9 min read

Sharesight Review (2022) - automated investment portfolio tracking

With portfolio tracking spreadsheets and platforms, we have a realtime understanding of our portfolio performance, track dividend and corporate actions, and more. Such insights can give us a powerful understanding about our investment strategy and refine them if necessary.
Sharesight Review (2022) - automated investment portfolio tracking

Stock tracking or investment portfolio tracking can bring you powerful insights about your investments.

A tool like ShareSight can help you automate most of the time-consuming tracking process through powerful integrations and buttery smooth user experience.

When you have a 360 degree understanding of your portfolio, you make better investment decisions using data. Such insights can give us a powerful understanding of our investment strategy and refine them if necessary.


The problems with using spreadsheets for portfolio tracking

Most investors start out tracking their investments in a spreadsheet, using queries like Yahoo Finance to pull in pricing information.

InvestmentMoats' spreadsheet allowed detailed tracking of purchases, sales of stocks and dividend transactions

However, as the years passed, Google and Yahoo Finance started breaking or decommissioning their finance APIs and the spreadsheet worked less well than it used to. For example, prices would fail to fetch, daily updates would not automatically refresh and my tracking would be messed up.

The other drawbacks of the spreadsheet were that dividend payouts had to be entered manually and the chore of manual tracking soon became too cumbersome for me, and I began my search for a viable alternative.

What is Sharesight?

Sharesight is an online portfolio tracking and management tool that helps investors track stock prices, trades, dividends, performance, and tax where spreadsheets failed to provide the level of oversight and efficiency needed to track, analyze, and make informed decisions accurately.

Since 2006, Sharesight has evolved into an innovative product with best-in-class tracking and corporate action processing. It also allows you to compare the performance of your investments with hundreds of ETF funds to see if you've beaten the market or not.

Features:

  • Historical transaction import
  • Automatic trade imports from emails or direct connectivity
  • Automatic dividend tracking and portfolio analytics
  • Price and email alerts
  • Performance benchmarking against any index
  • Integration with Interactive Brokers and Saxo Markets
  • Advanced reporting capabilities

Historical transaction import

Sharesight supports brokers in multiple ways to help you get your investment data into Sharesight:

  • Import from a Broker: An easy and quick way to set up a new portfolio with your trading history.
  • Trade Confirmation Emails feature: Automatically populate trades in Sharesight using your trade confirmation (contract notes).
  • Sharesight Connect: Brokers that have partnered with Sharesight and utilise an ongoing active connection between the broker and Sharesight, meaning they will automatically record your trades (i.e. buy and sell) going forward into your Sharesight portfolio.

Automatic trade imports from emails or direct connectivity

The last thing you want to do with your life is to enter each trade into your portfolio management system manually. Sharesight supports automatic trade imports going forward with supported brokerages using Sharesight Connect and others using trade confirmation emails.

Sharesight Connect and API

The Sharesight API allows you to exchange data with other partners within the  ecosystem securely.

See a list of supported brokers here.

Import via trade confirmation emails

Sharesight can also automatically record your buy and sell trades into your portfolio via the PDF trade confirmation attachments that are emailed to you by your broker after a trade has been completed.

Sharesight can currently process PDFs for over 170 brokers’ trade confirmations.  Each time an email with a trade confirmation attachment is received from your broker, Sharesight will automatically create the trade in your portfolio.

See a list of supported brokers here.

Automatic dividend tracking and portfolio analytics

The Overview page shows the portfolio value over time. You can graph it is various dimensions (e.g. grouped by market/sector/industry/country/no group) and across various time periods (e.g. since first purchase, this financial year, last six months, yesterday, etc).

In the portfolio above, I illustrated my portfolio gains by market in a stacked area chart. The summary statistics below show my capital gains, dividends, and total return in a nice table, and also compared to any listed benchmark - in this case, I chose the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF.

Scrolling down, a detailed breakdown of my holdings by the dimension selected above (in this case - by market) can be found.

This breakdown shows my performance by holding, and even accounts for the gains and losses from currency movements. The yellow box on the right shows the number of unconfirmed transactions from corporate actions and adjustments which were generated automatically by Sharesight - based on the quantity and time the holdings were held.

Premium users can also set up portfolio groups, which is useful for those who want to set up independent tracking for groups of stocks. For example, in my case below, I chose to group them by investment strategy - passive investing in InteractiveBrokers vs active investing in StanChart.

Individual holding analysis

Let's now go one step deeper into analyzing the individual holding by clicking into a holding from the overview screen.

As above, the screen shows the price of the holding across the time period. If you wish, you could also graph the value of your holdings or performance index (indexed performance of open and closed positions). Similarly, there is a summary table showing the individual holding returns - split by capital gains, dividend gains, and currency gains.

