Remember "The Wolf of Wall Street"? Jordan Belfort's life was an exhilarating roller coaster of money, parties, and, yes, stocks. But behind the scenes, investing isn't always about the short-term highs and lows of day trading. For many, it's a strategic game of patience, where the goal is to see consistent, long-term growth in their investments.
One constant challenge both novices and seasoned investors face is efficient portfolio management. The question isn't just about which assets to invest in, but also about keeping track of them, understanding their historical context, and making informed decisions for the future. Here is where our Portfolio Tracker spreadsheet template comes into play, available in both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. In this article, we will guide you through how to efficiently manage your portfolio with a template that updates the stock data in real-time. By the end of it, you'll know how to:
- Record every transaction with an 'Investment' and 'Sales' ledger tab;
- Track the performance of your portfolio;
- Keep an eye on potential investment opportunities and monitor the market with a watchlist;
- Analyze historical data and performance in a complete dashboard.
While Jordan and his team lived a high life based on immediate gains in the movie, many investors quietly grew their wealth with a long-term vision. They understand the stability of diversified portfolios and the importance of meticulously recording their investments.
To illustrate how to use our template, we will use a hypothetical scenario with none other than Jordan Belfort. Picture a transformed Jordan, leaving behind the fast-paced world of quick trades. To start this new journey, Jordan needs to buy new securities, and that's where our 'Investment ledger' tab comes in.
Imagine a calm Jordan Belfort, sitting down and analyzing a potential stock or asset. He decided on Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) as a promising long-term investment and wants to buy 500 units. This transaction can be documented in the 'Investment Ledger' tab. To do that, enter the transaction date, the security name (in this case, Alphabet Inc.), the number of shares acquired, the unit price and, when relevant, any trade fee or commission. It's worth noting that while the trade fee is a fixed sum, the commission is a percentage based on the purchase price.
As Jordan continues his investment journey, he might buy more of the same stock or diversify into other securities, like Amazon (AMZN) or Apple (AAPL). He might even venture into the world of cryptocurrencies, buying some bitcoins. This template automatically computes the transaction amount and presents details about the acquired security, including its ticker, type, sector, and currency.
Also, this data generates an overview section, populated with interactive charts to facilitate the analysis of your investment patterns. Investors can track their total investments by type, sector, and individual security. Additionally, this section offers a chart to map out the progression of investments, detailing monthly purchases per security.
Real-time stock data
A standout feature of this spreadsheet is its integration with Excel's 'stock data' format, which enables the real-time feed of stock information. For those unfamiliar, this functionality allows users to pull in stock-related information and ensure their portfolio reflects current market dynamics. In case you want to add new securities using this feature:
- Input the desired security name in the 'Security' field;
- Select the new security and navigate to Data > Data type section > 'Stock';
- Choose the correct stock representation from the dropdown list that shows up.
By doing these steps, you ensure that your spreadsheet remains updated with the stock market's ever-shifting landscape as well as remove the guesswork and manual updates.
This feature equips you with a comprehensive set of data points. It integrates everything from the current price to the day's basic metrics, such as the close, high, and low values.
You can gain insight into your asset's annual performance with the 52-week high & low, and understand the market structure via market capitalization. Other important data points are also monitored by the template, like the change value, the trading volume, and the PE ratio, to understand valuation nuances and general details, like the Exchange where the stock is. The description of each data point can be found in the 'Fields' tab, to ensure you can analyze and strategize your asset's performance.
After some time and observation, Jordan decides it's the right moment to sell some of his assets to lock in his gains. In our hypothetical situation, Jordan chooses to sell half of his Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) shares. Recording this is very similar to how we entered the purchase data. Still, the difference now is that we're selling securities and not buying them.
Start entering the sale date in the 'Sales ledger' tab. Then, select from the dropdown the security you've sold. This menu updates based on your previous inputs in the 'Investment Ledger' tab. Next, indicate the number of units sold, the price at which they were sold, and any applicable fees or commissions. This setup allows you to track the profit or loss from the sale.
As time goes on and Jordan makes more sales, whether they're stocks or cryptocurrency, this tab offers a clear record. It gives him a snapshot of his transactions, helping him to understand and track the success of his sales decisions. There are also charts in this section that can display gains or losses by security, providing a visual representation of successful and less successful trades. Once all the details are entered in the Investment and Sales ledger tab, the 'Portfolio' tab will be ready to track current investment standings.
Consider the 'Portfolio' tab as a bird's-eye view of your investments, much like how Jordan might take a step back to assess the broader landscape of his financial endeavors. The 'Portfolio' tab dynamically reflects the data you've input in both the 'Investment' and 'Sales' ledger tabs. Record a purchase, and that security becomes a part of your asset list. In the same way, log a sale, and the corresponding amount is automatically deducted from your portfolio.
