This article was originally published in the May 2020 issue of The Bowser Report (Vol. 44, No. 5)
A spreadsheet to help simplify investing even further
Rule #6 of the Bowser Game Plan details the need to accurately track your portfolio. While a brokerage account provides you with portfolio value and trade logs, it does not provide all of the information in one place. Many subscribers have created their own spreadsheets, but many others have asked for a simpler way of tracking their holdings.
In a continued effort to provide value by simplifying investing, we have created The Bowser Report’s very own online Portfolio Tracker.
To take full advantage of the Portfolio Tracker, including automatically-updated stock prices, you’ll need a Google account. If you do not have a Google account but wish to sign up, enter or click the following URL: Sign Up.
For those who do not have a Google account and do not wish to create one, please email us directly, and we will send you an Excel version of the tracker. However, you will need to manually input stock prices.
Finally, those who wish to track their portfolio using pen and paper can print the tracker at their leisure.
Accessing the Tracker
In order to use the Portfolio Tracker with Google (does not apply to Excel versions), follow the steps listed below:
1. Click the following link to visit the Google Sheet: Bowser Portfolio Tracker.
2. Once you have opened the Google Sheet, login to your Google account and create your own copy of it.
Click the “Sign In” button in the top right corner and sign into your Google account.
3. Once logged in, you may have to click the provided link in Step 1 again to pull up the Portfolio Tracker. When you have pulled up the spreadsheet, click “File” > “Make a copy.”
4. A window will then pop up, prompting you to rename the document to whatever you choose.
After clicking “OK” to save your copy, your ready-to-edit tracker will be saved in your Google Drive. To access on an ongoing basis, visit Google Drive.
Customizing the Tracker
The Portfolio Tracker should be used for both new investments and current holdings to create a complete picture of your portfolio.
To start customizing your tracker, enter the start date and starting portfolio value (the amount of money you started with). Also, enter the commission cost per trade, if applicable. Remember, major brokerages no longer charge commission on most trades. Examples of these required entries are in blue text, and you’ll need to replace them.
Next, add in your current holdings under the “Portfolio Holdings” section. This requires you to enter the ticker, purchase (entry) price and number of shares for each holding. Two examples are included in blue text that you will need to replace with your own holdings. The examples are pictured below:
Lastly, when you exit a position, add the exit price in the designated column.
The cells without blue text have formulas to calculate profits, cost basis, portfolio allocation, and more. If you edit these then it may result in error messages. If that happens just click "Undo," email me at email@example.com or make a separate copy of the spreadsheet and start over.
The Bowser Report features a few stocks that pay dividends. For this reason, there is a dividend tracker included in the Portfolio Tracker. Access it by clicking on Dividends in the bottom left corner:
Manually enter the dividends you receive on a monthly and/or annual basis to automatically add them to your “Current Portfolio Value” in the main Portfolio Tracker spreadsheet. Reinvested dividends can create a lot of value in the long run and should never be overlooked.
Tracking the Terrible Ten
The Terrible Ten spreadsheet is available right next to the Dividends spreadsheet:
It shows the updated prices for each of the ten stocks mentioned in last month’s issue. If you have an equal weighting in each stock and were able to enter near the original featured price, your Terrible Ten portfolio should already be up around 20%.
To customize with your own holdings, input the amount you invested in each stock and the date you started purchasing shares.
Subscriber Mike K. also featured an outstanding Google Sheet to track these stocks on the Forums section of our website (direct link to Mike’s spreadsheet). Mike’s version even has a visual representation of your profits and losses. Thanks for sharing this very helpful spreadsheet, Mike!
While our goal of implementing the Portfolio Tracker is to simplify the investment process, it can be overwhelming at first. We left out a few features in this initial launch to keep it as simple as possible, but will gradually roll them out. Additions will include visual representations of your portfolio allocation, withdrawals, deposits, a position size calculator and more.
Please do not hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any feedback, potential errors in the spreadsheet or suggestions for features and changes. Our goal is to provide you with the tools and analysis you need to successfully navigate the markets. Enjoy the Portfolio Tracker and happy investing!