couple of months. Moving from a six fund portfolio to Mr. Bogle's and Mr. Buffett's Two Fund Portfolio and now deleting all spreadsheets: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=188176

Simplicity (both financially and non-financially) is never ending, but rather a rewarding journey.

Best.
I am working on simplifying our accounts and funds. Not something I can complete overnight due to cap gains considerations. But it is getting better every year. I will continue to use spreadsheets for the foreseeable future. :)
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

TravelGeek wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:29 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm Bogleheads -

After decades of building and using spreadsheets, I started to question the need and perceived value. In my opinion it was no longer a good or valuable use of time. Time that is better spent elsewhere as a spreadsheet makes zero difference or impact to a portfolio.

After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.

Simplicity! What a major leap forward the past couple of months. Moving from a six fund portfolio to Mr. Bogle's and Mr. Buffett's Two Fund Portfolio and now deleting all spreadsheets: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=188176

Simplicity (both financially and non-financially) is never ending, but rather a rewarding journey.

Best.
I am working on simplifying our accounts and funds. Not something I can complete overnight due to cap gains considerations. But it is getting better every year. I will continue to use spreadsheets for the foreseeable future. :)
Keep going in that direction. While simplicity is not a destination but rather journey, once you get further down the path, you will be so much happier!
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by jhfenton »

I love my spreadsheets!

I have one spreadsheet in which I have tracked and planned all of my running training since 2004. Each year has a tab with a sheet that resembles a calendar. Early years were simple. Later years have gotten more complex and added additional fields. For instance, last May I bought a rowing machine and added a field/column for tracking rowing. And I have things planned out for 2020 in detail through my September marathon and then into 2021 in rough. I get totals by week, by month, by quarter, and for the year, both historical and planned.

And I have a large investment spreadsheet with multiple tabs showing (1) an aggregate view by holding, (2) two calendar years of monthly contribution by account and investment, (3) multiyear forward projections, (4) daily balances back to March 2016, and several others. It automatically pulls in investment prices in real time and shows me where each broad asset class is in relation to the current target and where it will be at the end of the current and next calendar year.

Why would I stop using spreadsheets to plan things? Of course you don't need to use spreadsheets to train or invest. But they are useful tools for doing so, even if you choose to keep the training or investing plans fairly simple.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by mindboggling »

No spreadsheets here! I use the accounting program Gnu-cash to track yearly income & expenses only. It's invaluable for expenses.

The only investment numbers I want are:
- overall portfolio size
- percentage of equities
- percentage of international equities within total equities

Both Vanguard & Schwab let you enter external accounts so you can see your entire portfolio. I update external accounts manually, so there is no sharing of logins!
In broken mathematics, We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by RetiredAL »

3504PIR wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:17 pm But then how will anyone count up all their pennies, which seems to be a popular activity for so many here? :?
LOL and agreeing with you at the same time. One helluva dialog on the RMD Angst thread about 'my calculations show a 2 cents advantage over yours @ thirty years out'.

IMO, no one invests perfectly, and the harder one tries, the effort to do so goes up exponentially.

There is a very wise man here in Bogle Land who I'm sure would rather spend the day sailing than planning/counting his wealth to the penny.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Halicar »

3504PIR wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:17 pm But then how will anyone count up all their pennies, which seems to be a popular activity for so many here? :?
Someday I hope to be wealthy enough that my day-to-day spending will be negligible with regard to my income and net worth. I'm not quite there yet, so I'll continue to count my pennies for now.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by fortfun »

DW and I have so many work and individual accounts that we must use one to see when we hit that 25times annual expenses magic number. Maybe when we have two accounts, I'll delete ours too.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by willthrill81 »

I use several spreadsheets regularly, at least one of them on an almost daily basis as it relates to both our monthly budget and our irregular/non-monthly expenses, which helped us to 'cure' our so-called 'emergency expenses'. I actually enjoy using them because they enable me to easily keep track of our income, expenses, and plans for the future. Using spreadsheets was definitely a contributing factor in moving our personal financial position from one that was 'pretty good' to one that I can humbly say is now 'excellent'.

