What’s the Best On-Line Portfolio Manager to Track my Investments, part 5 of 5

It’s been a week since we last talked, and I bet you were waiting with tense anticipation for the final instalment! Well, it would seem that my birthday celebrations, mother’s day, and the fact my Bachelors of Arts degree left me with absolutely no artistic ability what-so-ever have come together against me.

So here, in all its glory – but without any cool infographics – is the conclusion. Enjoy!

To summarize what I’ve discussed over the past couple weeks I’ve put together the table below. Remember that on line portfolios are offered by portal sites, news outlet‘s web sites, financial web sites, and your broker‘s web site. There are different styles of portfolios: Full portfolios let you track holdings and even transactions; whereas Watchlists only let you list a stock. Most of these sites contain ads, but some are less intrusive and others are more.

The rating scale is out of 10 and is highly subjective and compounded by the fact it entirely my opinion, not anyone else’s or an average of several people’s. Data is an evaluation of the completeness of the data; Use is an evaluation of the ease of use; UI is a first impression of the look & feel of the web site; and Total is the sum of the previous parts, out of 30.

Type Style Ads Data Use UI Total
Google Finance Portal Full portfolio Bearable 7 10 10 27
MSN Portal Full portfolio Intrusive 4 5 5 14
Yahoo Finance Portal Full portfolio Bearable 5 7 7 19
Bloomberg News Outlet Full portfolio Excessive 9 6 4 19
Canadian Business News Outlet Full portfolio Excessive 6 3 3 12
Financial Post News Outlet Watchlist only Intrusive 7 6 4 17
Financial Times News Outlet Full portfolio Bearable 10 10 7 27
Globe Investor News Outlet Watchlist only Intrusive 9 4 8 21
MarketWatch News Outlet Watchlist only Intrusive 9 10 9 28
Barchart Financial Services Full portfolio Bearable 4 7 5 16
Morningstar Financial Services Full portfolio Bearable 6 4 8 18
TMX Money Financial Services Watchlist only Excessive 4 7 5 16
BMO Investor Line Broker Live portfolio None 10 5 5 20
Qtrade Broker Live portfolio None 10 8 7 25
RBC Direct Investing Broker Live portfolio None 10 5 5 20

You can also see this table in all it’s Google DocsDrive glory!

What’s clear from the table is that Google Finance, the Financial Times, and Market Watch have the best on-line portfolio managers. So if you’re going to spend the time to set one up and maintain it, then one of those three would be your best bet.

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Calculating Returns and The Portals
Part 3 – News Outlets
Part 4 – Financial Services and Brokerages
Part 5 – Comparison Table and Conclusion

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Disclaimer The material in this article does not constitute advice and you should not rely on any material in this article to make any decision or take any action.

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Flipboard for Android leaks

So Flipboard for Android was supposed to be an exclusive on Samsung Galaxy S III but it didn’t take long for an intrepid S III owner to pluck the APK from it’s comfortable surroundings and throw out into the wild for all to enjoy!

So far I’m pretty impressed, Flipboard certainly looks beautiful and makes viewing media laden tweets a joy – although tweets who’s media host is not integrated are still relegated to second place. And those tweets that link to an article an get a very fancy look with media from the article.

My two main sources of reading though are Google Reader and Twitter. For both of those Flipboard is a mixed result. Flipboard works best when there’s media to display, it makes the article look so much cooler. I’ve added The Globe and Mail, The Economist, and Make Magazine, which are quite nice to flip through – but I have to admit I had trouble navigating around the app to find stuff.

If you want to give Flipboard a try on your Android phone, either buy yourself a Samsung Galaxy S III or head-on over to XDA Developers to download the APK and sideload it yourself.

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Who won in Google vs. Oracle?

The headline over at Boy Genius Report is Jury says Google infringed on Oracle’s copyrights and over at Mobile Syrup it’s Jury reaches split decision in initial Google/Oracle case while at the Verge they say Jury finds Google infringed Oracle copyrights in partial verdict; Google moves for mistrial and over at Phone Area they have Jury renders partial verdict copyright infringement in Oracle v Google case and finally Reuters wrote Google infringed Oracle Java copyrights: jury.

