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Online portfolio tracker for effective share management

An online portfolio tracker can help you manage your share investments and track the performance of your portfolio effectively.

Are you searching for an efficient way to manage your share investments? Moving beyond the limitations of excel spreadsheets, an online portfolio tracker is a smart solution.

These dedicated share portfolio management platforms not only save time but also enhance the accuracy of your portfolio's performance assessment.

What is an online portfolio tracker?

An online portfolio tracker is a sophisticated digital tool essential for managing share investments. It transcends the limitations of traditional spreadsheets by offering real-time updates, comprehensive tax reporting, and a detailed overview of your entire portfolio's performance.

This advanced platform keeps you well-informed and flexible in the ever-fluctuating world of share trading, a critical advantage since investing in shares is not a passive activity. Share values constantly fluctuate, necessitating close monitoring and timely adjustments to your investment strategy.

At its core, portfolio management involves the continuous tracking and assessment of your share values, enabling you to make informed decisions based on market trends.

For instance, in response to significant dips in certain stock values, you might decide to reallocate your investments, selling some shares and purchasing others. This proactive approach is key to maintaining a healthy and responsive portfolio.

Moreover, effective portfolio management extends beyond mere tracking of share prices; it encompasses a thorough understanding of your fiscal responsibilities. This includes the accurate reporting of capital gains or losses and keeping track of dividend payments.

An online portfolio tracker streamlines these processes, ensuring you stay on top of your financial obligations and make the most of your investments.

How to manage a share portfolio

There are a few different strategies for managing a share portfolio. Which one you choose will depend on the value and complexity of your portfolio, how much time you have and your budget. Some of these options include:

  • Excel spreadsheet. If you’re new to share trading and you only have a few holdings (for example fewer than 10) you could opt to track your share portfolio in a simple excel spreadsheet. This option is free, but it can become time-consuming and leave room for error. It also won’t track or update any share prices for you.
  • The portfolio tools offered by your broker. Your online share trading platform will likely offer a range of basic portfolio tracking tools. However, these are often limited to tracking the performance of your shares only and often don’t include things like tax reporting tools and dividend payment tracking.
  • Professional financial planners. If you’ve got a large, complicated portfolio of shares as well as other assets you could opt for a paid, professional financial planner to manage your portfolio for you. This option can be quite expensive and is more suited to high-net-worth investors.
  • Portfolio management platforms. If you’re somewhere in between these options, for example you have more than a few holdings but your portfolio isn’t large enough to justify the cost of a financial planner, a portfolio tracking platform could be a good option. These are online platforms that work alongside your online share trading platform to track your shares for you.

Emerging trends in share portfolio management: Insights from 2024

The Deloitte 2024 investment management outlook highlights several key trends and strategies relevant to share portfolio management.

  • Technological advancements and client Expectations. Investment firms are expected to invest in technology to meet growing client expectations for personalised and timely interactions. Advanced technologies like generative AI and quantum computing are transforming customer interactions and portfolio analysis, but they also bring new challenges, especially in cybersecurity.
  • Strategic portfolio construction. The traditional classification of investment strategies remains, but there's a growing trend towards theme-driven portfolio construction. This approach allows for more nuanced product development and investment strategies, taking into account changing market dynamics and investor preferences.
  • Operational and regulatory challenges. As technology implementation outpaces governance, firms face the challenge of establishing effective controls and risk management practices in a highly regulated environment. This involves balancing cost-cutting with innovation, especially in a subdued revenue landscape.
  • ESG integration and firm purpose. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations are becoming increasingly important in investment decision-making. Aligning investment strategies with firm purpose and ESG mandates can lead to stronger organisational culture, improved efficiency, and better client relationships.

Finder survey: How often do Australians check their investment portfolio?

I don't have any investments38.75%
Twice a year10.06%
Every few yrs1.39%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1004 Australians, December 2023

Advantages of using a share portfolio management platform

Here are the key advantages of using a dedicated portfolio management platform instead of relying on an excel spreadsheet to keep track of your shares:

  • Saves you time

A portfolio tracking platform will help you import your trading data automatically from your online share trading account, instead of having to manually enter the data yourself. Plus, it will keep up-to-date with share prices in real time in the one place, without you having to keep an eye on your shares individually.

  • Get a complete picture of your portfolio

Your online share trading platform will only track the performance of the shares you’ve bought through that broker. If you’ve bought shares with other brokers or investment apps, or if you also own other assets or are trading different financial products, these won’t be included in your online broker’s platform. An external portfolio management tool can help you pool all your investments into one place so you can see how your portfolio is tracking as a whole.

  • Understand the true value of your dividends

Dividends are great when they land in your bank account, but it’s easy to forget about them when you’re looking at how your shares are performing. Some share tracking platforms allow you to include dividend payments and dividend reinvestment plans into your portfolio performance, to give you a better idea of how your shares have performed overall.

  • Helps with tax reporting

Share tracking platforms help you meet your tax obligations by creating reports on your dividend income and any capital gains you’ve realised throughout the financial year. These reports can help you spot opportunities to offset any capital gains with any capital losses you’ve made, reducing your tax bill.

  • Helps SMSFs meet their tax obligations

Portfolio management platforms are particularly useful for SMSF trustees who have strict investment and tax reporting obligations with the ATO. These platforms can help trustees develop detailed, up-to-date reports on all the investments held by the SMSF as well as all the income generated from these.

  • Less room for human error

If you’ve got more than 10 holdings, it’s quite easy to make mistakes if you’re reporting their performance manually in a spreadsheet. An online share portfolio management tool removes the possibility of human error.

  • Provides market research and trading ideas

Portfolio management platforms offer a suite of market reports, broker recommendations and detailed stock analysis reports that aren’t often available through your online broker. These platforms also give investors access to an online community of investors from around the world to share trading ideas and reports.

How to get started with a share tracking platform

To get started, you can compare the platforms featured in the table above and go to their sites to create an account online.

If you're just getting started with share trading and aren't looking for a portfolio management platform just yet, check out our guide on how to buy shares instead.

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