If you are a dividend investor, then you know that tracking your dividends and your portfolio performance is one of the most challenging and even frustrating aspects of dividend investing. We spend hours scouring the internet for a good excel/google sheets tracker or we spend even longer trying to build our own (I’ve been using my personal sheet for months and still adjust it)!
Lucky for us, there is website called Sharesight that eases some of this pain. In this article we will review Sharesight, its features and capabilities, pricing, how I make use of it, and my impressions of the service.
What is Sharesight?
Sharesight is a website and mobile app that lets you track all of your investments in one place. And when I say “all of your investments” I mean ALL. Sharesight’s platform tracks stocks and ETFs from exchanges worldwide. You can track your cash, currencies, crypto, and even unlisted investments like properties or fixed interest securities.
If you connect your brokerage to Sharesight, it will track your portfolio in real time. It tracks your positions’ current price, so you no longer have to spend time updating that in your sheet row by row. It knows exactly when you buy/sell a stock and for how much and immediately reflects that in its tables and graphs.
Through being connected to your brokerage, it can track investment performance over any period of time. It will calculate your capital gains, dividends, fluctuations in currency values, and more. What’s really cool about Sharesight’s currency applications is that if you hold foreign currency or assets that are reported in a foreign currency, the platform will convert that value to standard currency so that you can review your entire portfolio in your base currency for an all-encompassing performance. Sharesight even allows you to connect multiple brokerages enabling you to see all of your investments in one place. You can group your investments and connected accounts in any way you see fit. You can even track your investments against any other equity of your choice to compare performance.
Sharesight gives you great clarity into the performance of the portfolio and puts tools at your fingertips to promote data driven decision making with your investments.
The landing page of Sharesight is your portfolio overview. It appears fairly straight forward, but when you dig into it, you’ll find that there is a lot of capability built into the platform.
The Performance Graph:
The first part of the page is your portfolio’s performance graph. Here you can set the time frame you want to review, change the type of graph (stacked, bar, lines, etc.), compare portfolio performance to a benchmark of you choosing, and organize the graph by groupings of your choice.
The customizability of this is surprising. You can create groups, or use the standard ones already provided, to organize the chart in the way that best suits you. For example, you can create a group that organizes your positions by market cap to visualize your portfolio’s weighting in each.
For another example, you can set up a group that organizes your positions into stocks vs indexes, switch graph type to a performance index, and then you can see how your total portfolio performs compared a benchmark as well as your ETFs and stock holdings. Creative grouping and customization capabilities can bring a vast amount of data out of the portfolio’s graph.
The summary tab shows you a breakdown of your capital gains, dividends, currency gains, and total return. If you have set up a benchmark for comparison, it will show up underneath your portfolio. In the top settings of the graph, you can change between looking at open vs open & closed positions and change the timeframe of your data. These settings will also update the summary tab for whatever timeframe you are wishing to look at.
The holdings section, like the others, adapts based on what settings you have set up at the top. In my screenshot, I have them grouped by market cap, open and closed positions, and timing since inception. This shows me all positions, their grouping that I choose to view them in, the number of stocks I have, current price, value, capital gains, dividend gains, currency gains, and total return.
You can also choose not to group them at all and just look at these in alphabetical order.
At the top of the page are a few other tools. Add new holding is where you add a new position to your portfolio (if you brokerage is connected, this and other portfolio tracking activities are all automated). Add a cash account allows to add a cash position to your portfolio. Last is share checker and this one is the coolest. Share checker allows you to back test the performance of any stock on any timeframe with a $10,000 position.
I did this with Lockheed Martin ($LMT) which I just added to my latest portfolio update article. The share checker shows you the price action over your chosen timeframe, dividend payouts, stock classification information, capital gains, dividend gains, and total return. Back testing is a useful and important tool for many investors and Sharesight makes it very easy.
When you click on an individual holding or search for a specific stock, you will arrive at another similar landing page, but this time it is specific for that stock. It shows you a graph of the price, dividends, and summary tab breaking down the gains.
