The Morningstar Portfolio Manager takes a different approach than Personal Capital’s financial dashboard. With Morningstar, you must manually enter each of your investments into its Portfolio Manager tool (although the company says it’s working on an automated solution).
While it takes more work to enter your investment account data into Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager, the analysis provided by the tool is well worth the effort. The tool provides basic data about each of your investments, including its current price, daily changes in value and its percentage weight in your overall portfolio.
Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager also provides robust data on overall portfolio performance. It shows you your portfolio’s total return by month and year, and compares it to a benchmark of your choice. Where Morningstar really shines, however, is with its Instant X-Ray feature.
Instant X-Ray gives you detailed information about your portfolio’s asset allocation. It shows you the investment style box of your portfolio for both stocks and bonds. It breaks out your investments by sector, stock type and even by region. And it shows you the weighted average mutual fund expense ratio of your portfolio.
Finally, Instant X-Ray shows you what percentage each individual investment in your portfolio represents in your portfolio as a whole. This can be particularly useful for those who invest in mutual funds. In my case, Apple represents just over 13% of my portfolio. That’s due in part to direct ownership of Apple stock, but also to the heavy weight given to large companies like Apple in index funds that are also part of my portfolio.
Morningstar offers both a free and paid membership. You can use its Portfolio Monitor with either membership, although some tools require a paid membership.
eMoneyAdvisor’s Retirement Cash Flow Analysis
eMoney Advisor is available from financial advisors. While I manage my own investments, I do use an advisor to discuss questions from time to time. As a result, I have access to this tool. Similar to Personal Capital, eMoney Advisor aggregates all of your financial data by linking your accounts.
While the interface is not as polished as Personal Capital, eMoney Advisor does provide a wealth of information, and its portfolio analysis is quite sophisticated. Specifically, it can project future cash flows of a portfolio through retirement, and it’s this feature that I’ve found to be the most valuable.
Specifically, eMoney Advisor will project cash flows throughout your retirement based on a number of data points and assumptions. It takes into account future Social Security payments as well as the required minimum distribution (RMDs) of tax-deferred retirement accounts. It enables you to set an amount for annual spending in retirement, and then adjusts it for inflation.
The resulting cash flow report is broken down by year. For each year, it shows you your total income, investment income and planned retirement distributions. It also shows total expenses, which can include not only annual expenses adjusted for inflation, but also one-time expenses you plan to incur during retirement. Finally, it shows the total portfolio over time.
Beyond this cash flow report, eMoney Advisor provides the type of portfolio data and analysis you would expect. It breaks out a portfolio’s asset allocation and offers data on estate planning and tax issues.
Portfolio Analysis with Quicken Premier
Quicken Premier offers investment tools to track and analyze a portfolio. It’s well-suited for those who prefer software over an online app, and the Premiere version of Quicken allows you to connect your investment accounts to the software. Once an account is connected, Quicken tracks investment activity, including all transactions in the accounts. What’s particularly noteworthy is Quicken’s use of Morningstar data.
For example, Quicken will show you the Morningstar category of each investment, its rank in that category, the Morningstar rating and other Morningstar data. Quicken also gives you access to Morningstar’s Instant X-Ray tool described above. In this, you get access to the data offered by Morningstar without having to manually enter your portfolio.
Quicken also enables you to set a target asset allocation and then compares it with your portfolio’s actual asset allocation. You can review the asset allocation at the portfolio level, the account level or by individual security.
The one downside to Quicken is its user interface. The software looks like it hasn’t been updated in a long time. It’s functional, but not polished.
Build Your Own Spreadsheet in Google Sheets
If you would prefer not to link investment accounts to an online tool or software app, Google Sheets offers an excellent way to track your investments. While a Google Sheets spreadsheet requires you to manual enter your portfolio data, Google Finance functions can automatically update the market price of each security.
The spreadsheet that I use is particularly well-suited when it comes to rebalancing a portfolio. As helpful as the tools listed above are, I find myself going back to this spreadsheet each time I need to make an adjustment to my asset allocation. The sheet allows me to see the target allocation for each asset class, along with variance from target based on the market performance of my portfolio. In this short video (created for my own personal finance site), you’ll find a helpful tutorial on how to use the spreadsheet.