Transaction history and dividend tracking

My favorite part of this platform is the automatic dividend tracking of each individual security.

After a corporate action or dividend is declared at the custodian level, Sharesight will pull that data into its systems and update your pages auto-magically. The beautiful thing about this is that you can see your upcoming dividends (declared but non-paid) and have them retrospectively tracked based on your transaction dates. You don't have to key in every dividend from your very first trade manually - saving you lots of time!

A safety mechanism by design is to have the user (that's you) confirm each automatic dividend entry. That helps keep the entries accurate and you can override the system entry if you think they are wrong.

Tracking Dividend Reinvestment Plans

Most spreadsheets cannot track dividend reinvestment plans (DRIP) accurately - because of how complicated reinvesting dividends and getting new shares can be. Tracking performance can become a pain in terms of the paperwork required.

Sharesight can help with that by adding a dividend reinvestment when you add or edit a dividend payment.

For ASX or NZX traders or investors, Sharesight provides automatic DRP tracking just by enabling the auto dividend reinvestment feature under the holding settings on the sidebar.

Intraday pricing data for US and UK stocks

Sharesight provides the ability to access 15 minute delayed pricing for US markets such as the Nasdaq, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NYSE American (AMEX), BATS Exchange (BATS) as well as the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

This is in addition to Sharesight’s existing 20 minute delayed pricing for the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) so that you have accurate pricing data for your portfolio.

Newsfeed

Being informed helps an investor be up to speed in terms of what's happening around the world, and to your investment holdings. The news feed section is one feature that such information flows to you right at your fingertips.

For this, Sharesight actually partnered with several news partners such as Livewire, Simply Wall St and The Motley Fool to provide published content right at your wall. They are working to get more partners onboarded with time, so I expect this feed to be improved over time.

Share Checker - fact check any security

Share Checker is one great way to view the performance of any security (stock, ETF, etc) including dividend history and corporate actions such as share splits up to 20 years back.

Share Checker will show me an interactive historical price chart with prices at every point in time by hovering over on the graph and every single dividend paid based on a hypothetical investment of $10,000.

Price and email alerts - dividends and price changes

Finally, the last feature I want to share is Sharesight's weekly portfolio roundup and email notifications, which can be configured to alert you whenever there's an upcoming dividend payout in your portfolio or whenever any of your holdings see a huge price movement.

This is useful for multiple reasons - you get instant notifications on your upcoming dividends for each ticker in your portfolio, the pay date, and amount expected; plus you know when exactly to check your bank account for the payouts.

Similarly, price alerts can be used to alert you on large upward/downward price movements for your holdings, and ensure that you are always prepared for such price changes.

Integration with InteractiveBrokers and Saxo Markets

Sharesight is easily integratable with leading brokerages like InteractiveBrokers and Saxo markets so your daily trades from Interactive Brokers and Saxo Markets are automatically synchronized into their Sharesight portfolio.

Once you've set up the sync, Sharesight automatically calculates your portfolio performance, and factors in the impact that FX movements, dividends, and corporate actions have on your investment returns from these platforms.

What this means for you is that you have a single, consolidated view of your investments across multiple brokerages without any manual work.

Advanced reporting capabilities

This is the bonus section of Sharesights - insightful reports that further expand the usefulness of the platform.

Performance report

The performance report shows you your total portfolio returns over any date range. You can opt to include or exclude the impact of sold shares.

Sold securities report

The sold securities report shows the total return on each security sold within the selected date range.

Taxable income report

Use the taxable income report to track all your dividends received and interest payments in a single place for filing your tax return.

Other reports

The Contribution Analysis report, let's you analyze in detail which of your holding is driving your overall portfolio performance in %.

The Diversity report visualizes your portfolio across a number of dimensions including industry classification, investment type, market, country, or even your own custom portfolio groups.

The Future Income report helps you visualize your upcoming dividend payments by date in a single table, including withheld tax if any.

Some of these reports are not available in the free plan, so more advanced investors who want access to them need to upgrade to one of their premium plans.

Sharesight pricing

Sharesight is free. YES. Absolutely free - which explains my excitement!

Their free subscription is limited to tracking 10 holdings, which is honestly enough for most investors.

The free plan comes with automatic dividends, weekly portfolio updates, price, and email alerts and it's brilliant for keeping track of your portfolio and performance monitoring.

For more seasoned investors who want unlimited holdings tracking and more advanced reporting capabilities, then their starter plan starts at just $15 a month - roughly the cost of one brokerage trade.

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Sign up for Sharesight using this link and if you eventually decide to upgrade to a paid plan, enjoy 4 whole months of subscription for free.

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