Stock Portfolio Tracking Tools

by Linda Ray

To stay on top of your investments, you need to either have a diligent broker or a few effective tools so that you don't have to sit and watch the tickers change all day long. While keeping a diversified portfolio increases your chances of weathering storms and making inroads in your profits, you still need to accurately track your investments to take advantage of emerging upward trends and dump stocks that are performing poorly as quickly as possible.

Access

Keep an icon on your toolbar with your favorite free ticker to access stock exchange tickers at your convenience. The quick access ticker is available through a variety of sites and is effective if you enjoy watching your stocks on a daily basis. By controlling access to the stock tickers you eliminate unwanted emails that detail market changes. Companies that provide running streaming stock quotes include TickerTech.com, StockTick and CoolTick.

Mobility

A huge number of mobile applications are available for checking your stock performance. Whether you use a smart phone or carry an electronic pad, you can download an app designed to provide you with real-time updates. Examples include Easy Shares, Stock Quotes Mobile and Think or Swim. Your brokerage also may provide a mobile application. Use the mobile apps to tap into your adviser's latest predictions or customize your application to show you only those stocks that you want to follow. Mobile apps allow you to sell or buy directly from your device as well as track their performance.

Community

Join a number of online communities to share stock advice, experiences and opinions. The NASDAQ has an online community of investors and traders who conveniently share their thoughts through a free board at NASDAQ.com. Investors and advisors share the rise and fall of stock prices throughout the day and predict governmental responses to the market fluctuations. Licensed brokers, financial columnists and private investors pen articles that can help you track your own investments. While you can pick up useful information, you must keep in mind that online stock communities cannot offer investment advice. You can however, use the information in context and weight your own ideas against those of other investors tracking the market.

Traditional

An overload of information may be more than you need to track your investments. There is nothing wrong with sticking with traditional tracking tools if that's what is most comfortable for you. Stick with your schedule of investment tracking using your brokerage statements as a guide. Create and use spreadsheets that you update yourself on a regular basis. Update your spreadsheets when you buy or sell stocks. Instead of following daily changes yourself, you may just want to leave that duty to your broker who has a vested interest in seeing your portfolio grow and earning commissions on trades when they seem appropriate.

About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."

Photo Credits

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