For long-term tax planning purposes involving Roth conversions and other issues, I really don't see a good alternative to using spreadsheets, whether computerized or manual.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by MaxRN »

Congratulations, one small step for man, one giant leap for common sense investing.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Triple digit golfer »

willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:18 pm I use several spreadsheets regularly, at least one of them on an almost daily basis as it relates to both our monthly budget and our irregular/non-monthly expenses, which helped us to 'cure' our so-called 'emergency expenses'. I actually enjoy using them because they enable me to easily keep track of our income, expenses, and plans for the future. Using spreadsheets was definitely a contributing factor in moving our personal financial position from one that was 'pretty good' to one that I can humbly say is now 'excellent'.

For long-term tax planning purposes involving Roth conversions and other issues, I really don't see a good alternative to using spreadsheets, whether computerized or manual.
We do basically the same as your freedom fund. I have an annual budget which nets to zero at the bottom. We have line items for all recurring monthly expenses, some of which are known and some of which are estimates. Food and groceries are estimates, internet and cell phone bills are known. We also have line items for things like car insurance, life insurance, an allowance for our next new (used) car, an allowance for home maintenance and repairs, and a few others. Finally, we have amounts deducted for investments. I don't track it as closely as it appears you do, but it essentially works out the same. For the expenses that are not paid monthly, we save this amount each month so that the money is there when we need it. I have my direct deposit going into savings, so we don't have to move it there, just leave it there. Every six months or so, I calculate what my "accrual" balance should be, and any excess in savings gets invested in our taxable account. Excess can be achieved by spending less than budget in recurring categories or non recurring. I have $200 monthly budgeted for gas and tolls. Last year we spent only $1,700, so the remaining $700 was calculated as part of our excess and ultimately invested.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by willthrill81 »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:30 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:18 pm I use several spreadsheets regularly, at least one of them on an almost daily basis as it relates to both our monthly budget and our irregular/non-monthly expenses, which helped us to 'cure' our so-called 'emergency expenses'. I actually enjoy using them because they enable me to easily keep track of our income, expenses, and plans for the future. Using spreadsheets was definitely a contributing factor in moving our personal financial position from one that was 'pretty good' to one that I can humbly say is now 'excellent'.

For long-term tax planning purposes involving Roth conversions and other issues, I really don't see a good alternative to using spreadsheets, whether computerized or manual.
We do basically the same as your freedom fund. I have an annual budget which nets to zero at the bottom. We have line items for all recurring monthly expenses, some of which are known and some of which are estimates. Food and groceries are estimates, internet and cell phone bills are known. We also have line items for things like car insurance, life insurance, an allowance for our next new (used) car, an allowance for home maintenance and repairs, and a few others. Finally, we have amounts deducted for investments. I don't track it as closely as it appears you do, but it essentially works out the same. For the expenses that are not paid monthly, we save this amount each month so that the money is there when we need it. I have my direct deposit going into savings, so we don't have to move it there, just leave it there. Every six months or so, I calculate what my "accrual" balance should be, and any excess in savings gets invested in our taxable account. Excess can be achieved by spending less than budget in recurring categories or non recurring. I have $200 monthly budgeted for gas and tolls. Last year we spend only $1,700, so the remaining $700 was calculated as part of our excess and ultimately invested.
Yes, it sounds like you're using a very similar approach to us. We do track and 'save' for nearly all of our irregular and/or non-monthly expenses. Our 'gifts' sub-category was pretty active in November and December. :D But our net 'savings' in some categories pretty nearly balanced out our net 'spending' in others, so I didn't have to do anything at all with the freedom fund last month. That actually happens with surprisingly regularity.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Triple digit golfer »

willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:33 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:30 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:18 pm I use several spreadsheets regularly, at least one of them on an almost daily basis as it relates to both our monthly budget and our irregular/non-monthly expenses, which helped us to 'cure' our so-called 'emergency expenses'. I actually enjoy using them because they enable me to easily keep track of our income, expenses, and plans for the future. Using spreadsheets was definitely a contributing factor in moving our personal financial position from one that was 'pretty good' to one that I can humbly say is now 'excellent'.