Further down from that it shows you all of your trades for the life of the stock, the dividends, and how those dividends were reinvested if at all. The tabs on the right, when expanded, show you information on the stock, your holding (cost base, value, quantity, etc.), and files or comments you have attached to the holding, and more. All of these things enable to track, monitor, and make notes on your position in whatever way you see fit. Just below that section, is a list of corporate news if you are looking to research the company.
Sharesight’s report tab is where a lot of investors will find the true value of this platform, particularly if you invest internationally or if you have a complex portfolio that makes tax season a burden. All of the reports are fairly self-explanatory, but there are a couple worth noting for the purposes of this review.
The performance report essentially shows the same thing as your holdings on the overview page. However, all of the reports allow you export the data as an excel file, google drive, or pdf. If you still manage your own portfolio in excel, utilizing the report to export stock data makes this much easier than manually updating everything.
The diversity report allows you to organize your portfolio in any grouping you see fit and produces a nice pie chart to visualize your exposure according to how you chose to customize it.
The contribution analysis shows you which stocks, sectors, industries, and other groups contribute the most to your overall return and which are hurting you the most. Useful for portfolio balancing and recognizing when to sell/buy.
The multi-currency valuation report is by far the best tool I’ve come across for investors that use different currencies. This report converts the value of your investments into the current value of whatever currency you choose from the Canadian dollar, to the Mexican peso, to the US dollar, to the British pound, and even crypto coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin.
Lastly, the tax and compliance reports are amazing. Today’s investors may have 2, 3, 4, or even 5+ investing accounts that they make use of. For tax purposes, tracking those dividend payments, interest payments, and capital gains when you sell across all of those accounts becomes a huge headache, even for the simplest investors out there. These reports make it easy to see all of those payments for the tax year and makes filing your returns a breeze.
My only complaint with Sharesight is that the initial set up of your portfolio can be quite a hassle if your brokerage doesn’t have the ability to provide you with a trade schedule to import that history into the platform. For example, I trade on Robinhood and that platform does not provide an exportable excel file of your history of trades. Therefore, in order to get your history imported into Sharesight you either need to add in every trade manually for as much history as you want tracked, or you make use of an API and generate trade report for yourself. Luckily, my girlfriend’s brother has some coding experience and was able to help me do the latter. However, without him, the initial Sharesight set up would have been a nightmare.
Some brokers will be better with the set up than others. Robinhood is not one of them. However, after you have everything set up properly, through the brokerage connection all portfolio tracking from there is automated and well worth the time needed to get it rolling.
Overall, Sharesight is a great tool for the serious investor. Tracking a portfolio yourself is tough. There are services for it but most are lackluster. You can build your own tracking sheet, but that is manual and time consuming. Sharesight truly has everything a complicated investor needs as you can see by the strong data tools and reports that are vital for dividend investors and traders of currency.
Sharesight is growing and investing in improving their product which makes it great for long term users. They have over 300,000 users and community page where people can post, interact, and read release notes on updates and what’s coming. The platform also has a chat function where you can message with someone from the support team from 9AM-5PM Australian Eastern Time (Yes, Sharesight is an Australian company which explains why the functionality for international investors is so well thought-out).
If you are interested in trying out Sharesight, it is free if you have 10 holdings or less. They offer upgraded plans which allow you to track more holdings, portfolios, and gain access to some of the more complicated reports.
I truly find great value in this platform and am happy to be affiliated with it! Sharesight was kind enough to partner with me and offer 4 months free to any of my readers who sign up for an annual plan which already are discounted compared to the monthly pricing.
My website has always been about transparency with my investments and life, and that is no different with Sharesight. I would not promote a product to my readers without using it myself. I have been using it for the past couple of months and will continue to do so as it is a great tool for me.
I use it to update the prices of my positions through reporting and I use some of its graphing features in my weekly updates. If you think it will provide value to you as well, I would like to point you to the link below to offer you savings through my partnership which also helps to support me and this website! If you would like to look for other investment trackers, please visit my investing resources page!
Thank you for reading,