New Feature: How Can I Quickly Check Share Performance and Dividends?

By using our new Share Checker feature of course! Works for managed funds and ETFs too.

Sharesight Share Checker

We realised many of you like to keep  a watchlist or “dream” portfolio in Sharesight. We do too. We’ve got a Berkshire Hathaway portfolio and a Tech All-Stars portfolio. Amazing what a little hindsight can do for your total return.

On the other hand, if you simply wanted to check a company’s performance quickly or verify that you’ve selected the correct security, previously you had to add the holding to your portfolio by going to the trouble of creating a (fictitious) buy transaction.

Now with the Share Checker you can map the value of $1k invested in mere seconds without having to add phoney data to your portfolio. On the Portfolio Overview page, click the Share Checker button next to the Add Holding button. Then enter your data range, market, and code/name.

Sharesight Share Checker

On an overlay, you’ll see a hypothetical $1,000 investment. Further down the page, you’ll see our familiar total return components and then several tabs corresponding to dividends, corporate actions, and news.

The Trades & Adjustments tab works out retrospectively how many units (rounded to the nearest whole unit) you would have needed to buy to get close to the initial investment of $1,000. Our total return calculation works out the difference between that initial $1,000 and today’s value.

Sharesight Share Checker

We hope you find this feature as handy as we do!

Introducing Broker Import: Automatic Portfolio Setup!

This is a huge new feature announcement. Now on Sharesight you can instantly import your trading history directly from your broker – meaning no data to enter or spreadsheets to upload. This is by far, the easiest way to get started with Sharesight or to bring in your additional portfolios.

Broker Import by Sharesight

Broker Import allows you to login to your online brokerage account – from within Sharesight. After you securely connect, we’ll automatically import your buy and sell transactions within a date range of your choice. Importing takes a few seconds. When finished, your portfolio will now be setup on Sharesight – complete with your entire trading history.

Give it a try

To try it out, we’d recommend creating a new portfolio, or using a “spare” portfolio you might keep for watchlist purposes. From the new dropdown menu next to Add Holding, select Import from your broker and choose your broker (Westpac is coming soon!):

On the next screen, enter the same details you use to login to your broker’s website and click Import. For security reasons, Sharesight will never store or remember your broker login details. You’re essentially downloading your trading history through a secure connection, and uploading it into Sharesight’s existing setup process.

After a few seconds, Sharesight will display the trading history collected from your broker. This is a really handy step, which allows you to confirm the trades you’re about to use to create the portfolio’s history. For those of you who’ve used our bulk importer before, you might notice that we’ve married Broker Import with our existing spreadsheet upload process.

This page will also allow you to make adjustments (if necessary) without having to leave Sharesight. If you do get stuck on a particular holding, you can always come back and add it manually later.

Once ready click Save all transactions and Sharesight will begin building your portfolio. You’ll see a number of green rows of data layering on top of one another. Any errors that do appear can be dealt with on this page, ignored, or handled once inside your new portfolio. In other words, should any of your holdings not flow through to Sharesight automatically, we’ll flag those, but still set up your portfolio based on the trades that did come through successfully.

And that’s it! The page will refresh and you’ll be taken into your new portfolio. And just like Sharesight does for any holding, we’ll auto-populate all subsequent dividends and corporate actions.

We’re thrilled about this new feature and we can’t wait to get your feedback. We think this will help investors of all kinds and the professionals who look after their portfolios. The faster and easier you can get your data to work in Sharesight, the quicker you can make better investment and tax decisions. We’ve always made it our mission to cut down on the admin time spent on portfolios. We think Broker Import represents an exponential leap forward.

Keep in mind when using a feature that’s THIS automatic & powerful:

1. It’s still beta. There is only so much testing we can do. This feature will be only be optimised after you give it a go and send us your feedback.

2. Broker Import will only bring in your historical trades. You will still need to use our contract note feature for auto-recording future buys and sells.

3. Be mindful of how much history to bring across. If you bring in 20 years worth of trade data, you’d be wise to go through and double check your dividends and corporate actions since we populate everything automatically. And for 20 years – that’s a lot of data. Any edits that you missed will compound over time. Starting since your last tax return or for the past 12 months is a more manageable approach.

4. Negative balances. If you’ve ever transferred holdings from one broker to another, you may encounter a negative balance error message. Since the original broker doesn’t give your current broker any transactional details, Sharesight won’t receive them either. This results in a situation where you’re telling Sharesight to, for example, sell units in a holding we don’t know that you own. This is easily fixed right on the error page:

  1. Record the missing transaction(s). Click the ‘Add row’ link to record any missing transactions.
  2. Exclude the holding from the import and deal with it later. If you don’t have the missing data at hand, you can use the delete checkbox to exclude certain transactions from the import. You can set up these holding later using an opening balance transaction or by manually entering your original buy transaction.

