Joe Lan, CFA is a former financial analyst for AAII.


Discussion

Charles Sarahan II from DC posted about 1 year ago:

I found value in this article but it did not cover whether the programs provide a report on investment returns that follows the standards issued by the CFA Institute (the old AIMR standards). The article also did not discuss if the programs provide risk adjusted returns.


William Law from TX posted about 1 year ago:

As a long-time Quicken user I was surprised that the author did not mention that Quicken versions only last 2-3 years, requiring purchasing new software. Also, Quicken cannot update several of my accounts that have added security features, requiring those accounts to be manually updated. There are a few other quirky features.


Mark Beiley from AZ posted about 1 year ago:

I work for Beiley Software (Fund Manager). Thank you for including us in your review. I did want to add a couple of comments/clarifications:

- The version comparison table shows Fund Manager not supporting short and bond transactions. This is not correct, we support both of these transaction types.

- The ratings table mentions that broker downloads may not be accurate, and there is no complete transaction list. Broker downloads are accurate, and the complete transaction list is available in either the "Investment Transaction" report, or in the Data Register window.

The review didn't touch on multiple currency support, but it may be relevant for many investors to know that Fund Manager supports multiple currencies. You can track investments in up to 25 different currencies, and view your reports/graphs in either the native/assigned currency, or converted into a default currency of your choice.


Herman Schultz from FL posted about 1 year ago:

Do any of these run on Apple computers?? You don't say!!


Herman Schultz from FL posted about 1 year ago:

Sorry, yes you did.


Michael Gilbert from IL posted about 1 year ago:

Three major annoyances with Quicken:

For equities that you have sold short (including sell to open options), the Return in the portfolio view displays 0. When the position is closed, the Return is correctly calculated. But this makes the totals on the views worthless. I have a fair number of bull call spreads which really skews the totals.

It is next to impossible to manage the views. I created separate views for each of my investment services, but the closed positions intermittently drop themselves from the view. When new securities are added they randomly show up in the views.

In the reports, views cannot be specified. ignorant of views.


Gale Hamilton from VT posted about 1 year ago:

I am primarily interested in getting asset allocation reports which allow both preset allocation types as well as allowing for user designated types to fine tune my reports. Does anyone know the best investment management software for this information?


J Sassman from TX posted about 1 year ago:

I have been using Quicken "Home & Business" software for the past several years but stopped using the Portfolio Management portion last year because of errors I was having with it. I now use "Account Manager" and am satisfied with it.


Leonard Vaughn from WA posted about 1 year ago:

I finally gave up having Quicken manage my portfolio -- after about 20 years of use. It repeatedly missed transactions (recording short sales when I had the security in the portfolio, etc.), corrupted files, and other mysterious problems. It never did track options properly. Like a previous commenter, I found their 2-3 year support unsatisfying.

I read this article hoping something better was available. For now, I'll stick with my brokerage firm's tools, which really are quite good as long as the majority of your accounts are held with them.


Karl Anderson from NM posted about 1 year ago:

Portfolio Analyst my MTH software is available for Mac users. I would be interested in hearing a review on that package. Just ran into it with a quick Google search.

http://www.mthbuilt.com/products.php


Rik Yates from New Jersey posted about 1 year ago:

Within the past year I have converted my household completely to Mac after many years with PC. I did some research seeking some good portfolio management software for the Mac and did have some trouble finding something. Eventually I came across software that a number of former Quicken users were recommended. It is called iBank from IGGSoftware. It does offer a free trial. While I do intend on taking them up on it - I would be very interested in your review as well.

http://www.iggsoftware.com/ibank/


Charles Layfield from PA posted about 1 year ago:

I have found, after using virtually all version of Quicken since Quicken for DOS, that the placeholder entry is a colossal pain in the rump. Many brokerage firms release their transactions to the customer concurrent with in-house reconciliation. However, Quicken tends to either duplicate or miss some transactions downloaded from Schwab. Nightly downloads result in redundant entries which are "caught" by Quicken in the form of Placeholder entries. It seems to me that the software should recognize these transactions as redundant, as IAM does and then eliminate the need for placeholder entries. That being said, trying to get a hold of anyone at Intuit that is not a chimpanzee or someone you have to pay for is virtually impossible. With such a large installed base, they just don't care. They are the only game in town to be taken seriously.


Charles Layfield from PA posted about 1 year ago:

IAM
In addition to Quicken, I have used IAM from the days of Portfolio Record Keeper. A few comments:
1. The program does not reconcile against the brokerage firm data. Thus, the cash balance can be way out of whack forcing a monthly manual reconciliation.
2. The program seems to suffer from some of the same issues that Quicken does regarding downloaded transactions specifically regarding options. I traded several Iron Condors and the program seems to be lost with handling them resulting in a really screwed up cash balance requiring significant manual adjustments.
3. Somewhat similar to the aforementioned, the lack of reconciliation allows for orphan shares left in the account that were already sold. In other words, you can open and close a position and the security remains in your portfolio with no shares but is still listed.


M W Baumeister EdD from SC posted about 1 year ago:

Quicken started out well from DOS up to about 2003. Then they tried to do more than they could handle. Yes, place holder is a nuisance. The last straw was when they thoroughly messed up my account downloads. It was not possible to correct the numerous mistakes. They have lost my vote of confidence and my account.


Richard Sovish from CA posted about 1 year ago:

As others have stated, I long ago stopped using Quicken for portfolio management with its inaccuracies and quirks. I use it only for monitoring my bank and credit card accounts mainly because it is easy to use the categories. Hence, when doing taxes at the end of the year, it is relatively easy to report the important summarized tax information. I have tried other similar programs but find them even more cumbersome or inaccurate. I use IAM exclusively for portfolio management. It is a good program but unfortunately needs a thorough upgrade badly. It is not as customizable as other programs and it is overly rigid. Although I have tried many paid programs, I have still to find the prefect, comprehensive software.


Michael Alt from FL posted about 1 year ago:

I have used a Portfolio tracking software that I like and would like to see it reviewed.
It is called "StockMarketEye"


Piers from BC posted about 1 year ago:

Stock Market Eye is great and I've been using it for 6 months. But, the reports are extremely limited.

I've been using Investment Account Manager and Fund Manager today. I definitely prefer IAM. On the reports it gets the sector, size and asset class correct. FM displays most of my stocks as Large Cap which is incorrect.

The UI for FM is very similar to SME and allows you to customize your display by adding and removing columns. IAM doesn't have this feature.

I'm sticking with SME for now, but I did like the reports and graphs of IAM. If FM got the Asset Type correct then it would be worth another look, but at the moment it is flawed.


Joe Bjornson from IL posted about 1 year ago:

This is the 5th year using the personal addition of Fund Manager. The learning curve is higher than the other mentioned software because Fund Manager supports many user defined features. Features including 94 user defined asset classes which carry into reports and Graphs. I currently use E-Trade for stock transactions and Muriel Siebert for Mutual Fund transactions. Fund Managers retrieval of stock and fund prices, transactions and reconciliation is very reliable and flexible. Help with Fund Manager is easy to get on their website. The online support forum is very helpful and questions are answered in depth.


Nancy & Barry Kronman from FL posted 10 months ago:

The new Fidelity Active Trader Pro does a very good job, when combined with the analysis tools on Fidelity.com.
Free


Mike Carron from IN posted 10 months ago:

it's a shame that Quicken doesn't offer a Mac version. I have tried iBank but found some shortcomings...it seems to occasionally misidentify securities from the broker download process and it does not have the ability to update bond prices. I also find ibank to have a non-intuitive user interface and the various reports are limited in how they can be modified. I continue to keep my old Windows computer solely to run Quicken.


John Jost from MD posted 6 months ago:

I'm confused. I thought that IAM offered only a time weighted IRR and not both a time weighted IRR and a dollar (value) weighted IRR. I also thought that FM offered both.


Danny Aardal from CA posted 2 months ago:

Does anyone have an opinion about the built in portfolio tracking/management capabilities that are in Charles Schwab accounts?


Perry David from CT posted about 1 month ago:

The review also fails to take into account the ongoing service cost for IAM. I originally purchased IAM for the very rich price of $179.00 (minus the $20.00 AAII discount) and I have had to pay an additional service fee each year for tech support and product updates... and, in my humble opinion, the updates have not done much to truly enhance the program. IAM is not customizable, and the UI is, quite frankly, very stale.

Each year AAII reviews the same three ol' programs, and I sincerely wish that it would look into finding some alternatives. I'm growing tired of the reruns!


Wayne Thorp from IL posted about 1 month ago:

We are always on the lookout for new products to bring to the attention of our readers. But these comparisons were not for the newest programs, they were for the best. We welcome reader suggestions, so if you think there is a better piece of portfolio management software out there, please let us know.

Thanks!


Perry David from CT posted 28 days ago:

Dear Mr. Thorp:

An extensive list of portfolio management software can be found here: http://www.capterra.com/investment-management-software/. Also, there is the previous suggestion for "StockMarketEye" from the two readers above (i.e. Mr. Alt & “Piers”), which you seem to have overlooked. Those suggestions aside, how about looking into utilizing macros, or Excel spreadsheets, to track and manage one’s investments?

Personally, I sent several program enhancement suggestions to the owner of IAM, Mr. Peter Willms, but, after thanking me for my suggestions, he told me that he already had enough on his plate. Yet, approximately three months later, he found the time to send a global e-mail invitation to his clients inviting them to participate in an investment sentiment survey... something which I found to be a potential conflict of interest. After receiving the invitation, it occurred to me that, perhaps, Mr. Willms is using IAM as a data mining tool for his own personal/professional investment needs. That said, I would really welcome, and be open to, the idea of utilizing Excel to track my investments (i.e. coupled with the various pieces of information I receive from my brokers), given that I now have security/privacy concerns.

When I opted to become a “Lifetime Member” of AAII, I was under the impression that I would be able to look forward to having access to tools, similar to AAII’s Stock Investor Pro (it, too, now outdated and a bit stale ), that the company would go on to develop in the future. That unfortunately, has not happened. Maybe AAII should look to freshen-up its own look, and work toward enhancing the products and services it provides its clients... and, perhaps, the creation of its own portfolio management tool would be a good first step.

Sincerely,
Perry David


Wayne Thorp from IL posted 28 days ago:

@David Perry,

Thank you for the list of portfolio trackers. Again, let me point out that the purpose of these comparison articles was to highlight what we viewed as the best portfolio trackers. Like all opinions, people undoubtedly will disagree with some or our choices.

As far as using Excel/spreadsheets to track investments, please refer to our regular Spreadsheet Corner column, the most recent of which used Google Sheets to create a portfolio tracker.

As program manager for Stock Investor Pro, I can tell you we are in the beginning stages of developing an entirely new, online version of the program. My hope is to have an alpha test version ready by late next year.

Kind regards,

Wayne


Perry David from CT posted 26 days ago:

Good to know.

Thanks for the expeditious reply.

Perry David


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