How do you re-balance your portfolio and keep track of everything?

Hi folks,

It’s my first (real) post on the community forum! Yay! :smile:
I have been a Freetrade user for 1.5 year and have my 2020 ISA on Freetrade :crossed_fingers: :chart_with_upwards_trend: :chart_with_downwards_trend: .

I have been investing on multiple platforms over the last 2-3 years and it is starting to be a nightmare to keep track of everything. I have investments on the 2 Freetrade account types (basic and ISA). Investments with another broker (I don’t know if I can name it here?) and some cryptocurrencies on another platform.

I recently built a spreadsheet to keep track of everything but it isn’t great. I mean it works well to see an overview, but it falls apart to see my asset allocation per platform (eg, how much UK Gilts do I have on Freetrade ISA), and therefore makes it hard when I need to re-balance my portfolio (eg. do I need to move money from “other broker” :zipper_mouth_face: to Freetrade).

I used an online tool last year (can I name it here as well?) but it was only working with ETFs. So crypto, stocks couldn’t be tracked there.

Do you have any advises?

Edit:
Just to be 100% transparent and honest, I shared a prototype app I built earlier today that got hidden from the forum :frowning: . I apologise for that and I want to get off to a good start and introduce myself and ask for help about my pain point.
I am a software engineer and I consider building a webapp to track my portfolio but I wonder if it is worth the effort (and how complicated it is to get asset quotes in real-time).

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I still use a multitude (actually its only 3) of excel sheets after many many years. Yahoo finance is a good alternative for a lot of people but doesn’t handle dividends very nicely so becomes a problem as a lot of amateur investors do so for the dividends.

Should your app be written in JavaScript (perhaps Python too) I’d be keen to discuss more & collaborate. I’ve been working on a JS/DynamoDB app for a few weeks now as a replacement for my excel sheets.

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Thanks for you reply.
My “mega” spreadsheet is built on top of =GOOGLEFINANCE and it worked okay. My new prototype is built using Elixir Phoenix.

I’d love to understand the core needs for a portfolio tracker. I have to say that I am not a dividend investor but I’d love to understand that case more.

The usages I have identified (as a spreadsheet user myself :smile:):

  • See my portfolio performance globally across platforms
  • (Less useful) See my portfolio performance per platform (you can usually see that in the paltform itself)
  • Track my investments allocation (how much MSCI All-worlds do I have compare to US treasury for instance) globally across platforms
    • And therefore, understand if I need to rebalance my portfolio (eg. buy 5 MSCI all-worlds and sell 20 US treasury so that my PF sticks to my target allocation)
    • Also I like having a big red cell in my spreadsheet if my investments diverge too much from my allocation, so I can rebalance and take advantage of the market.
  • I think something important as well is to understand how much asset type do you have: How much stocks VS bonds VS fund VS crypto etc.

For dividend investor, I assume we should have a a way of tracking incomes. I’ll document myself on dividend investing for a bit :bowing_man:

I find a pencil and paper work well! I have 3 platforms containing unit trusts and share portfolio. About 30 company shares and 5-6 unit trusts (if I include Woodford) A hardback notebook for research, a birthday / address book for ex div dates and company info and a post it note for my buy/sells stuck to my phone :laughing:

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I use a combination of Simply Wall Street, and then export it’s data in to a Dashboard spreadsheet I built.

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I didn’t know Simply Wall Street. Wahoo! It’s great to screen stocks. I’ll give it a try.

Can I ask what are the main things you are looking for on the dashboard spreadsheet @scudulike?

Sure - anything I can’t get from FT and SWS. The great thing about SWS is that you can export to CSV, and it includes dividends received, whereas FT stock % gain / loss assumes each share is a purchase rather than dividend reinvestment.

XLS shows:

  1. Breaking Portfolio in to 3 - Dividend / Growth / Speculative to ensure balance.
  2. Better breakdown by sector.
  3. Highly visual way of glancing at the above, and seeing which ones are growing / losing
  4. Anything else I think of adding!

Only created it last week, but it’s bought up some interesting trends. As stated above I split my stocks in to three pools - Dividend, Growth and Speculative. Was aiming for a 40 / 40 / 20 split but this showed me I was heavy on the growth stocks. Also showed growth stocks were growing nicely (25% up) whereas “Dividend” stocks were receiving very few actual dividends. :scream:

It just works for me, as it’s highly visual and takes about 30 seconds to import latest data from SWS.

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That’s super interesting.
Something similar happened to me before I used Freetrade. I tried to maintain a 30/70 allocation between debt/stocks and it slowly drifted to 20/80. I was getting enthousiastic about stocks and increase my level of risks.

I have started working on the prototype @NorthernMoney and I am focusing right now on the “overview” of the portfolio. I can already inputs my transactions in the app. I’d like to create an overview that makes sense so in a quick look I can:

  • Understand if my investment allocation is on target
  • Understand if any breakdown of my allocation is on target (eg. debt VS stocks VS commodities)
  • Understand the performance of growth investments (no focus on dividend investing right now)

I hope to be able to share something soon :smile:

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Hope you don’t have to input all your transactions manually - could take some time! Be interested to see how you get along with it :+1:

@hourliert, others, thanks for your efforts. I have been trying to find an open source self-hosted portfolio tracker, but have come up short in my albeit limited searching.

Will be interesting to have something akin to Firefly III, but for portfolio tracking.

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Unfortunately, you have to. But I am working on importing transactions from CSV (I have 350 transactions from last years).

Also, I’d love to connect it with Freetrade API (once released) :smiley:

@nishark, I can’t wait to share the prototype/app and start collecting feedback from users. I am building it based on my usage and my needs but it would be awesome to make it available to more people.

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I wish you well with the project. Elixir is a little bit too hipster for me (I’m very much an amateur developer), sorry to say :slight_smile: I’ve heard good things though!

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Do you know why your prototype web app was removed? I’ve seen some other guy that made a Freetrade web app prototype on here and his thread hasn’t been removed.

:wave:
I think my post was promoting my webapp prototype “too much”, so it got removed. Which is also surprising when you think about the number of posts on the forum from other folks that promotes their owne business. This violates rule #5 from the community rules.

I managed to get some feedback from folks recently. It’s been great so far! :rocket:
I am now using the prototype to track my investment with Freetrade, I have ditched my old spreadsheet. Still not perfect, but it’s getting there.

I see.

It’s great that you use your technical capabilities to make your life easier, continue doing that, its things like that that will make you a better developer. I also had the idea of doing something similar, I actually wanted to create an app extension that would automatically reinvest my dividend income, but I’m swamped with many things to do at the moment

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:wave:

Small update from me. I managed to publish the prototype online (won’t share the link here so I don’t self-promote my website :smile: ) but I think I am now hitting a wall in terms of what to build next.

@scudulike, as I told you, I have to enter all my transactions so far (only ~300 so far! haha), which is annoying if you invest daily/weekly, the bad news is that Freetrade don’t have an API, and it doesn’t seem to be on the roadmap anymore? I wonder if there is a world where the same thing could be achieved without entering each transaction, eg. by taking the average price at which you bought your assets (but it might mess the computation with approximations).

Anyway, if anyone has an idea/feedback, I’d be very glad to hear it! Thanks in advance!

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