Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

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InvestVS
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Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by InvestVS » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:20 pm

I am sure it is being asked many times before, I am having a hard time with Personal Capital which is screwing up some of my securities with their names so they show as Cash or non-classified. Also, it does not count the cash in your checking account/saving/CD accounts as cash% for your portfolio. Also, it shows the new contributions also as under the regular growth of your portfolio so not easy to see how much profit/loss you are making on overall portfolio. Not sure how they calculate the performance in their performance charts.

Morningstar X-ray I have not used it as it is paid.

What are the other options to see all your investments, cash as the single portfolio at one place once a quarter to do the rebalancing and TLH. Is manually created Google sheet with the link to real-time quote is the best option? I do not have a simple portfolio due to me and spouse both working so two 401 K, two rollover IRA, two stock plan account and 1 regular trading account.

livesoft
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by livesoft » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:25 pm

Use the free MS Money with manual entry of transactions.
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alan
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by alan » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:43 am

I just use the VanGuard website by listing my other investments under Outside Investments
ALAN

craimund
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by craimund » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:17 am

I use and generally like Quicken. However, it is not free and you are forced to upgrade every two years (I think) to allow automatic downloads. I believe they also went to an annual subscription model recently which has not affected me yet. There are many other posts discussing these types of services.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

Ron Scott
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by Ron Scott » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:42 am

I do not give any 3rd party access to all my finances. I use a simple homemade spreadsheet and update the entries myself monthly. Takes me about 20 minutes to update and proof.

The spreadsheet breaks down asset allocation X asset location and performs several other assessments of interest to me.

I’d be interested to know if others find this approach ineffective and why. Always looking for a better mousetrap.
Retirement is a game best played by those prepared for more volatility in the future than has been seen in the past. The solution is not to predict investment losses but to prepare for them.

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camillus
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by camillus » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:47 am

I use personal capital, but for asset allocation I also keep a simple spreadsheet.

bironology
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by bironology » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:57 am

I walked away from pre-built tools a few years ago, fed up with their limitations. I've created and refined an Excel workbook to track my investments and plan AA.

I've never shared it with anyone, so I don't know how understandable it is, but I just made a copy and scrubbed my personal information, replacing account names with "Some account" and symbols with "XYX" and plugged $1000 into each entry. For that reason, the allocations look way off target, but if you plug in your real info it should look more reasonable.

Here it is: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jso8ab6jfpftn ... .xlsx?dl=0

This is expressly for capturing the current market value of each holding, allocating each to its respective bucket, letting me see at a glance how my AA is doing, how my accounts are doing, and planning future investments or reallocations.

It also handily calculates Net Worth.

It does not try to track individual transactions. I have different workbooks for that.

There are multiple sheets, one for an overall summary which you generally do not need to edit, except for the entries for home equity and other non-investment assets like valuable collectables, cars, etc.

There's a sheet for retirement accounts, college savings, and extra-savings (taxable accounts). On those you should edit your account names, symbols, equity names, and values accordingly. Also plug in the date in which the market values are recorded for each account. The allocation summary at the top of each of those sheets are all calculated.

The sheet titled sub-allocation-plan is to help decide... well what it sounds like.

I make a copy of this each month to create an archive I can look back to. Theoretically I could scrape those archived workbooks to create a view of account growth and allocation shift over time, but I have not done that yet. A proper database would be a better tool for that. Someday maybe I'll export them all to SQL Server or something...

In general if you are skilled with Excel you should be able to see how it works. I'm an advanced Excel user, but this workbook is not terribly advanced. That said, shoot me a PM if you need help. Assuming this is interesting...
Last edited by bironology on Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

bironology
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by bironology » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:58 am

Ron Scott wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:42 am
I do not give any 3rd party access to all my finances. I use a simple homemade spreadsheet and update the entries myself monthly. Takes me about 20 minutes to update and proof.

The spreadsheet breaks down asset allocation X asset location and performs several other assessments of interest to me.

I’d be interested to know if others find this approach ineffective and why. Always looking for a better mousetrap.
If you are skilled with spreadsheets, this is the way to go IMHO. See my previous post.

bironology
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by bironology » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:12 am

Ron Scott wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:42 am
I do not give any 3rd party access to all my finances. I use a simple homemade spreadsheet and update the entries myself monthly. Takes me about 20 minutes to update and proof.