New Feature: Sharesight Pro Integrates with Macquarie Cash Management Accounts

We’re happy to announce that Sharesight Pro now supports Macquarie Cash Management Accounts. Keeping an eye on client cash flow is handy. Tracking cash for trade and dividend settlement purposes is critical. Now do it automatically inside Sharesight with the industry’s most popular cash product. We figured why stop with just shares, ETFs, and managed funds?

Sharesight + Macquarie

We’ve built an automated and on-going link to Macquarie CMA, which means you can pull in your CMA transaction history and cash balance straight into Sharesight – a perfect solution for CMAs used for buy, sell, and dividend reconciliation and so you can seamlessly report an up to date cash balance in Sharesight.

Once you sync the two, we’ll automatically display each portfolio’s cash balance on the Portfolio Overview page. If you see the Macquarie logo, you know you’re synced up! The CMA account will now be automatically updated every day with no manual intervention required.

Clicking into the cash account will display the latest transactional history. On the detail page you can search through the cash transactions or export the data to Excel or PDF.

Setup is easy and a one-off step. Once you instruct Macquarie and Sharesight to talk to one another (using the Macquarie ESI token), you can add as many client CMA accounts as necessary using a dropdown menu.

The CMA data will now be automatically updated going forward and available across the Sharesight application and reports. No more creating custom securities and updating cash balances manually.

What’s more, we’ve created an Unsettled Trades Adjustment option. If the CMA account is used as the trade settlement account, using this feature will automatically offset for the T+3 rule. In other words, Sharesight will temporarily adjust the CMA balance until the cash is debited/credited for the trade so that an accurate cash balance is always maintained. If you don’t use the CMA as the settlement account, you can switch this feature off.

This is a big step for Sharesight. Your feedback was the key driver behind this new feature. As we have more professional investors, asset managers, and financial advisers switching to Sharesight, a proper cash tracking system was mission critical.

As always, send us your feedback!

Why do I need Sharesight with my online broker?

Investors are misinformed about what an online broker does and doesn’t do. More interesting still is why online brokers refuse to do what Sharesight can. We’re spoilt these days when it comes to online “life-admin.” If I can change the temperature in my lounge room with an app on my phone, or instantly track every A380 in the sky, why can’t I see my dividend income on my broker’s website?

Understanding the backstory helps.

Online brokers took off during the .com bubble of the late 90’s. The irony is the very medium which made it easy for DIY investors to get into the market provided the ingredients for an epic downturn later on (correlation not causation). Over the next 10 years, traditional banks and upstart independents competed in an arms race by adding research, real-time quotes, and technical charting. What constitutes a new feature these days is pretty weak. Drag and drop trading windows don’t exactly move us to tears. The truth is, most of the trading systems remain totally unchanged on the backend, with only skin-deep changes to their interfaces.

The fierce competition between banks and the independents led to one, inevitable outcome: downward pricing pressure. Our partners at CMC offer trades for $11 per month, which seems like an Australian-best. Bell Direct isn’t far behind at $15 per trade. Robin Hood, a US-based broker now offers $0 trading, hoping to make money by selling margin loans and by broadening their reach via their API (sound familiar?).

So if online broking is commoditised, why does Commsec (CBA) still own 51% of the Australian market share when their trades are a whopping $19.95?

Because switching brokers is a huge pain the ass, and investors lose critical data when doing so. And your broker knows this.

If you switch brokers, you transfer your opening balance and that’s it. This is exactly like switching from one bank to another. The new bank only knows your balance on day one, not what you spent on groceries the day before. Gone is your trading history, which means your new broker can’t calculate performance, which means you have no basis to work out your capital gains position. And now you’re in trouble come tax season.

To make things worse, brokers don’t collect your dividend information – regardless if you’ve been with the same broker forever. They don’t know when you’ve enrolled in a dividend reinvestment plan and they’re not involved when you’re paid a dividend. Even if you use a cash account linked to your broker to reconcile buys and sells, the dividends are recorded like any other credit. Since your dividend records are maintained separately, now you’ve got something else to worry about when switching brokers.

Ever wonder why when you login to your broker you don’t see a performance calculation? This is the most important data point aside from portfolio value. They don’t bother with this functionality because they can’t calculate it – nor should they, it’s not their core competency.

