The major financial news and information websites all offer individual portfolio tracking tools. The portfolios can be set up to track a combined portfolio of investments held in different brokerage and retirement accounts. They can also be used as practice accounts to track stocks of interest or trading strategies. Each site has its own features that may appeal to specific investor requirements.
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Google Finance allows the set-up and tracking of an unlimited number of portfolios. The usual Google style provides a large amount of information and links to even more data without a lot of frills. The main portfolio view has tabs for a portfolio overview, fundamentals, performance and a transaction history. Google's portfolios allow the tracking of any security with a market symbol, including stocks, mutual funds and ETFs. Trading options include both buying long and selling short, and closed positions continue to be tracked. Portfolios on Google Finance can also include cash balances and transactions.
The MarketWatch portfolio is for investors who like graphic depictions of daily and long-term stock performance. The portfolio's interface puts a lot of data on one screen that is pretty easy to analyse at a glance. The portfolio also provides the latest news headline next to each stock. MarketWatch does not currently offer the ability to include a cash balance, and learning how to use the features of the portfolio is more difficult than most.
The CNBC website portfolio provides very easy to track information on total portfolio performance. At the top of the page the site gives daily and lifetime gains and return percentages. The Analyze Portfolio tab gives a pie chart of the portfolio distribution by asset class, however, the asset classes are just stocks, ETFs and cash. The tab also provides a historical analysis of the asset classes for several different time periods. A top reason for using the CNBC portfolio site would be the links to CNBC's excellent video excerpts from the network's cable broadcasts.
Morningstar is best known for its stock and mutual fund analysis. The website has a free membership option which includes an excellent portfolio tracker. Morningstar allows the inclusion of bonds in a portfolio as well as the usual stocks and funds. The site is also unique among free portfolio sites for the tracking and crediting of distributions, dividends and stock splits. The free service also allows an investor to set up personalised views of a portfolio. The performance calculator will compare the portfolios returns against a selected index. Overall, the Morningstar website offers a versatile portfolio tracker with even more services offered on the premium side.
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