The spreadsheet breaks down asset allocation X asset location and performs several other assessments of interest to me.

I’d be interested to know if others find this approach ineffective and why. Always looking for a better mousetrap.
BTW, I've done it all over the years. Quicken, MS Money, Personal Cap, Mint... I hate all of those and love my spreadsheet system.

Automatic updating of equities is totally overrated. Downloading and upgrading desktop software has become a nightmare. I spent way way way too much time fiddling with the quirks and bugs and outages of those tools, and got very little utility in return for my money and/or time.

My spreadsheets do exactly what I need, and when I have a new need, I spend a few hours on a rainy Sunday morning and boom: I have it.

Over time I've created a "system" of workbooks, each for
- tracking and planning account balances and AA
- planning future expenses and projecting net worth growth over time
- planning retirement savings
- planning college savings
- tracking taxable equities trades and tax implications

I can link data between the sheets and books when I want them synchronized, or not. Sometimes it is better to keep things snapshotted/copied and not linked. I decide. I don't need to ask a crappy software house to accept a feature request that they will ignore. I just do it.

I've probably spent 40 hours building and refining these over 3 years, piecemeal. Now I spend 20 minutes per month updating, like you said Ron. But those 40 hours have been fruitful satisfying work. Like building yourself a workbench for your garage or workshop. Can't imagine not having them now.

The Wizard
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by The Wizard » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:48 am

I use benign neglect for portfolio management to a limited degree.

I'm joking a bit, but something like 85% of my portfolio is with my 403(b) provider (TIAA) and they give me a decent breakdown on the AA of those funds.

Other 15% of portfolio is Roth IRA and taxable account at Vanguard, all in a mix of stock funds.
I hold no cash outside of my checking account.

I could aggregate my TIAA and Vanguard accounts with various tools, some of which I've used in the past. I would then know my true stock fund allocation to 0.1% or better.
But why would I want to do this?
Excess precision isn't going to improve my day...
Attempted new signature...

TwstdSista
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by TwstdSista » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:53 am

I just use a spreadsheet I created. Simple, easy, and does exactly what I want it to do.

Ron Scott
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by Ron Scott » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:14 am

bironology wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:12 am
Ron Scott wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:42 am
I do not give any 3rd party access to all my finances. I use a simple homemade spreadsheet and update the entries myself monthly. Takes me about 20 minutes to update and proof.

The spreadsheet breaks down asset allocation X asset location and performs several other assessments of interest to me.

I’d be interested to know if others find this approach ineffective and why. Always looking for a better mousetrap.
BTW, I've done it all over the years. Quicken, MS Money, Personal Cap, Mint... I hate all of those and love my spreadsheet system.

Automatic updating of equities is totally overrated. Downloading and upgrading desktop software has become a nightmare. I spent way way way too much time fiddling with the quirks and bugs and outages of those tools, and got very little utility in return for my money and/or time.

My spreadsheets do exactly what I need, and when I have a new need, I spend a few hours on a rainy Sunday morning and boom: I have it.

Over time I've created a "system" of workbooks, each for
- tracking and planning account balances and AA
- planning future expenses and projecting net worth growth over time
- planning retirement savings
- planning college savings
- tracking taxable equities trades and tax implications

I can link data between the sheets and books when I want them synchronized, or not. Sometimes it is better to keep things snapshotted/copied and not linked. I decide. I don't need to ask a crappy software house to accept a feature request that they will ignore. I just do it.

I've probably spent 40 hours building and refining these over 3 years, piecemeal. Now I spend 20 minutes per month updating, like you said Ron. But those 40 hours have been fruitful satisfying work. Like building yourself a workbench for your garage or workshop. Can't imagine not having them now.
Thanks for this reply.

An interesting aspect of life, mine anyway, is if someone else does my work I'm lucky to understand about half of it and have confidence in even less. If I do the work I know it like the back of my hand.

