Thank goodness the days where the only way of keeping track of your investments was a pen, paper, and making a lot of phone calls. Today, there is no shortage of digital tools and online platforms to help you manage your assets.
With so many types of investment options, like 401(k)s, IRAs, mutual funds, stocks, commodities, indices, and bonds, keeping track of it all can be a nightmare.
That being said, it’s critical for the performance of your assets that you are always aware of:
- How much you have
- Where you have it
- How it’s performing against benchmarks
- And, what you’re options are going forward.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at some of the best tools to help you stay on your A-game.
Use a professional trading platform
It’s easier to start trading than ever with a number of professional trading tools available. Where your options used to be limited to only using trading software, like MetaTrader, this software is now being offered as part of a full-service trading package.
For example, Admiral Markets is a platform for metals and indices trading as well as offering CFDs on stocks, indices, and energies. It features MetaTrader 4 and 5 or Webtrader as trading platforms. You also get access to real-time news and analysis, an economic calendar, and automated trading opportunities search function.
With different account types, you can start trading and set up your platform to suit your prefered method.
Aggregate your portfolio with an investment tracking tool
Personal Capital is simply the best all-around investment tracking tool. It strikes the perfect balance between being easy to use while providing enough capabilities for serious investors. With over 2 million users and $10 billion assets under management, its also probably the most popular. Personal Capital allows you to:
- Chart and graph your income
- Compare your performance to top indexes
- Analyze your diversification and risk across investments
- A free 401(k) analyzer
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Although Mint.com is better known as a budgeting app, it also comes with substantial investment tracking features. In fact, it’s probably the best for fiscally aware individuals who want to dip their toes into managing their investments as well. The benefit, of course, is that you can manage both your everyday household budget, bank accounts, and investments in one place:
- Set budgets for yourself
- Link your bank and investment accounts
- Compare accounts to benchmarks like the S&P 500
- Check your credit score for free
It is another contender for one of the op investment tracking platforms. SigFig allows you to import your investment accounts from over 80 U.S. investment firms. They are also one of the more affordable options. Your first $10,000 will be managed for free, and they charge an annual fee of only 0.25%. The platform also uses Robo-advisors to analyze your account and make re-investment suggestions. Some other features include:
- Analyze your portfolios to find hidden fees
- View your 401(k) and IRAs
- Phone and live chat support
- Real-time stock updates and up-to-the-minute news from over 500 sources
This one is only for serious investors. It doesn’t have as many of the “fluff” features of the other apps so that users can focus purely on their investments. You’ll have to subscribe for an annual fee, but they do offer a 14-day trial. It’s also a fantastic platform to learn and read about investing while also providing professional
Keep track manually with a spreadsheet
With all these tremendous investment tracking tools available, doing so yourself might seem antiquated. However, it’s still a great way to keep yourself disciplined about staying on top of your investments. You don’t need anything fancy, Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets will do just fine. These can also be synced across devices with an Office 360 or Google Drive account.
While both offer fundamental investment features, Excel has more powerful functions while Google Sheets offers better tools to update sheets with information from public-facing finance platforms automatically.
If you don’t do it right from the beginning, staying on top of your investments can be a real pain. And, if you’re ever in a bind, it might make it very difficult to get the paperwork needed to make some calculations or get hold of your funds. The following tips are a must for prospective investors to manage their assets with confidence:
- Make sure you get all account statements and confirmation papers in writing.
- Store all of these documents related to your investments safely and organize them accordingly.
- Make sure to take notes whenever you make changes to your accounts or talk to your investment manager.
- Frequently review your investment portfolio yourself and make sure they are meeting your objectives. Using some of the tools above should make that much easier. Also, regularly meet with your investment manager to get critical updates.
- As much as time allows, try to stay informed and up to date on news and information relevant to your investments.
- If you use an investment tracker, get the app! All of the examples above have a mobile application so you can stay on top of your money on the go.
- If you work with a broker, opt for one with a client portal that provides some investment tracking and support.