For long-term tax planning purposes involving Roth conversions and other issues, I really don't see a good alternative to using spreadsheets, whether computerized or manual.
We do basically the same as your freedom fund. I have an annual budget which nets to zero at the bottom. We have line items for all recurring monthly expenses, some of which are known and some of which are estimates. Food and groceries are estimates, internet and cell phone bills are known. We also have line items for things like car insurance, life insurance, an allowance for our next new (used) car, an allowance for home maintenance and repairs, and a few others. Finally, we have amounts deducted for investments. I don't track it as closely as it appears you do, but it essentially works out the same. For the expenses that are not paid monthly, we save this amount each month so that the money is there when we need it. I have my direct deposit going into savings, so we don't have to move it there, just leave it there. Every six months or so, I calculate what my "accrual" balance should be, and any excess in savings gets invested in our taxable account. Excess can be achieved by spending less than budget in recurring categories or non recurring. I have $200 monthly budgeted for gas and tolls. Last year we spend only $1,700, so the remaining $700 was calculated as part of our excess and ultimately invested.
Yes, it sounds like you're using a very similar approach to us. We do track and 'save' for nearly all of our irregular and/or non-monthly expenses. Our 'gifts' sub-category was pretty active in November and December. :D But our net 'savings' in some categories pretty nearly balanced out our net 'spending' in others, so I didn't have to do anything at all with the freedom fund last month. That actually happens with surprisingly regularity.
Ah yes, the gifts category was active for us too, not surprisingly. But we also received some useful gift cards and cash that cancels out a lot of it. Should I account for those as negative expenses because our next couple Target trips are covered? :twisted:
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by friar1610 »

Years ago I had loads of spreadsheets as I began to see my investments grow and to look toward retirement. I haven't updated or looked at any of them in ages although they are still on my computer in case I want some financial nostalgia. I only use one spreadsheet now - to track my CD ladder. It's set up so i can tell at a quick glance when CDs are going to mature, where there might be gaps that need to be plugged and which years (rungs on the ladder) are either overfunded or underfunded.*

For all other purposes, the "Balances and Holdings" and "Portfolio Watch" pages on the VG web site give me all the info I need for my simple portfolio.

*(The symmetry of the ladder got out of whack as I took advantage of a number of Navy Federal CU deals during periods of otherwise very low interest rates since the Great Recesion.)
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by willthrill81 »

Triple digit golfer wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:37 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:33 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:30 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:18 pm I use several spreadsheets regularly, at least one of them on an almost daily basis as it relates to both our monthly budget and our irregular/non-monthly expenses, which helped us to 'cure' our so-called 'emergency expenses'. I actually enjoy using them because they enable me to easily keep track of our income, expenses, and plans for the future. Using spreadsheets was definitely a contributing factor in moving our personal financial position from one that was 'pretty good' to one that I can humbly say is now 'excellent'.

