Tracking portfolio holdings is an integral part of investing in securities.  Even buy and hold long-term investors need to follow the news and trends that affect both investment securities and the whole market.  This not only improves knowledge of the securities but also give perspective on when to add to positions or lighten them. 

It also aids in understanding market patterns and whether or not the movement of a security is due to the actual company performance or if it is a tangential impact from overall market or sector news.  Using a tracking tool, like Yahoo! Finance, is probably the easiest way to monitor portfolios, especially if an investor has more than one portfolio (such as a 401(k) and a personal investment account).

Yahoo! Finance allows users to sync up with brokerage accounts, create customized portfolio metrics, and most importantly, amalgamate the portfolios in one place.

How Does it Work?

Yahoo! Finance provides help with all the functions related to setting up and tracking a portfolio on their own site, but below we provide a quick guide on how to use the tool.  

After clicking on the My Portfolio link on the Yahoo! Finance home page (left side of page), users can select the “create new” link. yahoo finance

Here users can sync up to investment accounts at over 80 brokers and new portfolios are created.  

The first step in the manual setup is to input ticker symbols and selecting a name for the portfolio. For example, create a portfolio called New Portfolio, that consists of three stocks-GE, IBM, and Disney.  

yahoo finance screenshot

Then choose an index to act as a benchmark for the portfolio. In the above screenshot, we have chosen Dow Jones Industrial.

Lastly, choose what characteristics to track and view for each security.  

yahoo finance screenshot 

Although there is a default view, it can be further customized by selecting the “customize current view” link after the new portfolio has been saved. 

yahoo finance screenshot

After saving the selections, the output is a single screen that provides all the necessary information to track the portfolio.

yahoo finance screenshot

A final step is to download the mobile app so that investors can monitor the portfolio at any time. 

The Bottom Line

Relying on monthly statements to track retirement or trading accounts is ineffective in today’s fast-paced markets.  That's where Yahoo! Finance comes in. You can use it to monitor investment performance, merge all investment accounts including mutual funds. This should help you in understanding where investment risks lie.  For example, if the same security is owned in several accounts, it may unknowingly create a higher specific stock risk for you.  

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