There are many ways to track your investments. I have used a number of free online portfolio tracking tools over the years including the one at the Wall Street Journal and Yahoo. I really like the tool from google because:
1) it is very easy to set up
2) it lets you add cash independently of creating a “cash” account and treating everything as a transaction
3) you can see at a glance, and hide / unhide right off your home page
This site documents setting up a trust fund, selecting investments, measuring performance, and weighs the impact of taxes and alternative savings solutions for college. Click here to see a more detailed summary of this site.
There are three portfolios that we are currently running.
Thoughts on our performance:
Like all equity investors, we were disappointed by the market downturn in October, 2008. The S&P is down about 40% from its high mark set about 1 year ago.
This down turn hit pretty much everything except for 1) cash in the bank or money market 2) gold. If you were in the market in the US or abroad you suffered severely.
None of our stocks actually went bankrupt or had massive declines, although some dropped more than 50%. Previously, we had taken some gains on stocks that had run-ups like Amazon (AMZN), China Mobile (CHL) and Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP). We reinvested these funds, but a lot of our new purchases dropped.
Going forward, we will have more analysis, thoughts and recommendations but I wanted to get started at the new blog and update performance and there are a lot of behind-the-scenes items needed to make this happen and I had to get those out of the way, first.
For many years this site was on Microsoft Front Page but Microsoft essentially abandoned that technology and wants users to try a new tool. I started working with the new tool but found it very complicated.
In parallel, I have been working on a lot of other web sites, as a blogger. I started on blogger (owned by Google) but since then have moved on to Word Press (although our main blog is still on blogger). Thus I decided to transform the site into a blog which saves me from having a dedicated email account (since people can just comment) and makes updating easier. Another advantage of word press over google is that I can upload spreadsheets and PDF files while blogger, for some reason, only lets you use pictures or videos.
Trust funds for kids is the blog that will be the permanent home for the former web site
More information is coming soon!