Stock Selections Completed, SNAP and the Summer Bull Market

We recently completed our stock buying for the fall of 2017.  We do the stock buying and matching in the fall so that beneficiaries can have the summer to make some money in order to do the match.

It is interesting that of the 6 stocks (and one ETF, IAU or gold) on the list, no one took Snapchat (SNAP).  This is interesting because while it is popular with many of the beneficiaries (they use it), they can segregate whether something is useful or whether it may be a good investment. I had Snapchat on the list because I felt that it had been beaten down by bad sentiment and poor results and because it was burning cash BUT that this also created the opportunity for a turn upward (may be at the bottom).  In the past I’ve been hesitant to put up stocks that are tied to products that the beneficiaries may use day to day because I didn’t want that to bias the selection process but it turns out I was wrong.

With Google Sheets it is much easier to track the portfolio real time.  I have a summary sheet set up like the picture in this post and I can just glance at it on my phone from the google sheets app.  I take snapshots of the values in each portfolio every month or so in order to see simple trends over time.

You can see our summer bull market in the results, although you need to mentally factor out the impact of $11,700 in contributions and $6000 in withdrawals across the period (net inflows of $5700).  Thus based on some simple math above, across the portfolio we saw an increase of $154,073 – $136,791 = $17,282 and then you take out the net inflows of $5700 to get a net increase of $11,582 divided by our base of $136,791 from about 6 months ago which is 8.4% and if you roughly double it (to get annual performance) you see annualized performance of roughly 17% in the portfolio during essentially the summer and most of the fall of 2017.

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Google Sheets Integration

I have been using Google Sheets to update these portfolios and it has been an excellent experience.  I can share the spreadsheets with the beneficiaries and they can see a real-time view of their portfolios on any device (phone, PC, tablet) through Google Sheets.  The only minor updating item is the cash in the money market account which is a product of recent dividends.

It used to take me a long time to update each spreadsheet.  I had to do the following items:

  • look at the performance of stocks that were sold.  Now I use the “Google Finance” formula to get the current price of stocks that have been sold and I have it in a text statement embedded with the purchase and sales price for that stock
  • I don’t update the current prices for any stocks; that happens automatically

I try to centralize functions.  One item you can’t find via Google Finance is “dividend yield”.  I have a central sheet where I update yields once and then can copy that throughout all of the cells.  I need to copy a block of text into the spreadsheet so that a VLookup can be applied against the data, with the ticker being the primary key.  This also works for the current description of the stock’s status (commentary).

New Google Sheets Analytics – Sector, US / Foreign, and Dividend Views

I really enjoy working with Google Sheets and the Google Finance portfolio functions.  Recently I moved tracking from excel to Google Sheets and sent links to the beneficiaries so that when they open the file, the stocks update automatically.  I made 8 of these sheets and sent them to each individual beneficiary, and learned a lot along the way.

There still is some manual and redundant work done within each spreadsheet and for me to track performance, I had to open each sheet individually.  Thus I went to work and built a summary sheet that taps into each of the 8 individual portfolios and shows performance against a 4/30/17 baseline (I just hard coded that baseline).

Recently I expanded that model to take each individual stock in any portfolio and make a consolidated view that included 1) sector information 2) US vs. Foreign 3) Yield 4) description of stock and reason for buying.  Now I can update that table in one place and re-do each of the portfolios 1-8 so that these fields are updated and consistent across each portfolio (I still have to do that, but I will in the relatively near future).  Here is a link to the data in PDF form.

 Portfolio 5/15/17 4/30/17 Change $ Change %
Portfolio One $42,377.71 $41,514.50 $863.21 2.08%
Portfolio Two $33,665.44 $33,334.33 $331.11 0.99%
Portfolio Three $17,972.62 $17,761.07 $211.55 1.19%
Portfolio Four $14,677.84 $14,625.89 $51.95 0.36%
Portfolio Five $14,479.56 $14,582.35 -$102.79 -0.70%
Portfolio Six $7,823.01 $7,834.26 -$11.25 -0.14%
Portfolio Seven $3,941.67 $3,879.91 $61.76 1.59%
Portfolio Eight $3,233.08 $3,258.89 -$25.81 -0.79%
Total $138,170.93 $136,791.20 $1,379.73 1.01%

Continue reading “New Google Sheets Analytics – Sector, US / Foreign, and Dividend Views”

Using Google Sheets for your Portfolio

These directions are specific to the portfolios that are being shared.  I likely will build a “public” version and link to it if someone else wants to leverage it.

The Google Sheets application is easily installed on your ipad or iphone.  From there you should just click on it and select your portfolio.

Alternatively, you could open it up on the web by going into Google and signing in and then bringing up the “sheets” application from Google Docs.

When you open the spreadsheet, there is a disclaimer that the financial data is updated 20 minutes late.  You can click on the “x” on the bottom to make this disclaimer go away.

Every time you open the application it will attempt to go out to the web and update all of the stock prices.  The prices are in several places (including the “text” under the current price on sold items) so it may take a little bit of time on portfolios with lots of stocks.

