Firstly I have to give credit to where it is due. My stock portfolio tracker is inspired by Think Stocks. I’ve made some changes to suit my needs but make sure to check out his YouTube Channel. It’s got a lot of really useful information and trackers.
Keeping a track of your stocks is a good idea for anyone who wants to start investing seriously. It helps with knowing how much money you have invested and how much money you have made e.g. from dividends. The main purpose to have a stock portfolio tracker is to make changes when you should whether the price of your shares goes up or down and tracking your stocks makes that easy.
This post will explain how I track my stocks and include a link to my email subscription which will send you regular updates whenever I publish a brand new post. The welcome email will include a spreadsheet to a template portfolio tracker.
How I track my investments
When tracking the stocks in my portfolio, there are many different pieces of information that I look out for. However, some of them are just niceties (nice to have). The most important parts of my portfolio that I track on a regular basis are listed below:
This is an obvious one but I need to know how many shares I have in any company as this is mainly used as a basis to perform all the calculations for every other heading such as total average cost per share.
Percentage of companies held
Knowing the percentage of companies held in my stock portfolio tracker is very important because it gives me a visual view of how diversified my investments are. It stops me from becoming too reliant on one company over another. However, if I want to buy more shares in one company, I try to make sure that I’m investing in the others as well.
The market price is important to note because I use this to monitor the price of a stock. Using Google Sheets allows me to set conditions for when the price of a stock falls below a certain value which for me as a dividend growth investor, means that I need to either watch that stock, in case something has changed causing it to fall and if it’s still a buy then I should buy more while the price is low.
Although all of this is possible on my trading app and many other platforms I like to have everything all in one place because it’s easier to manage.
My Average Cost
When you buy one share in a company and then buy another few shares after a while, it’s hard to keep track of how much you’ve spent. Since I use the dollar-cost average method to reduce my risk and never pay the highest price for a stock, watching the average cost per share allows me to track how much I’ve spent on each share.
Watching the growth percentage is particularly important when I buy shares in companies that are not dividend-paying companies. This gives me an indication of when I should buy, hold or sell a share.
I invest for dividend income so it’s only natural that I will want to know how much of an income I am going to receive from my investments. Initially, the return did influence my decision making as to which company I should invest more in, but by disciplining my mentality and remaining loyal to my investment plan, I’ve managed to invest consistently every single month.
Being a dividend investor it’s really useful knowing when the ex-dividend date for a stock is because then I can make arrangements to buy more shares if I need to so that I can become eligible to receive the dividend payout from that share.
Why is it important to have a stock portfolio tracker
There are many reasons why you should have a stock portfolio tracker even though you can find this information from your trading platform. But the main reasons are:
- It makes monitoring your stocks easy which allows you to make decisions quickly if you need to. You won’t need to wait too long if you need to buy or sell a stock.
- It gives you a quick overview of how your investments and investment strategy are doing. I wrote a post on my investing strategy which you may find useful to read.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Investing Strategy?
Free Download Link
By signing up to my email list you’ll receive a link for a download. The download will be a zip file that will contain a Google Sheets stock portfolio tracker which you can open both online and offline. Below are some quick instructions on how to use the spreadsheet:
- Add a new stock
Select where you want to add the new stock, right click and select add one above/below. ONce a new row has been added, highlight the ENTIRE above/below row (from cell A to M) where you have a stock e.g. in the example you have MSFT, and then drag down to get the formulas. Thn update the symbol as well as other cells such as number of shares and average price.
- Update the pie chart
Select ‘Sheet 2’ and depending on whether you’ve added a US or UK stock,, under the initial stock e.g. MSFT or LGEN, drag down and it should automatically update.
- Track your dividends
On the ‘Dividend INcome Tracker’ sheet, add the dividedns you recieve by using the function =SUM() – inside the brackets you’ll add the dividend amount you receieved. For example =SUM(10.50+0.77). You can add as many numbers in the function as you want
Use the download link below to get your free stock portfolio tracker
Note: Once you click download, to save the spreadsheet, click on ‘File’ and then click on ‘Make Copy’. Call it whatever you like and choose where you want to save it.
It’s not the easiest portfolio as it’s not completely self-managed but it does the job. Let me know if you’ve got any improvements by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully, you liked what I had to share. If so, pay it forward by sharing it with others.