Tracking Investments

Most of us want to retire wealthy — thus many people secure their wealth and money with different accounts as a way of retirement investing, in the hope that these will grow profits and will serve as income replacement in the future.

Diversification of funds is a good way to create a better investment portfolio, as what most financial advisers say in most of their investment advice. That is why most investors invest their money in various types of investment accounts in order to get better returns. However, keeping track on your investment returns of each and every investment account in your portfolio can be pretty challenging and difficult, especially if you own various investment accounts with several providers. With this, an investment tracker is really needed in order to determine how much your investments have grown, or if they have even grown at all.

The following tools and sources are a few examples that investors may use in order to track their accounts and their growth properly:

Manual monitoring through the investor’s account statements.

The account statements usually have the most accurate and reliable information on the purchase prices of the investments. Some of these statements also provide detailed return-on-investment information, and some don’t — but this actually depends on the company. And because the information on investment returns are not usually present in every account statement, manual monitoring is not really a great choice for those who want to get detailed report and data about their investment accounts and their returns.

Investors are likely not to get a yearly report about their investment returns, thus relying on account statements alone will not help in tracking if one has achieved his investment goals or not.

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Monitoring through the use of services that can aggregate the accounts.

There are plenty of services of this type like Quicken, Mint, and Gainskeeper; and they can access and aggregate the data from the investor’s several investment accounts. But because not all information could get properly imported and calculated, this may take some adjustments.

An investor also needs to spend for such tools. Mint is free; Quicken costs $49 to $89 and provides more options for portfolio-analysis. On the other hand, Gainskeeper maintains accurate tax records of trades and corporate actions, and has the capability to generate the appropriate documents during tax time, and it costs at least $69 per year. Another free service, Wikinvest investment tracking tool, is recently launched.

Personal investment monitoring using spreadsheets.

Those investors who prefer to make customized reports, a spreadsheet is a good and easy way to do this — and they can analyze their data however they want to. The investor is allowed to import investment data into a spreadsheet from his investment accounts or portfolio tracker, or even other investment tracking software like Quicken.

Monitoring the investment through online portfolio trackers.

Financial websites that offer portfolio-tracking applications such as Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, and MSN Money tools are most commonly used.

Our recommended investment tracking services is Morningstar. They are a great resource to help assist you in your investment decisions and their stock ratings system is universally known throughout the investment community.

*You can sign up and try the Morningstar with a free 14-day trial membership.

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Hopefully now you have a better understanding of the different tools that are available today to help you track your investments. By actively monitoring investments, it will help you to protect your investments and money today and for the future.

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Bret @ Hope to Prosper
12 years ago

I use a good old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet. I’m pretty nervous about putting all of my investmen balances into a free online service. And, Quicken is too integrated to the banks accounts that I don’t want to track.