Stock tracking or investment portfolio tracking brings you powerful insights about your investments, and ShareSight helps you automate most of the process through powerful integrations and buttery smooth user experience.
Gaining an 360 degree understanding of your portfolio, from profit and loss tracking, dividend income tracking and forecast, to comparing our portfolio against an index or other benchmarks to see if we actually did better than just buying and holding the market is a superior analytical solution that can help you make better investment decisions using data.
Such insights can give us a powerful understanding about our investment strategy and refine them if necessary.
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Portfolio tracking and history
I first explored tracking my investment portfolio a couple of years ago during national service, and InvestmentMoats had a free Google Sheets-based investment tracker that helps investors track their assets by transactions, realised and unrealised returns as well as the amount of cash dividend received.
The online-based spreadsheet was first introduced in 2011, and refined slowly over the years. I enjoyed the level of tracking, as I could visualise my dividends received per year and the P&L trend of my portfolio by month. These were insights that my Singaporean brokers did not offer and they were really useful for me.
However, as the years passed, Google and Yahoo Finance started breaking or decommissioning their finance APIs and the spreadsheet worked less well than it used to. For example, prices would fail to fetch, daily updates would not automatically refresh and my tracking would be messed up.
The other drawbacks of the spreadsheet were that dividend payouts had to be entered manually and the chore of manual tracking soon became too cumbersome for me, and I began my search for a viable alternative.
Introducing Sharesight – a portfolio tracking platform that’s easy to use and visually attractive
Sharesight is an online portfolio tracking and management tool that helps investors track stock prices, trades, dividends, performance and tax.
It was launched by a father-son duo looking to create a solution that made it easy to track the true performance of investments.
Spreadsheets were the tracking method of choice, but they failed to provide the level of oversight and efficiency needed to track, analyse and make informed decisions accurately.
Since 2006, Sharesight has evolved into an innovative product with best-in-class tracking and corporate action processing. It also allows you to compare the performance of your investments with hundreds of ETF funds to see if you’ve beaten the market or not.
- Automatic dividend tracking and portfolio analytics
- Price and email alerts
- Performance benchmarking against any index
- Integration with Interactive Brokers and Saxo Markets
- Advanced reporting capabilities
As of July 2019, Sharesight announced that they have hit 100,000 users around the world.
To better understand its value proposition, I decided to try out Sharesight myself.
Importing historical transactions
With years of transaction history in my pocket, I had to get started by importing my transaction history from their many supported brokers. Users can choose to import transactions from Google Finance and Yahoo Finance, Saxo Markets, TD or banks like HSBC. For me, I chose the old school option of importing from a CSV (which Sharesight has a nice template for me to use).
In the following illustration, I will be using their sample transactions and CSV file on a new account as a demo.
Importing and categorising my historical transactions were relatively straightforward. I matched the fields of my transactions export to Sharesight’s template (bulk_trades.csv) before importing them back onto the platform as trades.
Sharesight was intelligent enough to ask for my confirmation on the data types in the various columns in the CSV file such as trade date, value and commission. It also supports tons of exchanges (NASDAQ, NYSE, LSE, SGX, BME, EURONEXT etc). My entire import process took less than 5 minutes from set up to confirmation.
Portfolio overview and trending
The Overview page shows the portfolio value over time. You can graph it is various dimensions (e.g. grouped by market/sector/industry/country/no group) and across various time periods (e.g. since first purchase, this financial year, last six months, yesterday etc).
In the portfolio above, I illustrated my portfolio gains by market in a stacked area chart. The summary statistics below show my capital gains, dividends and total return in a nice table, and also compared to any listed benchmark – in this case I chose the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF.
Scrolling down, a detailed breakdown of my holdings by the dimension selected above (in this case – by market) can be found.
This breakdown shows my performance by holding, and even accounts the gains and losses from currency movements. The yellow box on the right shows the number of unconfirmed transactions from corporate actions and adjustments which were generated automatically by Sharesight – based on the quantity and time the holdings were held.
Premium users can also set up portfolio groups, which is useful for those who want to set up independent tracking for groups of stocks. For example, in my case below, I chose to group them by investment strategy – passive investing on InteractiveBrokers vs active investing on StanChart.
Individual holding analysis
Let’s now go one step deeper into analysing the individual holding by clicking into a holding from the overview screen.
As above, the screen shows the price of the holding across the time period. If you wish, you could also graph the value of your holdings or performance index (indexed performance of open and closed positions). Similarly, there is a summary table showing the individual holding returns – split by capital gains, dividend gains and currency gains.
Transaction history and dividend tracking
My favourite part of this platform is the automatic dividend tracking of each individual security.