For long-term tax planning purposes involving Roth conversions and other issues, I really don't see a good alternative to using spreadsheets, whether computerized or manual.
We do basically the same as your freedom fund. I have an annual budget which nets to zero at the bottom. We have line items for all recurring monthly expenses, some of which are known and some of which are estimates. Food and groceries are estimates, internet and cell phone bills are known. We also have line items for things like car insurance, life insurance, an allowance for our next new (used) car, an allowance for home maintenance and repairs, and a few others. Finally, we have amounts deducted for investments. I don't track it as closely as it appears you do, but it essentially works out the same. For the expenses that are not paid monthly, we save this amount each month so that the money is there when we need it. I have my direct deposit going into savings, so we don't have to move it there, just leave it there. Every six months or so, I calculate what my "accrual" balance should be, and any excess in savings gets invested in our taxable account. Excess can be achieved by spending less than budget in recurring categories or non recurring. I have $200 monthly budgeted for gas and tolls. Last year we spend only $1,700, so the remaining $700 was calculated as part of our excess and ultimately invested.
Yes, it sounds like you're using a very similar approach to us. We do track and 'save' for nearly all of our irregular and/or non-monthly expenses. Our 'gifts' sub-category was pretty active in November and December. :D But our net 'savings' in some categories pretty nearly balanced out our net 'spending' in others, so I didn't have to do anything at all with the freedom fund last month. That actually happens with surprisingly regularity.
Ah yes, the gifts category was active for us too, not surprisingly. But we also received some useful gift cards and cash that cancels out a lot of it. Should I account for those as negative expenses because our next couple Target trips are covered? :twisted:
Ha, that's a good point! We exhausted our 'dining out' category during the last two months in order to buy gift cards with bonuses to various restaurants. We figure that we will get to dine out an average of once a week for the next several months without any cash outlays. But getting $5-10 back from buying a $25-50 gift card to a place that we know we're going to eat at anyway seems like a no-brainer to us. One of our favorite places did a 1-for-1 gift card bonus on Black Friday! Cha-ching! :D
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Never used any spreadsheets, as I see no value in recreating any activities that are captured already for me.

Any time I desire I can take a deep dive into our portfolio using the various tools already available to me at Vanguard.

I kinda understand that some people enjoy their spreadsheets, but I am way too lazy and would find such activities tedious at best.

Today our portfolio has so few investments, it is slap-forehead simple.

Every few years I do add up the ER expenses I am currently paying Vanguard just for grins and giggles.

So, spreadsheet away, if it tickles your fancy.

To be fair, we haven't had funds going into Vanguard since 2015 when I deposited my lump-sum retirement check, other than a monthly contribution to our 529 accounts for the four grandchildren.

I fear any spreadsheet I could devise would be barren of much data.

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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Triple digit golfer »

willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:44 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:37 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:33 pm
Triple digit golfer wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:30 pm
willthrill81 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:18 pm I use several spreadsheets regularly, at least one of them on an almost daily basis as it relates to both our monthly budget and our irregular/non-monthly expenses, which helped us to 'cure' our so-called 'emergency expenses'. I actually enjoy using them because they enable me to easily keep track of our income, expenses, and plans for the future. Using spreadsheets was definitely a contributing factor in moving our personal financial position from one that was 'pretty good' to one that I can humbly say is now 'excellent'.

For long-term tax planning purposes involving Roth conversions and other issues, I really don't see a good alternative to using spreadsheets, whether computerized or manual.
We do basically the same as your freedom fund. I have an annual budget which nets to zero at the bottom. We have line items for all recurring monthly expenses, some of which are known and some of which are estimates. Food and groceries are estimates, internet and cell phone bills are known. We also have line items for things like car insurance, life insurance, an allowance for our next new (used) car, an allowance for home maintenance and repairs, and a few others. Finally, we have amounts deducted for investments. I don't track it as closely as it appears you do, but it essentially works out the same. For the expenses that are not paid monthly, we save this amount each month so that the money is there when we need it. I have my direct deposit going into savings, so we don't have to move it there, just leave it there. Every six months or so, I calculate what my "accrual" balance should be, and any excess in savings gets invested in our taxable account. Excess can be achieved by spending less than budget in recurring categories or non recurring. I have $200 monthly budgeted for gas and tolls. Last year we spend only $1,700, so the remaining $700 was calculated as part of our excess and ultimately invested.
Yes, it sounds like you're using a very similar approach to us. We do track and 'save' for nearly all of our irregular and/or non-monthly expenses. Our 'gifts' sub-category was pretty active in November and December. :D But our net 'savings' in some categories pretty nearly balanced out our net 'spending' in others, so I didn't have to do anything at all with the freedom fund last month. That actually happens with surprisingly regularity.
Ah yes, the gifts category was active for us too, not surprisingly. But we also received some useful gift cards and cash that cancels out a lot of it. Should I account for those as negative expenses because our next couple Target trips are covered? :twisted:
Ha, that's a good point! We exhausted our 'dining out' category during the last two months in order to buy gift cards with bonuses to various restaurants. We figure that we will get to dine out an average of once a week for the next several months without any cash outlays. But getting $5-10 back from buying a $25-50 gift card to a place that we know we're going to eat at anyway seems like a no-brainer to us. One of our favorite places did a 1-for-1 gift card bonus on Black Friday! Cha-ching! :D
Yep, good as cash if you're going to go anyway. We did a bit of that too. We don't go anywhere fancy - I'm talking Chili's, Portillo's, and Buffalo Wild Wings. We're simple.
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willthrill81
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by willthrill81 »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:47 pm Never used any spreadsheets, as I see no value in recreating any activities that are captured already for me.
I can definitely see your logic. But helping to understand what we've spent in the past helps us to estimate, if nothing else, how much we'll spend in the future. It also helps us to plan on how much we need to save to achieve our goals and, at the same time, how much we can afford to spend going forward.

I find it both amusing and a bit saddening to hear people say, usually with regard to retirement spending, that they cannot reduce their six-figure spending at all because all of it is essential.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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Leif
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Leif »

I love my portfolio spreadsheet. I have a diversified set of assets and it tracks their value. I've programmed it to, with the click of a button, update the pricing information for my holdings for that day.

In addition, I track my current AA which signals when rebalancing is in order. I have a history tab which tells me my portfolio value over multiple years. That allows me to see much things as my YTD number, max and min values, standard deviation, and 3 year average of income, which also flows in to my cash flow tab. From cash flow I feed in my expect AGI, with income and tax history. It generates my Roth conversion number for each year, broken into quarters.

My CD tab tells me when to expect my CDs to be due and the income being generated, which also feeds into the cash flow. My Charts tab shows my the YTD portfolio value and history since I starting keeping these records. My withdrawal tab tracks my withdraws which informs the available cash I want to keep on hand. My taxes and capital gains tab tracks my taxable purchases and helps me determine if I need to do tax loss harvesting.

My rebalance tab shows my history for AA, from the start of my spreadsheet, divided into asset categories. My bonds tab tracks my E-bond & I-bond holdings and when to cash the E-bonds after their doubling period.

My SS tab tracks my SS history and planning that feeds into my cash flow projections.

So the heck with simplicity. I love my spreadsheet I've developed over the years and how it informs my future investment plans.
Last edited by Leif on Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by DoubleClick »

MaxRN wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:21 pm Congratulations, one small step for man, one giant leap for common sense investing.
for a man
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by PharmerBrown »

A 10 year bull market can make you comfortable doing a lot of cool things.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by JoeRetire »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm After decades of building and using spreadsheets, I started to question the need and perceived value. In my opinion it was no longer a good or valuable use of time. Time that is better spent elsewhere as a spreadsheet makes zero difference or impact to a portfolio.

After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.

Simplicity! What a major leap forward the past couple of months. Moving from a six fund portfolio to Mr. Bogle's and Mr. Buffett's Two Fund Portfolio and now deleting all spreadsheets
If all you ever put on your decades worth of spreadsheets was something about your six funds, then deleting them makes complete sense. If you move to two, you can keep it in your head.

Others keep more information on their spreadsheets.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
David Althaus
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by David Althaus »

I know I should delete but (after all these years) can't seem to pull the trigger. Maybe next year. I have, though, gone a further step in simplicity. We keep seven years living expenses in intermediate bonds and cash. Hope it's not considered a bucket. As a kid I read about this strategy in some old book somewhere--er, maybe I dreamt it. The rest is in TSM (80%) and ExUS TSM (20%). All these factors, sectors, alternatives, standard deviations, sharpe ratios, Sortino ratios, coefficients, efficient portfolios, annuity calculators, duration, tilting, and kretosis (sp?)--whatever that actually is--makes my head hurt. Simplify and prosper.

