Looking for Investment Management Tools

I have been looking for any personal finance software that can help keep track of my investments. So far, I have come up with zip. Maybe someone else has had a better experience.

Here is what I am looking for:

  1. Syncs transactions with brokerage accounts.
  2. Allows looking at performance on a consolidated basis across accounts. I own a few stocks across multiple accounts. I want to look at how on a consolidated basis.
  3. Includes dividends and reinvested dividends intelligently into calculating performance.
  4. Allows XIRR calculations by security. XIRR immediately shortens the list. Total gain/loss on a stock is not a very interesting number.
  5. Ideally, I should be able to take any window of time to see how a stock has performed in that window. Also, of course, on a consolidated basis.

Schwab, of course, has nothing even close. They are so scared of making errors that they throw up a warning window every time I try to download a csv file. Can’t trust them to venture out this far.

I like mint.com for keeping track of expenses etc. but their investment management totally sucks. Pretty charts that are all horribly wrong, worthless or both.

A friend told me that Quicken takes care of all of these requirements. Unfortunately, Quicken gives the Mac platform short shrift. The last version for the Mac is from 2007 and the reviews are not good. No 30 day trial, so I passed. If someone has used this version and thinks it works, leave a comment.

iBank from iggsoft was supposed solve this very problem. The poor cousin treatment that Mac owners get on software for personal use. Tried it out. Couldn’t even set it up. No way to upload a csv! At least I couldn’t figure it out. For the transactions I could upload it seemed like it didn’t meet my criteria.

So my search continues. In the meanwhile, I put together a Google Spreadsheets solution, which meets all my criteria, except the windowing. Google allows you to call the price on a stock as a formula which is quite neat. The only problem with this is that transactions must be downloaded from the brokerage account and cut pasted into the worksheet every once in a while. I don’t trade much, so my solution works for me, kind of. At least until someone comes up with exactly what I want. But does that ever happen?


  1. Murali says:

    Hi Basab
    You should give perfios a try, handles most of what you are looking for.
    With multiple bank accounts and investments across accounts, it does a good job consolidating and reporting, with a decent import feature as well.



  2. Krishna says:

    Ok, so you’ve done a pretty hard work trying out various tools and still come up short. Why is it so…? Perhaps the world never needed them badly enough…

    Investment management, pure and simple should seek absolute returns, period… When we put our own money to work, we’ve no clients to convince why your investment sucked, no commissions to salvage, no fat pay packs to be justified. Hence we don’t need colorful charts that benchmark a sucky performance against a suckier index to show us in good light… Perhaps the reason why Ben Graham or Warren Buffet never complained, up until this very day :-))))


    1. Krishna,

      I am have trouble assessing absolute returns. Relative returns is a next level problem. Although I don’t mind colorful charts if I can get them.


  3. Anurag says:

    Basab, I just came across Wikinvest on the Chrome Web Store a couple of days back.


    It is worth a try.


    1. thanks Anurag. Checked it out. The interface is nice, but it sticks to the notion that performance is defined by the dollar gain.


  4. Lalit says:

    Hi Basab,

    I was reading your requirements and did not understand the need of money weighted returns for individual securities especially when you need the ability to select the time window. The IRR values may not make sense in some cases if random periods are selected. Don’t you think the time weighted returns which are unit value based will serve this purpose more accurately?

    But if you are interested in comparing the returns with some benchmarks, then its a different story.

    I am new to Performance reporting and am just trying to understand the basic requirements that you have put forth.



    1. Basab says:

      Lalit – yes, the idea would be to compare the return over a certain period of time against a benchmark. I might have a great cumulative return on GOOG, but what has it done for my portfolio in the last year vs my benchmark. I am not saying I make decisions that way, but one needs to know.


      1. Lalit says:

        Makes sense. Thanks !


  5. Pradeep says:

    I use MProfit in India and it is good. I guess you want a US based app. MProfit works very well for India.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s