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How do you track portfolio returns?

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  • How do you track portfolio returns?

    I have been tracking all of my accounts with Mint (I find better for budgeting) and Personal Capital (better for getting a look at investments) for several years. I manage my own investments and feel like I've been doing a pretty good job of it, but it's always nice to check and compare my returns agains S&P 500 and other good benchmarks.

    Does anyone have a feel for how accurate the portfolio tracking returns of the sites like Personal Capital's "You Index" are? I feel like both (Mint especially) are getting confused by things like closing certain accounts (ie rolling over an old job's 401k into the new one) and confuse new savings contributions as "gains" as my returns shouldn't be as high as I'm seeing. However overall trends are looking pretty good so far.

  • #2
    Most of my investments are with Schwab and they have a portfolio performance tool that looks more accurate at first glance with granular data on what portion of total account value is made up of contributions and which are investment gains. However I'm looking for an accurate tool that can also incorporate my savings accounts, outside taxable accounts etc.


    • #3
      Mint is bad at tracking investments, and they are currently not investing in making it any better. I found a simple addition calculation error and created a ticket to get it fixed a few weeks ago. The response I got was that it's not going to be fixed and they don't when know it will get resolved... not encouraging.

      I recently started using Personal Capital and it seems to work ok. Had to do a little manipulation as a couple accounts had incorrect funds listed, but it seems to be representing things accurately now. I haven't had the issue you are having with the contributions being incorrectly tagged, but you can go into the transactions and manually edit them. That may be a quick fix...


      • #4
        I use the Schwab portfolio tool.  You can enter outside holdings yourself.


        • #5
          Personal capital. Investments only. Mint for expenses.


          • #6
            If you are investing in index funds only, I don't think it is necessarily that important to track your returns since the fund performance just mirrors the index they are tracking.

            Agreed that Mint is not useful for tracking investment returns.


            • #7
              XIRR is the best way and how I do it, but takes a bit of learning and attention:



              • #8
                I use quicken (I know so old-school) to track the 'what' I have.  Quarterly, I use excel to calculate certain metrics including returns, an estimate of ER fees (Quarter/YTD), contributions by me and employer (quarter and total), and the dollar value gain/loss (quarter/total).  Though I'm a fan of spreadsheets, I'm a bit lazier and use the Dietz method for calendar annual returns.