Enter Sharesight. We float over the top of your broker (or brokers) to provide uninterrupted transaction, performance, and dividend records. All in a purpose-built application that’s great to use. Not only can you run tax and performance reports, you can actually connect your portfolio to other, useful applications like Xero. Once your data is live on Sharesight, you’re free to switch brokers (or even platforms or wraps).
Tracked by Sharesight
So if I’m a big broker with huge market share, why would I want to build features that make it easier for my clients to switch?

Online brokers provide a great service for DIY investors: cost-effective access to a growing array of investment products. Our encouragement would be to find one that doesn’t want to fence you in.

For those of you who scrolled to the bottom:

Why do I need Sharesight with my online broker?

  1. To calculate real, accurate, and uninterrupted performance
  2. To include dividends and corporate actions in your portfolio’s performance
  3. To enable switching brokers and to aggregate data from multiple sources
  4. To bring your portfolio online to connect with other apps (e.g. Xero, Stockspot, etc.)
  5. To treat your portfolio with some respect by using a purpose-built, kick-ass application!

5 Ways Sharesight Makes EOFY a Breeze

Sharesight, by its very nature, is all about simplifying portfolio management. But with the end of financial year just around the corner, we thought we’d share some of the ways that Sharesight can act as your portfolio data “passport” and ease the burden at tax-time.

EOFY

1. Rich Reporting

While our reports offer excellent day-to-day insights, they’re especially valuable this time of year. Sharesight provides reports on Taxable Income, Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Unrealised Capital Gains Tax, Foreign Investment Funds (FIF), Historical Cost, and many more. You can run any report you want, for any date range, and then view it on screen, or print or download it to Microsoft Excel or PDF.  And if you’re an accountant or financial adviser on Sharesight Pro, you can even brand these reports with your company logo. Regardless of whether you’re an individual or finance pro, Sharesight takes care of the number crunching for you, so you can focus on more important things such as budgeting and planning for the year ahead.

2. Sharing Portfolio Access

Another feature that comes in handy at tax time is ability to share a portfolio with anyone you’d like. For individuals, this can mean granting access to your accountant or financial adviser. With all your investments tracked in real-time (and even better yet, synced with Xero), they’ll have everything they need to prepare your tax documents. You’ll save time by no longer having to gather paperwork for them, and you’ll save money because they’ll have everything they need (in one place) to work quickly and efficiently.

As a professional using Sharesight Pro you can share access with your clients. So you can import clients’ investment history and let them run their tax reports in their own time, or let them view their individual investments and portfolios in easy-to-read charts and graphs. You can even grant your staff access to client portfolios and delegate day-to-day maintenance in order to free up your time for higher-value activities, such as strategic planning. And while sharing access is particularly valuable come EOFY (both for individuals and financial professionals), we say why stop there? Sharing access all year means that everyone’s on the same page and can focus on what really matters. Remember, ring-fencing your clients will backfire in the long run.

3. The Past, Present, and Future

A Sharesight login comes equipped with 20 years of price, dividends, and corporate action history. This means you can go back in time to your first share purchases and track performance from that point forward until today. Sharesight will even populate your dividends and share splits along the way. No matter when you choose to start your portfolios though, the Sharesight reports will always be up to date. And while Sharesight automatically updates your portfolio at the close of trading each day, if you set up our contract note feature, we’ll track your trades automatically going forward and store copies of your contract notes!

4. Managed Funds Tracking

In case you missed the news, we added support for nearly 10,000 managed funds back in February. From corporate superannuation to wholesale trusts, pension funds, KiwiSaver funds, even industry superannuation funds, Sharesight tracks daily unit prices and distributions for all sorts of Australian and New Zealand funds. To ensure you’re monitoring your complete investment mix, we recommend tracking your managed funds in Sharesight – especially if you own funds outside of your Superannuation that need to be reported on for tax purposes.

5. Sharesight Connect (Nerds <3 our APIs)

You can save even more time during the busy tax season (and throughout the year) by accessing Sharesight via our strategic partner connections. If you’re already a CMC Markets, ANZ Direct Broking or Stockspot customer, you can access Sharesight natively from within our strategic partners’ systems with just a few clicks of the mouse. This means that all the portfolio setup work will be done for you.

We hope you find these EOFY tips helpful. If you’re already a Sharesight client, make sure you’re leveraging our Help Documentation and Customer Forum to make the most of our features – not just at tax-time, but year-round. And if you haven’t yet signed-up for Sharesight, now’s the time to do it. The sooner you start tracking investments with Sharesight, the less paperwork you’ll have to chase next year. And you can even bring forward your tax deduction by claiming next year’s membership fee on this year’s tax return*.

*If you reside in Australia and derive income from the sharemarket, your Sharesight subscription may even be tax deductible. Check with your accountant for details.