After a corporate action or dividend is declared at the custodian level, Sharesight will pull that data into its systems and update your pages auto-magically. The beautiful thing about this is that you can see your upcoming dividends (declared but non-paid) and have them retrospectively tracked based on your transaction dates. You don’t have to key in every dividend from your very first trade manually – saving you lots of time!
A safety mechanism by design is to have the user (that’s you) confirm each automatic dividend entry. That helps keep the entries accurate and you can override the system entry if you think they are wrong.
Tracking Dividend Reinvestment Plans
Most spreadsheets cannot track dividend reinvestment plans (DRIP) accurately – because of how complicated reinvesting dividends and getting new shares can be. Tracking performance can become a pain in terms of the paperwork required.
Sharesight can help with that by adding a dividend reinvestment when you add or edit a dividend payment.
For ASX or NZX traders or investors, Sharesight provides automatic DRP tracking just by enabling the auto dividend reinvestment feature under the holding settings on the sidebar.
Keeping up with the News feed
Being informed helps an investor be up to speed in terms of what’s happening around the world, and to your investment holdings. The news feed section is one feature that such information flows to you right at your fingertips.
For this, Sharesight actually partnered with several news partners such as Livewire, Simply Wall St and The Motley Fool to provide published content right at your wall. They are working to get more partners onboarded with time, so I expect this feed to be improved over time.
Reports and analytics
This is the bonus section of Sharesights – insightful reports that further expand the usefulness of the platform.
For example, in the Contribution Analysis report, you can analyse in detail which of your holding is driving your overall portfolio performance in %.
My other favourite – available only for premium plan members – is the Diversity report, which visualises your portfolio across a number of dimensions including industry classification, investment type, market, country or even your own custom portfolio groups.
In the Future Income report, you get to visualise your upcoming dividend payments by date in a single table (including withheld tax if any).
Some of these reports are not available in the free plan, so more advanced investors who want access to them need to upgrade to one of their premium plans.
Integration with InteractiveBrokers and Saxo Markets
Recently, Sharesights formally announced an integration with InteractiveBrokers which allows retail clients to have their daily trades from Interactive Brokers and Saxo Markets to be automatically synchronized into their Sharesight portfolio.
Once you’ve set up the sync, Sharesight automatically calculates your portfolio performance, and factors in the impact that FX movements, dividends, and corporate actions have on your investment returns from these platforms.
What this means for you is that you have a single, consolidated view of your investments across multiple brokerages without any manual work.
I believe this is just the start of their growing partner ecosystem and API interface to link many more brokerages and services around the world.
Sharesight also supports a growing range of PDF trade confirmations and contract notes from over 100 other online brokers via the Broker email import feature, which you can set up to automatically forward to a custom Sharesight email address to have your trades on these supported brokers automatically synced within 5 minutes.
For me, I have them synchronized with my InteractiveBrokers portfolio to import by trades automatically, including the stock codes, prices, transaction quantity, commissions, and exchange rate.
Share Checker – fact check any security
Share Checker is one great way to view the performance of any security (stock, ETF etc) including dividend history and corporate actions such as share splits up to 20 years back.
Share Checker will show me an interactive historical price chart with prices at every point in time by hovering over on the graph and every single dividend paid based on a hypothetical investment of $10,000.
Email alerts – dividends and price changes
Finally, the last feature I want to share is Sharesight’s weekly portfolio roundup and email notifications, which can be configured to alert you whenever there’s an upcoming dividend payout in your portfolio or whenever any of your holdings see a huge price movement.
This is useful for multiple reasons – you get instant notifications on your upcoming dividends for each ticker in your portfolio, the pay date and amount expected; plus you know when exactly to check your bank account for the payouts.
Similarly, price alerts can be used to alert you on large upward/downward price movements for your holdings, and ensure that you are always prepared for such price changes.
If you have read until this far, congratulations. You must be as excited about the possibilities of tracking and managing your portfolio like me.
I have some amazing news to share – Sharesight is free. YES. Absolutely free – which explains my excitement!
Their free subscription is limited to tracking 10 holdings, which is honestly enough for most investors.
The free plan comes with automatic dividends, weekly portfolio updates, price and email alerts and it’s brilliant for keeping track of your portfolio and performance monitoring.
For more seasoned investors who want unlimited holdings tracking and more advanced reporting capabilities, then their investor plan starts at just $19 a month – roughly the cost of one brokerage trade.
I strongly suggest trying it out yourself to see its the platform’s capabilities and you can do so using this link. For those interested in getting a premium plan, you can enjoy 2 months of subscription for free just by using the above link.