A reader asked if I could make my financial update spreadsheet publicly available. Why not? It’s downloadable here: (link).
How I update this every month in 5 minutes using Personal Capital:
Extract balance sheet info from PC by carefully selecting relevant numbers, as shown below. Copy (paste special as values) into Sheet 2 at cell J3.
Extract expenses from PC by carefully selecting relevant numbers, as shown below. Copy (paste special as values) into Sheet 2 at cell M3.
Extract income from PC by carefully selecting relevant numbers, as shown below. Copy (paste special as values) into Sheet 2 at cell O3. Note that my sheet ignores the salary portion of this since I hard code this in my sheet (I have stable income month-to-month). Retail returns will unfortunately show up as income here rather than being netted against spending. I do the netting automatically in my sheet.
Extract portfolio holdings from PC by carefully selecting relevant numbers, as shown below. Copy (paste special as values) into Sheet 2 at cell Q3.
Congrats, you have just imported your data from PC to Sheet 2. Now, copy relevant cells from Column D and G and paste (special as values) into the appropriate portions of Sheet 1. All charts & calcs will auto update. If you need to start a new month in Sheet 1, don’t insert a new column. Simply copy and paste the existing data one column over to the right. Doing so will preserve the integrity of the underlying formulas.
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7 thoughts on “Net Worth Tracking Tool”
I think I am going to stick with quicken for now for automatic aggregation of transaction/account information. It’s partly inertia… I’ve got many years of detailed data in there already, and I like looking at the net worth graphs over the long period of time. I also like being able to track spending in a little more detail (I find it very frustrating to deal with more spending categories in Yodlee’s web UI). However, I get really annoyed with the quirks and bugs of Quicken, and I miss being able to fully customize the reporting like you can in Excel. I’ll probably be forced to jump ship if Quicken become subscription-only in the future.
One thing I’m frequently frustrated with, even in personalcapital, is getting a feeling for the performance of my investment accounts. I don’t check on performance often since I am a long term investor, but sometimes I’d just like to know what return I’ve gotten in recent years and it is surprisingly difficult to figure this out. Because I am broadly diversified in equities like you, I usually just end up looking the the performance of a reasonably broad index, and assume that the performance of my accounts is similar. Maybe in a future post you could address this topic.
Makes sense to me Scott. I stick with Yodlee for much the same reason as you with Quicken. Tons of inertia.
I haven’t yet included investment returns on my report because it’s not something I can control (unlike investment fees). Plus, like you, I have a multi-decade investment horizon.
You might want to check out this tool: https://www.google.com/finance/portfolio. I have used it before, but haven’t touched it for perhaps a decade. It looks to do a lot of the cost basis and performance tracking at the ticker level. I know Morningstar has a similar tool.
Perhaps the feature I should build into this tool is a tax-loss-harvesting notification tool. This would be immensely helpful for me in the not-too-distant future. Especially in my taxable account, I’d track the cost basis and time of purchase for each lot. TLH is of the only things (aside from 401k sheltering, mortgage interest, and charitable contributions) you and I can do to lower our taxable incomes in AMT territory. What’s your effective marginal tax rate? I’d imagine 50% after accounting for federal, and state, right?
The consensus at Bogleheads seems to indicate a mixture of the above + Excel is optimal. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=72952. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=164601.
A TLH notification tool would be really cool. PersonalCapital should really provide this service, but I know they never will for various reasons. I think Quicken makes it fairly easy to review for possible TLH events because it tracks cost basis (I haven’t started doing this yet because I fairly recently started doing taxable accounts), but I don’t think it will provide any kind of alert.
To calculate my EMTR, I went into TaxAct and upped my 2016 W2 income by $1000. Additional taxes due (Federal + State) were $545, for an EMTR of almost 55%. If I contribute the full $1000 to charity, the additional taxes due are reduced to $127.
EMTR of 55% is so depressing! Ouch!
Let me dig more into the AMT and charitable contribution thing. I can’t explain it off the top of my head…
I took a closer look, and the number I gave you was inflated due to taxact calculating a penalty for overcontribution to a roth ira. After adjusting for this (and this time I entered the additional $1000 income as simple interest income), I think my combined EMTR is about 47%. Of this, 9.3% is CA (this is the normal tax bracket), and 37.5% is Fed. The reason for the high federal rate is a combination of regular taxes (at 25%), AMT (at 26%), and a phase out of the child tax credit (which effectively costs me $50 additional tax on the $1000 income).
If I then contribute that $1000 to charity, I do get the write off under the AMT, but I still get hit with what is effectively a tax of $50 for phase out of the child tax credit (because the child tax credit is calculated based on AGI). So, even if I contribute the full $1000 of extra income to charity, it still effectively get taxed 5%.
It’s really the child tax credit phase out which is the kicker here.
Could you do a post on Yodlee sometime? I’ve heard of Quicken and the Intuit products as well as Personal Capital, but Yodlee is a new one for me. What are the advantages?
Yodlee is essentially the same thing as Mint and Personal Capital. If my memory serves me well, Yodlee preceded Mint and I first joined it around 2004/5. I joined mint a year or two later when it came online, but wasn’t convinced to switch over. Sadly, moneycenter.yodlee.com appears to be closed to new users.
Personal capital does much the same as the above two, but adds a tiny bit of investment guidance. The annoying thing about them is you’ll get one call about hooking you up with a financial planner. If you don’t mind saying no the one time, they’re a good resource. However, since I’m perfectly capable of tracking expense ratios myself as well as portfolio allocation (how hard is it to take domestic / (total portfolio) to calculate % allocation to domestic), I don’t find any incremental benefit to Personal Capital above Yodlee.