A common question I receive is what method I use to track my portfolio. There are ways to do this manually in Excel, although I find that process too laborious and prone to error. My preference has always been a “one-stop shop” type of program where I can input (or have automatically updated via broker) my stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, and even real estate all in one place,
Sharesight is an online portal I stumbled across one year ago and have been using religiously ever since. It serves various purposes in a simple and detailed visual format: keep it simple by checking your overall performance once per week, or delve into a detailed analysis of your holding diversity, performance, and historical stats. The layout is entirely user-friendly and simple to navigate, while also providing you all the important statistics you need to evaluate your investment plan. I’m Canadian so the interface is set in Canadian Dollars, but you can set yours for any currency and country worldwide. Let’s dig a little deeper. Main Page:
The main page shows your overall portfolio performance in various forms. I prefer to keep mine on the bar graph as it visualizes the ratio of capital gains/losses to dividends. On the top pull-down menu you can view each portfolio separately, if you so choose (As a Canadian, I have a cash account, TFSA and RRSP). You can also track your performance against benchmarks like the TSX, DOW.
Here’s an example of the main page with a stacked line graph. It shows each holding I have (Margin/TFSA/RRSP) in different colours to visualize performance. I have chosen to show percentage gains, but in this view you can also see dollar amounts above the percentages.
Same line graph as above, non-stacked. This layout also includes the bold yellow line, which is my overall portfolio (all three accounts combined). You can see the stocks in my RRSP performed the poorest, while my TFSA was slightly better than the margin account.
Another cool feature is the Benchmark Performance. At the bottom of your visual graph there is a little box that says “Add Benchmark”. Click on it and this screen pops up. You can choose any of the pre-sets above which track various indexes, or you can input any other ETF/stock you wish, including bullion. This gives you an indication of how your portfolio has performed with the index over the exact same time period.
Once you’ve selected your benchmark, you will get a detailed look at its performance over a given time period. It includes dividends in the overall returns to offer a complete picture. Individual holdings:
Your first step is to add your holdings. One option is to import holdings from your brokerage account to Sharesight and everything is uploaded automatically. I prefer to do mine manually. This is the main screen where you select from the drop down options. As you can see, plenty of options to go around, including Property Fund, where you can actually include your house as an investment, including rental income. Most of us will be using Ordinary Shares/ETF/Fixed, but it’s nice to have options!
Underneath the top graph are your holdings. This shows quantity, value, capital gains and dividends. The return is your overall performance including dividends. The yellow box on the side indicates a new dividend has been paid and is waiting confirmation. I’ve chosen to show my returns in %, but you can easily toggle between % and $ figure using the “Showing Percentage Gains” button above. The table is also sortable: I have my stocks sorted alphabetically, but you can toggle between any of the criteria. Example 1: Enbridge
For each holding, you can see performance since inception along with date and amount of dividends. The little green $ sign indicates a dividend paid.
Dividends are automatically added under the “All Income” section. If you notice a discrepancy between what’s here and the amount in your investment account, you can manually change it. I’ve never had an issue with that; Sharesight’s data is collected direct via company releases. The box in the bottom right labeled “Holding Information” shows your cost base per share, which comes in handy during tax time if you’re reinvesting dividends. Example 2: Alaris Royalty
I have DRIP turned on for Alaris. After the dividend is re-invested through my brokerage, I input the amount received and cost on Sharesight. You do that by clicking the “Edit” button beside the dividend payment that was re-invested. The little thunderbolt beside the “Edit” means that this is an unconfirmed dividend. By clicking “Edit” you can confirm the payment and also log it as a re-investment if you are using DRIP. Manually adding DRIP:
This is the screen you’ll see when you click “Edit”. You can simply confirm the dividend payment if not using DRIP. If you are using DRIP, click on “Dividend Reinvested” and then enter the number of shares and the share price in the box. Everything else is calculated for you. You can also select the non-taxable option if investing in a tax free account, which. helps with future reporting. Reports: A closer look at current and historical holdings
When you click on the Reports tab, you’ll see a list of available reports to browse through. I’m subscribed to the the Investor plan which allows for more advanced reporting, including Capital Gains Tax, Future Income and Diversity. All of the reports are downloadable in PDF, Excel and Drive formats. We’ll explore all the options (including basic) below. Future Income Report:
The future income report is a simple tool that allows you to see incoming dividends as they are reported. It’s a great way to keep track of your income and budget for the future. Historical cost report:
Another useful tool is Historical Cost. When you sell your shares you’ll see your profit/losses under Cost of Sales, and any remaining quantity you hold. This data can be sorted by date and table value. Diversity report: Allocation
Use the dropdown menu to sort by sector, industry, portfolio, region and more. I utilize this tool every so often to rebalance should I be over/under weight in a certain sector. Here the information is sorted by sector.
For a more detailed look, here I’ve sorted my holdings by industry. You can also edit the industry of each individual holding if you feel it does not reflect accurately (for example, you might want to categorize Enbridge as a utility instead of oil and gas play, but again that’s up to you). Finally, tax time:
A great tool come tax time is your Taxable Income Report. I know exactly how much I earned in dividend income this year. My TFSA and RRSP portfolios are non-taxable, and the platform does not include those holdings in this report.
So, there you have it. A really simple and accurate way to monitor your portfolio without fumbling through Excel files or programs that lack development support. Sharesight is always improving their service with new tools and features to guide you along the way. Their customer service is excellent; great partners to have in your investment journey!
Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org