What Is a Portfolio Tracker and Why Is It a Must-Have for Any Investor?

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Last updated on June 6, 2021

A stock portfolio tracker is an essential part of your trading tech stack. But what is a portfolio tracker? Why is it important to you and your investments?

Continue reading for answers to all your questions.

What is a Portfolio Tracker?

A portfolio tracker is an online tool that allows you to watch the movements of your investments. You can see things such as:

  • Your current balance
  • Gains and losses
  • Holdings
  • How your investments stack up against your short and long-term goals
  • How your investments stack up against the market as a whole

An online portfolio tracker provides instant and real-time access to all this data (and more).

Why Do You Need a Stock Portfolio Tracker?

You can invest without the help of an investment portfolio tracker, but this isn’t a good idea. Here are some of the many reasons why you should get serious about portfolio tracking:

  • Simple to understand overview of your account
  • Easy to determine which investments are gaining and losing
  • Helps you diversify your investments with proper asset allocation

If you’re going to open and actively manage an investment account, you should use an online portfolio tracker to guide you.

Advantages of Using an Automated Portfolio Tracker

There’s nothing more important to your long-term financial well-being than your investment portfolio. But that doesn’t mean you have hours on end to review and manage your account(s).

With the help of an automated investment portfolio tracker, you don’t have to spend nearly as much time — if any at all — reviewing your account. The tool does everything for you.

Make smarter spending decisions

Investing in the stock market can be stressful and exciting at the same time. When you make smart investing and spending decisions, you’re more confident in your ability to reach your financial goals.

Better management of your budget

An automated portfolio tracker will work within your parameters to ensure that you’re investing based on the money that’s available to you.

Keep a running record of all your investments

A big part of portfolio tracking is knowing what you’ve done in the past so that you can make better decisions in the future. With an automated portfolio tracker, there’s always a running record of the investments you’ve made.

Easily identify your trading and investing needs

Do you want to add to your crypto portfolio? Do you need to closely examine your asset allocation to date?

With a portfolio tracker, you can answer these types of questions to help you identify your specific needs.

Important Features your Portfolio Tracker Must Have

There’s more to portfolio tracking than meets the eye. You must choose an investment tracker that has all the features you need, as well as some that you may want to experiment with in the future.

Here’s a shortlist of features your investment tracker must have:

The number of stocks traded

Without this, you’ll never have a firm grasp of how your stock portfolio is performing. Not to mention the fact that it’ll hold you back from understanding the performance of past investments.

Brokerages supported

Not all portfolio trackers support all brokerages. Find a tracking tool that supports the brokerages you currently use. If these don’t align, you’ll find that your chosen tool is useless.

Analysis tools

There are many types of analysis tools that can help you make better investments. For example, a stock analysis tool provides all the data you need to make informed decisions.

These tools provide you with everything from ratings to past performance.

Integrated news feed

Recent news can impact stock performance. The best portfolio trackers have an integrated news feed, which allows you to stay current with news stories that could affect your investing decisions.

How do you Monitor Investments with a Portfolio Tracker?

There’s no one size fits all answer to this question, as every investor has their own goals.

Here are three details any investor can focus on to better monitor their investments:

  • Total performance: How have your investments performed over the past year?
  • Dividend yield: Do you have stocks that pay a dividend? Are you reinvesting these payouts?
  • Asset allocation: Do you have a nice variety of assets, or have you put too much into a particular company or class?

Tip: a portfolio tracker app allows you to monitor your investments from anywhere in the world.

How to Choose the Right Portfolio Tracker for you

With so many portfolio trackers to choose from, you shouldn’t struggle to find the right one for you and your investments.

However, this works both ways. A large selection means that it can take more time to compare your options.

Here are some of the best ways to choose a portfolio tracker:

  • Focus on the features: Create a list of must-have features — such as a crypto portfolio tracker — that you absolutely need. This will allow you to quickly pare down your list.
  • Read reviews: You’re not the only one with an investment portfolio. Read as many third-party and individual reviews as you can find.
  • Take it for a trial run: Before you go all-in on a portfolio tracker, take advantage of any trial offer that’s available to you. This allows you to test the tool as it relates to your particular wants and needs.

Your goal is to find a portfolio tracker that helps improve your investment performance. If you’re able to do this, you’ll be happy in the end.

Best Investment Portfolio Trackers

A quick online search will turn up a large selection of investment portfolio trackers. However, if you don’t have the time to compare all your options, here are two of the best.

Personal Capital

As an online financial advisor and personal wealth management company, Personal Capital has you covered on all investment fronts.

In addition to insight-driven wealth management services, there are a variety of free tools you can use to improve your investment performance.

Also, Personal Capital is well known for having one of the best available crypto portfolio trackers.

Money Patrol

Money Patrol offers more than the ability to track your investment portfolio. It can also help with personal finance monitoring, money management, and budgeting.

If you’re looking for a simple to use tool for tracking your stock portfolio and other investment accounts, Money Patrol is a good place to start.

Note: The Money Patrol portfolio tracker app is consistently ranked as one of the best in the business.

Alternatives to Portfolio Trackers

If you’re investing in the stock market, it’s best to have a portfolio tracker to help you manage your investments. When it comes to wealth management, you can never have too much help.

However, if you’re seeking an alternative to portfolio trackers, there are some ideas to consider.

For example, you can set up your own system for tracking stock performance and related details. You can do this easily enough with a spreadsheet. The primary drawback is the amount of time that it takes, as well as fears regarding accuracy.

You could also rely on the stock analysis tools provided by your brokerage. They’re not typically as robust as dedicated portfolio trackers, but they may give you what you need until you decide what to do next.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It’s likely that you still have questions about portfolio trackers and how they work. Here is a handful that you should answer:

Who can use portfolio trackers?

Anyone can use a portfolio tracker, regardless of experience or account size.

How often does the data in a portfolio tracker get updated?

A portfolio tracker should update your account in real-time to provide the most accurate information.

Will a portfolio tracker help me make more money?

There is no guarantee, but a tracker can help you better understand which investments have made you money in the past. This allows you to make more informed decisions in the future.

Are stock portfolio trackers secure?

Yes. The most reputable stock portfolio trackers are both safe and secure to use. This holds true both online and through a portfolio management app.

What are the benefits of a portfolio tracker app?

There are many benefits of a portfolio tracker app, such as the ability to view and manage your investments from anywhere in the world.

What about crypto tracking?

More people than ever before are investing in cryptocurrency. If you have a crypto portfolio or want to build one, make sure your tool has this feature.

What is an exchange account?

An exchange account is the same as a brokerage account in the way that it gives you access to the stock market and other investments.

Final Thoughts

You should now have a better understanding of what a portfolio tracker is and how you can use it to your advantage.

If you’ve yet to experiment with one of these tools, now’s the time to get started. It’s never too late to make a decision that could have a positive impact on your finances.

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