All the best
Ferdinand2014
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Ferdinand2014 »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm Bogleheads -

After decades of building and using spreadsheets, I started to question the need and perceived value. In my opinion it was no longer a good or valuable use of time. Time that is better spent elsewhere as a spreadsheet makes zero difference or impact to a portfolio.

After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.

Simplicity! What a major leap forward the past couple of months. Moving from a six fund portfolio to Mr. Bogle's and Mr. Buffett's Two Fund Portfolio and now deleting all spreadsheets: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=188176

Simplicity (both financially and non-financially) is never ending, but rather a rewarding journey.

Best.
My IPS (top of my spreadsheet) which does nothing other then list and add up my separate brokerages of my DW and I to keep a running total.

1.) No new debt
2.) Maximize tax deferred contribution
3.) Match tax-deferred contribution in taxable
4.) 2 years cash (t-bills) and everything else in a low cost S&P 500 index fund
5.) Buy and hold - no rebalancing
“Stay the course” - J. Bogle
“Our favorite holding period is forever” - W.Buffett
“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“ — Warren Buffett
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abuss368
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

PharmerBrown wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:27 pm A 10 year bull market can make you comfortable doing a lot of cool things.
Not really. During the financial crisis buying was easier and no calculations or analysis was needed. We simply bought all stocks.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
3504PIR
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by 3504PIR »

Halicar wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:14 pm
3504PIR wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:17 pm But then how will anyone count up all their pennies, which seems to be a popular activity for so many here? :?
Someday I hope to be wealthy enough that my day-to-day spending will be negligible with regard to my income and net worth. I'm not quite there yet, so I'll continue to count my pennies for now.
I hope so too, although my post was in jest. If a spreadsheet makes you rich, go for it! I’ve never been rich, never crunched numbers on a budget and never calculated my net worth (and wouldn’t even know how). My post was more about people here who seem to endlessly count their money.
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snackdog
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by snackdog »

I have loved spreadsheets ever since the first ones appeared in the 80s. They are a way of life at megacorp and we manage a many billion dollar portfolio with Excel and Spotfire. Never had an interest in managing the personal portfolio via one given all the better alternatives online. But love Excel for tracking expenses (from Mint), tax prep and rental management.
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TimeRunner
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by TimeRunner »

You'll have to take:
=VALUE(Right((Index(ImportHtml(CONCATENATE("http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/advcha ... ttype=Fund"), "table"),3,1)),7))
(as an example)
from my cold dead hands. :wink:
One cannot enlighten the unconscious.
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Horton
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Horton »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm
After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.
Just don’t empty your recycle bin :P
winterfan
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by winterfan »

I keep one that tracks our NW by source (his 401K, my IRA, our Roths, etc.) so I can show my husband a few times a year. I also keep a budget spreadsheet so I can track expenses. I enjoy updating both though. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't bother.
JBTX
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by JBTX »

3504PIR wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:16 pm
Halicar wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:14 pm
3504PIR wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:17 pm But then how will anyone count up all their pennies, which seems to be a popular activity for so many here? :?
Someday I hope to be wealthy enough that my day-to-day spending will be negligible with regard to my income and net worth. I'm not quite there yet, so I'll continue to count my pennies for now.

I’ve never been rich, never crunched numbers on a budget and never calculated my net worth (and wouldn’t even know how).
My post was more about people here who seem to endlessly count their money.

