How one couple saves time and money using Sharesight
This article tells the story of actual Sharesight users, but the names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Nick and Katie are both busy professionals, between their successful careers and 2 kids, they are constantly juggling their professional and home lives, and are always stretched for time.
Despite juggling all these demands they were able to set up a self managed super fund (SMSF) and investment portfolios under each of their names by working with an accountant – but have always struggled to find the time to feel like they were truly on top of their investments.
The paperwork problem
Nick and Katie set up some spreadsheets to track their investments. At first, they loved their spreadsheets. But maintaining their portfolio spreadsheets with the latest dividend information was always tedious and when life got busy with the kids, the kids were understandably, the priority.
When it came to the end of the financial year and filing their tax returns, they had to gather, aggregate and hand over all the documentation for the various holdings as well as a not completely up-to-date portfolio tracking spreadsheet to their accountant.
Once they handed over their paperwork and spreadsheet, their accountant would have to spend time rekeying all the data into their own reporting systems and formats. In all, each year it would take Nick and Katie an entire weekend just to compile and work with their accountant to sort out the documents.
In short, it was complicated. And expensive.
Nick searched online for an portfolio tracking solution
Over time Nick and Katie’s spreadsheets became increasingly complicated and difficult to maintain, and they realised it had become untenable to keep going this way. The frustration was real, and he decided there must be a better way and undertook a search online to find a ‘portfolio tracking solution’. That’s when he found Sharesight.
After Nick and Katie discovered Sharesight, the quality of their time with their accountant improved. The diagram below best describes how Sharesight solved their problem by bringing together all the parts of their investment life. Linking their brokerage, performance and tax reporting together with their accountant made life easier for everyone and saved time and money at the end of the year.
How does Sharesight work for them?
Nick’s shares are scattered across multiple brokerage accounts. He used the CSV importer to get all of his trades into Sharesight. Katie had only traded a handful of times, so she forwarded the trade confirmations emails sent by her broker to get her Sharesight portfolio set up. They also went through the effort of entering all their unlisted holdings into their portfolios.
They each added their specific portfolio-related email addresses from Sharesight to their brokerage accounts, so all future confirmation emails would automatically be sent to Sharesight, and the buy or sell trades created in their portfolios on an ongoing basis.
Monthly performance reviews
Nick and Katie try to hold themselves accountable for their investment strategy by now spending the time they used to spend entering in data to their spreadsheet looking at their performance in Sharesight.
Now they both quickly check in on the performance of their portfolio on a monthly basis, using Sharesight’s Overview Page to get an “at a glance” look at their SMSF and personal investments. This also allows them to quickly look at (and confirm) all the dividend income they receive each month and how this impacts their total returns.
Nick and Katie’s SMSF Portfolio Overview in Sharesight
Tracking asset allocation
Because they have a target asset allocation in mind for both their personal investments and SMSFs (weighted towards equities) they both set up Custom Groups within Sharesight. After they set up their Custom Groups, they allocated each of their holdings into one of the categories:
They use these buckets to keep track of their asset allocation strategy.
As part of their monthly portfolio review, Nick and Katie look at the Contribution Analysis report, which breaks down the performance of the various asset classes they defined in their portfolios.
Nick and Katie’s SMSF personal portfolio contribution analysis report graph
Quarterly check-in with their accountant
Along with taking control of all their holdings and portfolios on a monthly basis, Nick and Katie have also now been able to spend more time with their accountant throughout the year, scheduling a quarterly check-in, to review their portfolios and look for opportunities to take action during each financial year.
“Instead of just handing our accountant a shoebox full of statements at the end of the year, we now check in with our financial planner/accountant every quarter to see how we are tracking” says Nick.
Nick estimates that their accountants used to spend 70% of their billable hours in portfolio admin versus 30% in advice. Today, using Sharesight to help manage their portfolios, those numbers are reversed and the quality of advice they receive has improved considerably.
Sharesight takes the admin burden out of investing
If you, like Nick and Katie, are tired of tracking multiple investment portfolios across spreadsheets and wasting time on end-of-year admin with your accountant that could be better spend looking at your investment situation, now is the time to try Sharesight, built by investors for investors. With Sharesight you can:
Get the true picture of your investment performance, including the impact of brokerage fees, dividends, and capital gains with Sharesight’s annualised performance calculation methodology
Run tax reports including Taxable Income (dividends/distributions), Capital Gains Tax (Australia and Canada), Traders Tax (Capital Gains for traders in NZ) and FIF foreign investment fund income reports (NZ)
Sign up for a FREE Sharesight account and get started tracking your investment performance (and tax) today.