There are many features in a product that often go unnoticed or swept under the carpet because people don’t really know what they do, or how to use them.
Portfolio Analyst on Interactive Brokers (IB) is one of them and I’d like to introduce to you guys one of my favourite, and probably most useful, feature of the platform.
More posts in this series:
- Getting started with Interactive Brokers
- Funding your account with Interactive Brokers
- FX conversion with Interactive Brokers
- Withdrawing Cash from Interactive Brokers
Portfolio Analyst – the ultimate analysis tool for your IB portfolio
The Portfolio Analyst tool on IB is a performance reporting, portfolio analytics and benchmarking tool all in one.
Big words. What do they mean? Let’s break it down one at a time.
Performance reporting and benchmarking
Performance reporting is simply reporting the performance of your investments in a single view. IB gives you all-day access to your investment holdings and compare them against various benchmarks (e.g. STI, VTI, S&P 500 – almost 200 of them) to evaluate your portfolio performance against a benchmark – up to 3 indexes per report.
It also allows you to compare returns across different time dimensions like month-to-date, quarter-to-date, year-to-date and since inception performance of your portfolio against the benchmarks. The line chart on the top right visually shows your returns over time!
My second favourite aspect of the Portfolio Analyst tool is the analytics part of the tool. It allows me to visualise my asset allocation across different sectors, geographies, and security type (e.g. stock or bond) and helps me visually see my where my portfolio is concentrated in and if I have any concentrated exposure.
I also find the risk analysis portion of portfolio analyst useful to measure my portfolio’s performance against risk and volatility measures and comparing it with benchmarks. For example, in this report, I can see the Sharpe ratio and Sortino ratios of my portfolio and of each benchmark, peak-to-valley drop in performance, time-to-recover as well as many useful and interesting data points.
On the web, there’s a portfolio checkup tool that runs a similar analytics report of your assets – giving you information about returns, risk and distribution of your holdings.
Projected income and dividend history
It is also useful to see in which months in the near future you’re expected to receive dividends from your holdings. In the Projected Income screen, Portfolio Analyst gives me a projection of my upcoming dividends based on historical information.
In the Dividends screen, I’d see dividend information about my holdings, which have been paid to me. I personally like to see a rising trend in dividends paid 😉
Customised reporting and summary statistics
If all the above is too much data for you. Good news, IB can modify its reporting to select only the modules you’d like to see by building a custom report. Then save it and have it delivered to you everyday either in your email inbox or mobile device.
For time-stretched investors, IB has a short summary report called Snapshot, which gives you a quick, one-page summary of your account including key statistics like cumulative return, beginning and ending NAV, and deposit/withdrawals made.
Conclusion, samples and where to find it
Portfolio Analyst is included free with every IB account. Just head over to the account management login on IB and Portfolio Analyst can be found on the left sidebar.
A sample detailed version of what Portfolio Analyst looks like can be downloaded from IB’s website (PDF). In it, you will see the full set of capabilities that it comes with.
For other relevant posts on investing or portfolio tracking for other brokers, please check out the following posts on Betterspider: