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

What’s the Best On-Line Portfolio Manager to Track my Investments, part 3 of 5

Last week I introduced on-line portfolio managers for your investments, and how to calculate the returns on your portfolio. I also looked at what the big portals offered their users. This week I’ll start by looking at what other sites have to offer.

News Outlets

News papers and syndicates that deliver the news; in particular the outlets that have a business focus we expect to have a robust portfolio. We all typically have a news outlet we go to first for our news, and we might even log-in so we can leave comments. Most likely the newspaper offers an on-line portfolio.

Some of these news outlets offer premium features to paying subscribes, or even have entirely separate offerings for professionals. This review however is focused only on what’s available to the general public as a free service. For the average individual, who just wants to keep tabs more frequently than monthly or quarterly statements, the fees to access the premium services are not justified.

Bloomberg

Bloomberg is an American news outlet with a business focus. Their portfolio, quotes and charts are clean and efficient. I especially like the use of charts directly in the portfolio. Overall though the portfolio is fairly basic and not very innovative.

It should be noted that Bloomberg is one of the primary providers of news and data for professional advisors and portfolio managers. But what I’m looking at here is what is available to the general public, without a subscription.

Canadian Business

This is more of a business magazine than a daily newspaper outlet and the appearance of the web sites reflects it. They’ve outsourced their portfolio, quotes, and charts to Barchart and unfortunately it shows – everything related to stocks seems to happen in its own little box. There’s some nice little fly-overs in their portfolio but you don’t get as much information as other sites.

Financial Post

They have a very impressive Watchlist feature that scrolls a ticker across top of the web site, and you can click on a symbol to get more information or go to a full blown quote & chart page. Although in the actual portfolio manager, the quotes, and charts are bare-bones and visually un-appealing. This a web site that makes me think of the early days of the web when Flash ads were all over the page!

Financial Times

This site has everything – including a pink background. And does it really well. My initial impression of the web site was not very good; but in terms of data and functionality this gets an A+. With the added bonus that it really is international – not just North American. There’s a lot of information provided on the first page for each stock, and charts open over the page (very web 2.0 – even though they preserve the Netscape-look of the site while doing it).

Globe and Mail Investor

The quintessential Canadian business news web site. Their stock and fund filters are the foundation used by many other organizations. They recently revamped their on-line portfolio and it looks much slicker, but it no longer has all the detailed functionality of the old one. You can’t track your exact position but, for stocks at least, you can track how many shares you own. The quotes and charts pages are split up along traditional lines, and their functionality is limited but at least all the Canadian data is there.

There are premium features available to Globe Plus and Globe Investor GOLD subscribers but these were not reviewed here.

Market Watch (Dow Jones)

Here is a very innovative portfolio manager, from the way it is laid-out to the way it works (it’s the only one that allows you to tag a stock and filter your stocks by tag). You can’t track all your transactions, but you can track your positions. The quotes for Canadian stocks are complete, and the charts are from Big Charts (another Dow Jones company so it’s not really out-sourced) so they’re very well done.

Note that Dow Jones is another important service relied upon by many professional investors and portfolio managers.

Of all the news outlets the best of the bunch are definitely the Financial Times and Market Watch. Unfortunately the Canadian ones in the bunch aren’t stepping up.

In the next installment I’ll look at what financial services companies offer the public and what customers of brokerages get.

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.