I'm going to start another thread on this. DIY spreadsheets are probably developed by lots of BHs and it would be interesting to know what facilities people build.
Retirement is a game best played by those prepared for more volatility in the future than has been seen in the past. The solution is not to predict investment losses but to prepare for them.

moehoward
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by moehoward » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:24 am

Ron Scott wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:42 am
I do not give any 3rd party access to all my finances. I use a simple homemade spreadsheet and update the entries myself monthly. Takes me about 20 minutes to update and proof.

The spreadsheet breaks down asset allocation X asset location and performs several other assessments of interest to me.

I’d be interested to know if others find this approach ineffective and why. Always looking for a better mousetrap.
I agree with you, but I use google docs. Overtime, my spreadsheet has become very sophisticated (formulas) and provides all the information I need. To answer the security question I inevideably get. I don't put my name or account numbers in google docs. If someone hacks it, they will get a nice financial spreadsheet, nothing more.

Dandy
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by Dandy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:37 am

I just use the VanGuard website by listing my other investments under Outside Investments
+1 Also, you can add, with the right permission, your spouse's VG account so that your whole VG household is shown and updated.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:43 am

I built my own Excel spreadsheet which tells me everything I want to know. I do not track cash within any asset allocation category, only for net worth. My "available assets" including bank/credit union accounts and taxable accounts are written on a note page on my peg board in front of me. All of my investments are in my spreadsheet. Between my wife and me, we have 10 investment accounts. For bank/credit union accounts, probably another 10, but I only currently use 3 institutions with about 8 accounts. None of this is hard. I manually update amounts when I want to take a look. Everything is on a flash drive....nothing on any cloud or my hard drive.
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2015
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by 2015 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:23 am

alan wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:43 am
I just use the VanGuard website by listing my other investments under Outside Investments
Same, although I do have an excel workbook containing about 5 spreadsheets for different purposes explained in another thread. Takes no time to update all of this.

Oddball
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by Oddball » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:59 am

camillus wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:47 am
I use personal capital, but for asset allocation I also keep a simple spreadsheet.
I do the same.

aaja
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:40 pm

Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by aaja » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:10 am

InvestVS wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:20 pm
I am sure it is being asked many times before, I am having a hard time with Personal Capital which is screwing up some of my securities with their names so they show as Cash or non-classified. Also, it does not count the cash in your checking account/saving/CD accounts as cash% for your portfolio.
I use personal capital but manually enter all my holdings instead of linking the actual accounts. I think this is a reasonable tradeoff and really like the convinience.

Regarding securities that show up as non classified you can easily edit it in allocations to manually pin them to a known type. Worked like a charm for me.

As for the cash accounts if you click on edit the specific account, you can select the option to consider the cash account as an investment account which will result in it being a part of your portfolio and thus allocation.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:28 am

InvestVS wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:20 pm
I am sure it is being asked many times before, I am having a hard time with Personal Capital which is screwing up some of my securities with their names so they show as Cash or non-classified. Also, it does not count the cash in your checking account/saving/CD accounts as cash% for your portfolio. Also, it shows the new contributions also as under the regular growth of your portfolio so not easy to see how much profit/loss you are making on overall portfolio. Not sure how they calculate the performance in their performance charts.

Morningstar X-ray I have not used it as it is paid.

What are the other options to see all your investments, cash as the single portfolio at one place once a quarter to do the rebalancing and TLH. Is manually created Google sheet with the link to real-time quote is the best option? I do not have a simple portfolio due to me and spouse both working so two 401 K, two rollover IRA, two stock plan account and 1 regular trading account.
We have 4 accounts, my rollover IRA, 2 Roth IRAs, and a joint taxable account.

I use Morningstar's free Portfolio Manager with manual entry of number of shares, plus a sheet of paper and a $4 pocket calculator.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

carain
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by carain » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:59 am

I use https://www.ledger-cli.org/. It's an open-source accounting program that uses plain-text ledger files. It understands commodities and currencies. https://p.epij.nl/ledger-cli/accounting ... er-part-1/ is a decent introduction..

It's not for everyone: you must be comfortable with command-line programs and a plain text editor. But if that's your speed, it is free, future-proof, and extremely extensible. Anything that can update a text file can input into your ledger... or totally destroy it. Backups are mandatory!

