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Yahoo Finance vs Sharesight -- comparing portfolio trackers

by Angela Thompson, Sharesight

With Google Finance announcing the retirement of their portfolio feature, we’ve noticed some online chatter from investors who are looking for Google Finance alternatives and considering Yahoo Finance. The truth of the matter is that as bad as Google is with tracking the true performance of your portfolio, Yahoo Finance is even worse! So if you’re a DIY investor currently using Google or Yahoo Finance to track your portfolio here’s why Sharesight is better.

UPDATE: 23-Nov-2107 – You can now easily import your Yahoo Finance portfolio into Sharesight. Simply follow the prompts from the Add Holding page after you sign-up / log-in. For more info, check out how to easily import your Yahoo Finance portfolio into Sharesight.

Misleading performance

Like Google, the major issue with Yahoo Finance is that it only calculates your simple return – the difference between what you paid for the stock, and what it’s worth now. That’s bad because it doesn’t show you how you’re really performing each year. See that +83% return figure? Don’t get too excited. An 80% return over 5 years means you’re really just averaging 16% per year.

screenshot - Yahoo Finance

Sadly, this is the most misunderstood concept when tracking investment returns. Once you start tracking your investments using an annualised calculation methodology, you’ll finally understand your true performance. This gives you the data-driven insights that allow you to make better investment decisions, (and hopefully become a better investor in the long-term).

No dividends

Other factors that impact performance are brokerage fees, foreign currency fluctuations and corporate actions such share splits and dividends. Sadly, Yahoo doesn’t allow you to track these either. If you own dividend-generating stocks and attempt to track them in Yahoo finance, your performance numbers will quickly go askew.

Remember that 16% return I talked about earlier? Here it is again. But once you factor-in $268.92 worth of dividends, the annualised return jumps to over 20%:

screenshot - GM dividends

As you can see, dividends play a huge part in your performance return. And what about dividend reinvestment plans (DRPs or DRIPs), which let you use your cash dividends to purchasing additional shares in a company without paying commissions? These have an additional impact on your performance (and are yet another component of your performance that you can’t track using Yahoo Finance).

There’s a better way

Yahoo is a great place to check your old GeoCities email. But when it comes to tracking your investments, you should be using a purpose-built portfolio tracker like Sharesight, which not only tracks your annualised performance, but includes dividend tracking, tax reporting, plus a wealth of other features specifically designed for DIY investors. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Yahoo Finance and Sharesight to show you what we mean:

 YahooSharesight
PerformanceSimple return

Doesn’t include dividends, brokerage, foreign currency
Annualised, money-weighted total return

Includes dividends, brokerage, foreign currency
Performance PeriodLimited: since yesterday, or since first purchase onlyAny time period
DividendsNoYes – automatically displays the exact dividends based on how many shares you own (these can be edited too)

Dividends are rolled back up into your performance calculation
DRPs/DRIPsNoYes
Foreign CurrencyNo – you can change the portfolio’s currency but currency fluctuations for foreign investments aren’t trackedYes – converts any foreign investments back to the portfolio’s home currency (on a daily basis)
Market CoveragePretty much everythingFull list of markets tracked by Sharesight
Price UpdatesMix of real-time/15/20/30 mins20 minute delayed pricing for AU and NZ, otherwise end of day
Number of Holdings & PortfoliosUnlimitedTrack up to 10 holdings for FREE, for more, see our pricing plans
Custom InvestmentsNoYes
Performance & Tax ReportsNoYes – performance, diversity, contributions analysis, taxable income, future income, etc.

Full list of Sharesight reports
BenchmarkingNoYes
CashYes – basic cash trackingSomewhat – currently trackable as a Custom Investment, but a cash account feature is being worked on
Fundamentals
(Ebitda, P/E ratio, etc)
YesSomewhat – has EPS, NTA, and P/E ratio for ASX & NZX shares (but we generally recommend using Morningstar for this data)
NewsYahooGoogle, Livewire, Cuffelinks
Portfolio SharingNoYes – share secure access with anyone, according to the level of access they require: read-only, read-write, admin

More reasons to use Sharesight

Sign up for a FREE Sharesight account. Then import your Yahoo Finance portfolio and have a look around. We’re confident you’ll love what you see.


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