The tab that tells the story and history of all the stocks, the cash, investment to date, dividends, and sales is the “summary” tab.  This is the tab to look at if you want to see and study the entire picture.

Note that for any application, if you open it up on your phone or your ipad, you can resize the screen and it automatically zooms in or out.  This is a great feature and recommended.  If you look at it on your PC or Mac you need to zoom in or out by using the zoom function or + / – depending on how your machine is set up.  Or you can just use your mouse or arrow tab to get around.

Day to day, I recommend looking at the “analytics” tab.  There are multiple tabs in the sheet and it may or may not open up to that tab first.  You can just click on the tab at the bottom for that one to come up.

The analytics tab has all of your stocks.  You can see how the portfolio has changed that day.  Increases are automatically in green and decreases are in red.  The increases and decreases are in percentage term and in dollar terms (your net gain or loss for the day).  At the bottom of the analytics column you can see the total change across all of your stocks for the day.

In the box below the green / red section of your stocks on the analytics tab, there are 3 other benchmarks.  The first one is the S&P 500 index.  The second benchmark is for the non US stocks (unhedged, so it contains both stock price performance and the impact of currency changes).  The third benchmark is the US dollar vs a basket of foreign currencies, which shows the direction of whether the US dollar is going up or down.  Generally, if the US dollar goes up, there is a decrease in the value of your foreign stocks.

To the left on the analytics sheet, there are 4 items in a different box.  They start with the % of your stocks that are US vs. foreign, the % of your portfolio that is tied to the largest sector, the % of your portfolio that is in high dividend stocks (about 3% or more in dividend yield) and the % of your total portfolio that is in cash (not invested in stocks).

You can also see the 52 week high and low and the % of 52 week high that the stock is currently at. 100% would be the highest value and stocks in the 90% means that they are near or testing a 52 week high.

Portfolio Five Updated April 2017

Portfolio 5 is 7 1/2 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $4000 and the trustee $8000 for a total of $12,000.  The current value is $14,151 for a gain of $2151 or 18%, which is about 3.6% / year adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  You can go here to see the portfolio or go to the links on the right side of the page.

The portfolio is about 50/50 with US and foreign stocks.  Almost half the stocks are considered “high dividend” with a dividend of near 3% or greater.  Gilead (GILD) is a recent drugmaker purchase and Anheuser Busch InBev (BUD) are both pretty well run companies on or near watch.

On a side note, this is one of the first portfolio to be almost totally run by formulas in Google Sheets.  I incorporated vLookups and re-arranged the sheets a bit to have more of the information on buys and sells populate automatically.  Due to these changes, it will be much easier to update this portfolio in the future and it will be the template that I will apply to the other portfolios as I migrate them to Google Sheets.

Google Sheets

I have been keeping track of the portfolios in excel for over a decade now.  Although I am pretty good at updating the data, it does take a little while and is error prone.

I recent started moving the portfolios over from Microsoft Excel to Google Sheets.  Google Sheets have formulas that automatically update the stock prices via a formula call like =googlefinance(PG, “price”) and there are a host of other values you can invoke from 52 week high / low to PE to EPS.  It is very cool when you build something that can auto-update just upon opening the spreadsheet.

It has been a while since I’ve built detailed spreadsheets with functions and formulas and it is a lot of fun (for me, at least).  Google Sheets have many of the same features as Excel such as pivot tables and conditional formatting and Lookups and they mostly function the same.  I was surprised that they could name a lot of features using the same names as Excel but I guess I’ve just been away from the game for a while, perhaps that is the norm.

The concept that the spreadsheet just opens up and auto updates via formulas or API’s is very powerful.  It is interesting what data is readily available and for what exchange, while other information (notably the dividend yield) has to be obtained by looking it up manually (which is also not even correct sometimes).  This is something I will be writing about more in the future as I do additional research.

The ability to share documents is also very powerful.  I can create a spreadsheet and share it with the beneficiary via Google Docs and they can go in any time and see how everything is going.  It will be about 98% right (the cash balance won’t auto update and the last few dividends won’t be recorded) and some of the new analytics I’ve created (just a start) will also auto update.

This is going to be something that I’ll be working on a lot and it opens a whole universe of possibilities.  If you think about it, most of the data is out there somewhere in the public cloud, available in a database or by API.  The data that you have on your particular situation is a mere tiny portion of the grand total.  The fact that most of this can be available FOR FREE is also astonishing.

After I’ve beaten up Google Sheets for a while I will have to ask myself what incremental value, if anything, that Excel provides.  I’m sure there are some advanced formulas they have that Google does not but sharing Excel files has always been a nightmare, and this is easy with Google Sheets (I realize that O365 is supposed to help this, but still….).  I am using Excel 2011 for my Mac and haven’t seen the urgent need to upgrade and this won’t really help the need to upgrade, either.  Microsoft still sends me security patches, which is great, when and if that stops I’ll have to consider my options.  I guess the patches will stop in October 2017 for Mac 2011.  Maybe at that time I will also trade in my Macbook from 2011 which has given me great service but likely will be reaching the end of its useful life.