Chaconne
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by Chaconne » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:19 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:48 am
I use benign neglect for portfolio management to a limited degree.
I believe that's a free download. :happy

I'm transitioning from the accumulation stage to the retirement stage and have been using my own Excel spreadsheets. I just need to figure out how to reconfigure them for the drawdown rather than the draw-up.

The Wizard
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by The Wizard » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:38 pm

hesson11 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:19 pm
The Wizard wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:48 am
I use benign neglect for portfolio management to a limited degree.
I believe that's a free download. :happy

I'm transitioning from the accumulation stage to the retirement stage and have been using my own Excel spreadsheets. I just need to figure out how to reconfigure them for the drawdown rather than the draw-up.
I should mention that I do have retirement spreadsheets that track and project my income from all sources.
It's just that my portfolio is becoming increasingly discretionary and so whether my total stock percentage is 55% or 65% doesn't much matter at this point...
Attempted new signature...

nesdog
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by nesdog » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:00 pm

TwstdSista wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:53 am
I just use a spreadsheet I created. Simple, easy, and does exactly what I want it to do.
+1. Same here. Just update a few times a year to check the AA and totals.

InvestVS
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:19 pm

Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by InvestVS » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:12 pm

bironology wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:57 am
I walked away from pre-built tools a few years ago, fed up with their limitations. I've created and refined an Excel workbook to track my investments and plan AA.

I've never shared it with anyone, so I don't know how understandable it is, but I just made a copy and scrubbed my personal information, replacing account names with "Some account" and symbols with "XYX" and plugged $1000 into each entry. For that reason, the allocations look way off target, but if you plug in your real info it should look more reasonable.

Here it is: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jso8ab6jfpftn ... .xlsx?dl=0

This is expressly for capturing the current market value of each holding, allocating each to its respective bucket, letting me see at a glance how my AA is doing, how my accounts are doing, and planning future investments or reallocations.

It also handily calculates Net Worth.

It does not try to track individual transactions. I have different workbooks for that.

There are multiple sheets, one for an overall summary which you generally do not need to edit, except for the entries for home equity and other non-investment assets like valuable collectables, cars, etc.

There's a sheet for retirement accounts, college savings, and extra-savings (taxable accounts). On those you should edit your account names, symbols, equity names, and values accordingly. Also plug in the date in which the market values are recorded for each account. The allocation summary at the top of each of those sheets are all calculated.

The sheet titled sub-allocation-plan is to help decide... well what it sounds like.

I make a copy of this each month to create an archive I can look back to. Theoretically I could scrape those archived workbooks to create a view of account growth and allocation shift over time, but I have not done that yet. A proper database would be a better tool for that. Someday maybe I'll export them all to SQL Server or something...

In general if you are skilled with Excel you should be able to see how it works. I'm an advanced Excel user, but this workbook is not terribly advanced. That said, shoot me a PM if you need help. Assuming this is interesting...
Thanks bironology for sharing this! Look like this sheet is very useful for tracing AA and see a summary of all accounts in one place. How do you use it for tracking the yearly performance of your investments?

MotoTrojan
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Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by MotoTrojan » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:23 pm

I use Googlesheets myself but I enjoy spreadsheets and have added all sorts of bells and whistles, such as automatic estimates (using ETFs) of Mutual Fund pricing during the trading day, which revert to actual posted NAV in the evenings. Currently just have my taxable, Roth, and 401k with each having 3-7 funds (TLH partners on my 3-fund equity only portfolio).

bironology
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Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:18 pm

Re: Best tool/way to manage the a portfolio of multiple accounts

Post by bironology » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:24 pm

InvestVS wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:12 pm

Thanks bironology for sharing this! Look like this sheet is very useful for tracing AA and see a summary of all accounts in one place. How do you use it for tracking the yearly performance of your investments?
Excel is a hard tool for that kind of job, which is what I meant when I said "a proper database" would be a better tool for longitudinal tracking.

Personally, I'm less concerned with "how X fund did vs. Y fund" and more concerned with whether I have the right allocation. I'd love to see a consolidated list of holdings with performance for each, but lack of that doesn't keep me up at night. I can see something close by poking around in my brokerage account systems, albeit not consolidated.

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