Hmmm....
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abuss368
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

Horton wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:47 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm
After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.
Just don’t empty your recycle bin :P
Did that too. Gone! Moving forward with simplicity.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
CFM300
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by CFM300 »

We have 13 different accounts spread among 6 different institutions. After we retire, we'll be able to simply a bit. Even then, spreadsheets will be essential.
Last edited by CFM300 on Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lostdog
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by lostdog »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:13 pm
Horton wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:47 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm
After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.
Just don’t empty your recycle bin :P
Did that too. Gone! Moving forward with simplicity.
What do you use for a check register?
sapper1371
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by sapper1371 »

With 2 401ks, 2 HSAs, 2 Roth IRAs and a taxable account I find my spreadsheet pretty valuable. That being said, I probably spend about 5-10 minutes every 6 months or so updating all of my balances to see where I am overall. Sounds like you may have just created something too complex to be worth maintaining but to each their own.
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

CFM300 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:28 pm We have 13 different accounts spread among 6 different institutions. After we retire, we'll be able to simply a bit. Even then, spreadsheets will be essential.
We consolidated to one bank and Vanguard. Made things easy.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

lostdog wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:29 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:13 pm
Horton wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:47 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm
After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.
Just don’t empty your recycle bin :P
Did that too. Gone! Moving forward with simplicity.
Manual checkbook. One checking account. Very minimal transactions.
What do you use for a check register?
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm Bogleheads -

After decades of building and using spreadsheets, I started to question the need and perceived value. In my opinion it was no longer a good or valuable use of time. Time that is better spent elsewhere as a spreadsheet makes zero difference or impact to a portfolio.

After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.

Simplicity! What a major leap forward the past couple of months. Moving from a six fund portfolio to Mr. Bogle's and Mr. Buffett's Two Fund Portfolio and now deleting all spreadsheets: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=188176

Simplicity (both financially and non-financially) is never ending, but rather a rewarding journey.

Best.
Congratulations!

I firmly believe the only reason to generate any sort of data is to take some action as a result of said data, either now or at some point.

If one is spending time generating data that will not realistically ever result in any different action being taken then that is time being wasted.

To that end the only investment spreadsheet I maintain nowadays is a simple one that tracks our net work. Two sheets, one for assets an the other for liabilities. In each sheet there's a column for each account plus one for the sum total, and there's a row for each date I measure on.

I update the spreadsheet quarterly. Depending on the results there are different, varied actions I might take. Examples include decreasing spending, taking an extra vacation, more aggressively paying off liabilities, etc.

Even this can be overly complicated if your portfolio is simple enough, which sounds like the situation you're in.

Congratulations again. Simplicity is a key Boglehead principle and from your contributions to this forum it seems like you've really internalized that. Thank you for reminding us how important this is. After years of trying complicated I am aggressively trying to simplify our investments and finances as much as possible so I can spend more time with my family (among other things - but that is by far the most important).
fourwheelcycle
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by fourwheelcycle »

I am very big on spreadsheets. I learned to use them in my job, and it was natural to also develop them to project my defined benefit retirement amounts based my employer's pension formula. Fortunately, my wife and I never had to do any family budgets, we just spent what we needed and saved the rest, so I never had to develop budget spreadsheets.

I never had any family finance spreadsheets until my early fifties, until then my Vanguard account page, with our linked outside retirement accounts, was all we used to monitor our portfolio and our total taxable and retirement savings. During my fifties I built our first spreadsheet to project our income, estimated annual expenses, net savings, and portfolio growth out to retirement age. Everything looked to be in good shape, so I did not do much fine tuning until I actually retired at age 60. At that point I added more sheets with projections out to age 100. First I added a sheet that showed projected pension income, beginning after I retired, projected SSA income at age 70, and projected RMDs beginning at 70 1/2. My wife will not retire until next year, at which point we will go on Medicare and our IRMAA expenses will begin. Then I added a sheet that tracks our annual QCD gifts to various charities and our annual gifts to each of our children. Most recently I added a sheet that tracks the 529 contributions, balances, and projected portfolio adjustments, by year, for each of our grandchildren.

