Posted by Tim Stobbs on January 7, 2011
Investing for me has always been a weird relationship. At some points I love doing it and others I don’t care about it at all. Up until recently my choice of investments were more or less irrelevant to my plan since my savings far out paced my investment returns. Let’s face it when you only have $50,000 in investments a 1% difference in your return is only $500/year which pales in comparison to saving about 50% of your family income. Yet as I start to close in on paying off my mortgage I will in the next few years have a larger cash flow going to investments which will soon accumulate in a large enough investment balance where my investment choices will start mattering a lot more.
So in preparation for that fact I’m thinking about developing a system to go with my net worth updates that would allow me to more easily track what contributions I’ve made in a given year. That would then allow me to actually track my pure investment return rather that the current contributions and investments growth. Currently using my existing statements isn’t an easy process since my investments are spread out over multiple companies. Yet with a simple spreadsheet I do think I can manage to track their growth and contributions.
Also I am concerned about tracking enough information to make such a sheet useful, but not making it too much work to update. Otherwise it will turn into a chore and I will likely avoid doing it and thus ruin the entire purpose of the spreadsheet.
Yet I don’t think I’m the first person to do this so I am wondering if how you track your investments. Do you just use your quarterly or monthly statements, a program or just a simple excel sheet? If you have a spreadsheet feel free to email or link to a copy in your comment. I think I should be able to find something that would be a useful template to build what I want without having to spend much time doing it.