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HAVING an adviser to keep a check on your portfolio is ideal – you have someone who will keep track of what is happening, make decisions on your behalf, if that is what you agree, or explain to you why you should make the decision he or she is recommending.
The one thing that it can be difficult to do is to keep a regular track of your portfolio yourself.So here are two pieces of online software that we think can help clients to keep a closer eye on their portfolio throughout the year at any time.
Trustnet Offshore has a wealth of data that is available free to investors, everything from mutual funds and insurance funds to exchange traded funds, not to mention worldwide indices, and using its powerful tools you can analyse a wide variety of data in a range of currencies.
The key element to Trustnet’s offering is its ‘Manage Your Portfolio’ tool, which not only allows you to create a range of portfolios within the site itself, you can also set up a ‘watchlist’ of funds that you think you would be interested in, and monitor their performance without risking a penny of your own money until you are ready. You can set up email alerts to tell you when certain targets that you have determined have been met. Getting the funds into the portfolio seems a bit of a fiddle at first, but the system is relatively intuitive, and it is clear to see what funds you are including in the portfolio when you select them. You can hold a maximum of 10 funds in the portfolio.
There are also a variety of educational guides available on the site that will help you learn more about offshore investing, ethical investing and exchange traded funds. You can also compare the performance of various funds you choose without them needing to be in the same sector.
Lots of data, plenty of information and research to help keep you informed, and easy-to-use tools. Great portfolio tool too.
Inexperienced investors may find it hard to navigate the site effectively to use the wealth of information to greatest effect, but your adviser can certainly help here. The site is not particularly inviting in its appearance.
Bloomberg is one of the world’s biggest financial information companies, and its founder Michael Bloomberg is currently Mayor of New York City. The amount of news, data and statistical information available on this site is vast, probably one of the most sophisticated financial news centres there is. It is backed up by a TV channel and radio station.
Bloomberg’s Portfolio Tracker tool allows you to track up to five portfolios each with up to 20 holdings, and you need to provide your purchase information for each holding, before you can look at the financial data for all the holdings you have in your portfolio.
This service also has a ‘watchlist’ but this is for securities you do not hold, but that you would still like to follow. You can follow indices in here too, something you cannot do within your portfolio as an index cannot be bought
Once you have signed up for your free registration to the Portfolio Tracker, you are presented with a fairly dull looking page, but this does have all of the information you need to start to create your portfolios.
If you are still unsure what to do, the ‘help’ facility provides a much clearer breakdown of what you should do to create your portfolio. Once you have entered the shares you own and stated when you bought them,w save the changes and you will be presented with a screen with not only the data relating to the shares themselves, but also related news, and access to specific performance data you can view over a variety of timeframes.
Its Market Monitor also provides real-time updates on your portfolio’s performance too.
You would struggle to find more data anywhere than Bloomberg, and the information you get from the Portfolio Tracker is incredibly comprehensive.
If you do not know the exact name of the shares you want to follow, or that you hold in your portfolio, it is very difficult to get the system to work. Also, you can only include shares in the portfolio rather than funds, so not especially useful for mutual fund investors, although very good for those directly holding shares or wanting to follow the performance of shares or indices.
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