For instance, even though we recorded a purchase of 500 units of Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) shares for Jordan, the portfolio now holds only 250 units due to the previous sale made. On top of that, you'll also have a breakdown of your assets details:
- The types of securities you own;
- The number of units for each;
- The average cost per unit;
- The current market value.
This market value is calculated based on real–time data, ensuring you have an up-to-date view of your asset's worth. The tab also estimates the total value of each security owned, the amount invested, and your gains (or losses) for each investment. Plus, there's a mini chart showing the change in the value of each security over the past year.
This tab also provides a clear view of how each investment is performing, and highlights those underperforming or outshining others. Also, at the top, the 'Lifetime Portfolio Overview' offers charts that show your portfolio's distribution by security type and invested sectors. It also breaks down performance by industry and displays the total return on your current portfolio.
Use this tab as a snapshot dashboard for your portfolio performance and diversification. The completed one, we will delve into that in a second. But, here, you can monitor the health of your investments and identify areas that may need closer examination. Centralizing data from the 'Investment' and 'Sales' ledger in this tab makes it easier to understand your current stance and portfolio profile. As you move through your financial journey, it's also essential to know how to stay ahead and be informed about potential future investment opportunities for acquisitions and sales. If you want to optimize your portfolio and returns – that's where the 'Watchlist' tab steps in.
The watchlist is a critical tool for investors. Whether you're a seasoned pro like Jordan or a novice investor, this tab provides an organized space to track securities you're considering for future investments.
For example, let's say Jordan hears about a potential rise in Tesla (TSLA). He can quickly add it to his watchlist. To do this, enter the security's name into the table, and if necessary, follow the same steps as before to format the field as a 'stock' data type. Upon doing so, the template will populate real-time data about Tesla, providing its current market price, 52-week high/low, and past performance trends. This tab thus provides a concise overview of the security's position in the market.
The 'Watchlist' tab also features a 'Historical performance' section. You can choose a security from your watchlist, define a specific period, and select an interval type (i.e. daily, weekly, or monthly). The template will then generate a dynamic chart that tracks the security's performance throughout the chosen timeframe.
By maintaining such a watchlist, Jordan - or you - can, at a glance, decide the right time to dive into a new investment or when to hold off. This proactive approach ensures that investors are always ready to seize opportunities as they present themselves.
Now, we have covered every step in the investment process: the purchase, the sale, the portfolio management, and the watchlist for investment opportunities. This template centralizes all of this information in a complete dashboard to help you monitor and track the performance of your portfolio while studying possible alternatives and strategizing for future growth.
The 'Dashboard' tab combines data from other sections to offer a high-level perspective on your portfolio's performance and make the complexity of numbers much more manageable.
The Overview section provides a clear view of your financial position, detailing the total value of your assets, total invested, and the subsequent returns - both in dollars and as a percentage. Additionally, it showcases how your assets are distributed in terms of their value and the returns they've accumulated. This section is essentially your financial health check, revealing how your investments have fared and where they currently stand.
The following section, Portfolio Performance, delves into the intricacies of your returns. With bar graphs segregated by 'Security', 'Sector', and 'Security Type', you get a nuanced view of how each sector or security has been performing. It visually represents where the gains come from and which industries or securities are the real power players.
Next, you'll encounter a comprehensive analysis of individual securities in the' Portfolio Details' section. Select a security from your portfolio, and the Dashboard will display everything from the number of units held, total value, and return percentages to current and historical price data. This section is the detailed anatomy of your security, providing insights into its past, present, and potential future.
Lastly, the Historical Performance section is where the past meets the present. With line charts illustrating the close value and change in percentage value, you can track how a particular security or your entire portfolio has trended over a period.
Moreover, a performance comparison with benchmarks, like the SPDR S&P 500 ETF, can offer perspective on how your investments are faring against broader market indices to ensure you are on track with your financial goals.
This section is customizable and allows you to choose the security, period, and interval type—be it daily, weekly, or monthly—for monitoring. Additionally, you have the flexibility to add or remove benchmarks for comparison. To make these changes, go to the 'Fields' tab and navigate to the 'historical comparison' section, where you can modify the benchmarks used in the Dashboard for performance comparisons.
The Dashboard isn't just numbers and charts; it's a narrative of your financial journey and portfolio investment. Every section is a chapter, and every data point is a story, helping you make informed decisions for a prosperous economic future.
Every investor can benefit from a structured and systematic approach to portfolio management. With our Portfolio Tracker spreadsheet template, the complex world of investments becomes a tad simpler. So, whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting out, remember to invest smartly, track meticulously, and always be informed. We'd love to hear about your experiences in the comment section. And remember, this template is available for download. Let us know what you think and what you wish to see next – Happy investing!