What’s most interesting though is in other news about Google there’s plenty of stuff besides the lawsuit. But the Oracle news is all lawsuit all the time!

So whether they won or lost I don’t think Google really cares, they’ve already moved on! Oracle on the otherhand, doesn’t seem to have anything else to talk about.

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

What’s the Best On-Line Portfolio Manager to Track my Investments, part 4 of 5

I’ve previously looked at what other sites like the big portals and popular news outlets have to offer investors who want to track their portfolios. But there’s two other important players: the financial services web sites who are typically at the root of the financial data, and the brokerages where we hold our portfolios. In this part I’ll see what they have to offer.

Financial Services

These are companies that are actually in the money business, they provide a portfolio manager as a courtesy or add-on to their primary business.

Barchart

Like the name implies this company specializes in charting the underlying financial information; and there’s a lot of impressive stuff you can do with their charts! And there’s even more technical information for those who invest by the numbers. There’s not much fundamental information though, like dividends and yields are missing. The site also has a very 1990’s feel to it – except for the charts, although beautiful they don’t quite fit into the surrounding site.

Morningstar

This is another name everyone who’s ever looked for the slightest financial information has run across, they are everywhere. And they’ve very generously made a lot of their information available on their web site with very nice quotes, charts, and other detailed financial and historical information. For the amateur the amount of information can be overwhelming, but you get a sense of what the professionals deal with.

And since Morningstar makes their money selling subscriptions to the pros the advertising on the site is minimal and most of the space is given to data and charts.

TMX Money

Let me get this off my chest: Why does the Toronto Stock Exchange – the primary source – ship us off to another company when we want to lookup TSE stock quotes?! Admittedly they’ve outsourced to Quotemedia, who turn numbers in works of art, but it still bothers me. The actual functionality is basic but the data is all there, amidst a fair bit of advertising though.

 

Brokerages

This is where the transactions really happen, so they’re listed here as a point of comparison since we’ve already established that you wouldn’t leave your banking homepage open on your computer all day long. A big difference with these portfolios is that you’re a paying customer, so there’s no advertising (apart from the occasional self-promotion) and you often get some premium features you’d have to pay for elsewhere.

Bank of Montreal Investorline

The BMO Investorline site provides clear but basic asset tracking information and has recently added some nice graphing features to track trends and mark dividend payments. The site is easy to use and the recent GUI upgrades provide a brighter look and feel . That said, some of the tabs still have almost a beta look to them and one can only hope they are not quite finished with their current overhaul.

In the gallery, if you look closely at the chart screen shots of BMO Investorline and the Financial Times we can see the look almost identical, so either they’re using the same provider or same underlying tools to generate the charts. Either way, Investorline has not make their portfolios as nice as the Financial Times has.

Qtrade

They’ve received numerous, well-deserved, accolades for customer service and innovation. The web site works very well and the portfolio has a comprehensive set of views. The quotes and charts are standard fare but since you’re a paying customer you do get more information than aforementioned free portfolios.

RBC Royal Bank Direct Investing

RBC’s on-line portfolio is probably one of the oldest in existence – or at least it feels that way. The on-line banking web site is making great strides towards the 21st century but the brokerage still seems stuck in the 90’s. Once you’re there though, and you’ve forgiven them for not looking like an Apple or Google web site, you’ll find plenty of information from Thomson Reuters that is well laid-out and accessible.

So what we’ve seen here is the portfolio managers from the brokers and from the companies supplying the financial data are not much better (or worse for that matter) than any one else’s. There’s no real advantage to using your broker’s portfolio and there’s the big disadvantage of leaving the site open and exposed for an extended period of time.

In the final installment I’ll summarize all my reviews in a categorized table and leave you with my final conclusions.

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Calculating Returns and The Portals
Part 3 – News Outlets
Part 4 – Financial Services and Brokerages
Part 5 – Comparison Table and Conclusion

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Disclaimer The material in this article does not constitute advice and you should not rely on any material in this article to make any decision or take any action.