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Simply Tracking Your Investments

I’ve tried a few different stock tracking apps, but after some time they have all had glitches for one reason or another, or they eventually tried to charge you a fee to maintain the updates and performance. This slowly becomes annoying, because loading all your data into them is usually time consuming, so losing the functionality and having to migrate somewhere else is quite frustrating. In the end I’ve found the easiest, most reliable, and best way to track your shares, portfolio performance, and find basic data is to open a yahoo account and build portfolio/s inside the yahoo finance section. While it doesn’t provide super-comprehensive data or overlays of data compared to the apps that charge you, it is pretty easy to use and gives you all the basic information to see your daily market performance and all of the financials you might want to look at. This includes daily price changes, gains/losses, dividend changes, overall yields, plus company financials like revenue, expenses, share info, etc. You really don’t need a ton of data as a passive investor, because it is mostly a watching and learning game. I watch the information daily more out of interest or to discover the occasional opportunity to put cash to good use to lower my costs basis’, rather than as a frequent analyst or day trader. There are also company news sections and company financials, plus dividend and earnings reports and notifications. And best of all, it’s FREE TO USE with a yahoo account. Once you have a yahoo account set up, and your portfolio information loaded up, you can simply use the yahoo finance app on a tablet or phone to easily track and access your information from anywhere.

When you are set up with a yahoo email and account, simply log in and go into the finance tab. From there you will be able to create a portfolio under the “my portfolio” section. Just pick “add symbol” where you will be prompted for the stock ticker symbol, number of shares, and purchase dates of lots. A lot is just the group of shares bought on that date, and you can add more lots if you buy more on future dates. If you want, you can simply put everything in one portfolio, or create a number of ”portfolios” to represent and separate the accounts and shares you hold e.g. personal and spousal RIFs, LIFs, TFSAs, etc. I have it all in one portfolio because I track them independently in a spreadsheet, and don’t need to see the data separated in my apps. Seeing it all together in retirement and decumulation works for me.

I find there are only a few numbers Iike to look at daily. The share price, average cost per share (ACB) and number of shares is provided. You can calculate the share price by taking the market cap (found in “key statistics”) and dividing it by the outstanding shares (found in the “key statistics”, “view all” under “share statistics). Although, they do this for you in real time so no real need to do the math. Another value I look at once in awhile is the dividend yield. This number sometimes goes up or down depending on other factors (good or bad). The dividend yield, not to be confused with dividend percent, multiplied by the number of shares you own will give you your annual income from dividends. You can also see the daily gains/losses, and overall gains/losses. I like to see what all the indices are doing daily, and you can plug them into the banner on top. Not much else I spend too much time looking at, though I might check some of the company financials on occasion specific to shares I own just to see if there are any changes or trends worth noting.

I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of the app or the data provided. I’m not going to give a comprehensive tutorial on how to set it up or use it. It just takes a bit of your time and effort to figure it out. I simply wanted to let you know that it is a free, reliable portfolio or share tracker given all the others that have failed and frustrated me over the years. I’ve found it gives me all the basic info and news I need, and can be easily customized to meet your needs.

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