At this point I use our spreadsheets to project our income from multiple sources, including RMDs with the linked IRS age tables for my wife and myself, our expenses for living, annual QCDs and gifts to our children, 529 contributions and balances for each new grandchild, our taxes, and our IRMAA expenses for each year based on MAGI for previous years. I can't imagine keeping track of all these moving parts, or budgeting for them, without our spreadsheets.
lostdog
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by lostdog »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:02 pm
lostdog wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:29 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:13 pm
Horton wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:47 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm
After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.
Just don’t empty your recycle bin :P
Did that too. Gone! Moving forward with simplicity.
Manual checkbook. One checking account. Very minimal transactions.
What do you use for a check register?
Google sheets. One checking account and Vanguard for everything else.
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abuss368
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by abuss368 »

lostdog wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:00 am
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:02 pm
lostdog wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:29 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:13 pm
Horton wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:47 pm

Just don’t empty your recycle bin :P
Did that too. Gone! Moving forward with simplicity.
Manual checkbook. One checking account. Very minimal transactions.
What do you use for a check register?
Google sheets. One checking account and Vanguard for everything else.
Record every checkbook transaction or just checks written?
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Dale_G
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Dale_G »

My investment spreadsheet data goes back to 1981. First on VisiCalc, then Lotus 123. I have 39 years of my investment performance. And I still use Lotus (Millennial edition circa 1999) to track investments. Windows 10 updates blow away some functionality occasionally, but I just reload the program and all is good.

The beauty of long record is that I can see what I have actually done - the good, the bad and the ugly.

My first humble investments were in Vanguard's Windsor and Star funds in 1981. I grew concerned about the ballistic rise of the market in the summer of 1987 and sold off almost everything by October 16, 1987, thus avoiding the crash on October 19th. It felt smart. Unfortunately, I didn't become fully reinvested until 1991. That taught me a lesson.

I breezed through the dotcom thing in 2001 by luck holding mostly Fidelity's Low Cost Stock fund, but before the bottom I bought some QQQ that I later sold at a loss.

In 2008/2009 I rebalanced too frequently, but came out 80K ahead of doing nothing.

I am concerned about the 2019 ballistic rise of the market, but I am doing nothing.

So the long term spreadsheet tells the unvarnished truth about what I have done. I could scrap my spreadsheets today and it would likely have no effect at all on my future, but I still might have something to learn. Time will tell, but unless I have a record, I am less likely to learn.

Dale
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SGM
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by SGM »

My spreadsheets are of no help with my most difficult decision in retirement.

What color Porsche should I buy?
mancich
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by mancich »

As it pertains to personal finance, we only use one spreadsheet (I should say workbook). We use it to track our cash flow spending plan, which for us is similar to a budget but shows timing across the top (each column is a two week pay period) through end of 2020, expense and savings categories down the left. Other sheets in the workbook are for miscellaneous stuff (net worth tracking, asset allocation tracking, birthday gift giving, etc). It works for us, but I definitely admire the move to further simplify finances and life in general. Congratulations!
dekecarver
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by dekecarver »

I've tried spreadsheets and actually find creating and using them kinda cool however I'm notorious for not updating, wanting to tweak, creating a spreadsheet for a spreadsheet, keeping sheets in different locations, still document in pencil and paper, having too much visual information at one time...So now I have one that I use to simply document holdings a couple times a year to tally the final number and move on and sometimes I simply roll through the online accounts and just do a mental accounting. There is something to be said for simplicity during the accumulation stage once you get it on autopilot.

However when it comes time to draw down income for retirement, I'm gonna have to eventually work on that due to his and her draw paths.
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Stinky
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Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Post by Stinky »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:09 pm After reviewing everything today, I clicked on the file and hit delete. It was rewarding.
My heart skipped a beat when I read this.

I can't imagine my life without spreadsheets.

I've used them since the very first days of Visicalc on a tiny Apple II computer. And I expect to use them until I die.
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