Benchmarking now live on Sharesight

by Doug Morris

We’re starting 2015 with a bang by announcing a major new feature. Benchmarking is now available to all clients on the Investor, Expert, and Professional plans!

Understanding how your portfolio is performing is a critical ingredient to being a successful investor. Sharesight’s performance tracking is all about helping you with this goal and benchmarking is the next step in this process. You use Sharesight, so you know exactly how your investments have performed, but how do they compare to the overall market? How about overseas markets? Is your performance strong simply because the overall market went up, or is it due to the individual stocks you picked, or down to your asset allocation? Lots of market uncertainty out there. You need to know exactly where you stand.

Benchmarking - featured

Benchmarking allows you to select any ETF on our database to use for comparison. Note that a benchmark is saved at the portfolio level, so it can be applied to all portfolios in your account.

Within the “advanced options” menu above the chart on the Portfolio Overview, you’ll find a new section for selecting your benchmark instrument.

Benchmarking your investments - Sharesight

The common benchmark dropdown menu offers you preselected options for tracking your portfolio against popular market indexes. The list is made up of popular index-tracking ETFs on the ASX and NZX. We think this is a good starting point.

Benchmarking your Investments - Sharesight

But you can search for a specific security by typing in the name or code. So if you want to track your portfolio against a Gold ETF you’re in luck:

Benchmarking your investments - Sharesight

Click Apply and the benchmark will be saved against your portfolio. You’ll immediately notice a new line of data underneath your portfolio’s capital, income, and currency return, which displays the selected benchmark’s performance. Makes for a quick like-for-like comparison.

Benchmarking your investments - Sharesight

And what would benchmarking be without charting? Selecting the “graph performance” option in the chart type dropdown menu will reveal your portfolio’s performance versus your benchmark. !

Benchmarking your investments - Sharesight

This is where our developers added a bit of extra mustard to make Sharesight benchmarking better than anything else we’ve seen.

Even though everyone talks about “the market,” it’s a difficult concept to grasp when you try to work out what your hard-earned dollars would have done had they been invested in “the market.” Indexes are theoretical, complex and not particularly useful.

We’ve chosen to compare your portfolio with your chosen benchmark as if you’d invested equal amounts of real money in both. When you plot your holdings on the chart, you’ll see that the Y-axis scales so that both investments begin at the same point. Tracking your mouse along the lines will display a pop-up that shows how the value of each changes.


This is also why we’ve used real ETFs as our suggested benchmarks versus the broad market indexes. You and I can actually invest in an ETF. It’s a legitimate, tradable security that we can actually put our money to work in. Not so with the generic market indexes we see in the newspaper or on TV. An ETF is similar to a traditional index in that it tracks a market, sector, or country, but an ETF also reflects the cost of investing (management fees) and factors in things like franking credits.

Please also take a minute to read our Help section on how to interpret the return index graph.

As with all our new features, take some time to investigate and let us know your feedback.

Further information

Sharesight Help - Benchmarking portfolios