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Nine underrated tools to help you achieve Financial Independence

Author David Sawyer

This is a guest post by David Sawyer, author of the UK-focused financial freedom book: RESET: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money. (You can also read his previous posts on Monevator!)

Although RESET stresses that hard work and good habits are the key to success in life, I’m all for cutting a few corners.

The road to financial independence is not an easy one. Anything that saves me time and makes my life easier, I embrace.

This short post profiles nine under-rated tools/shortcuts – all featured in my book – that’ll smooth your path to FIRE1 and give you more time to do what matters to you.

#1 How rich are you? / Salary calculator

Let’s start with two tools to help you put things in context and work out how much tax you’re paying.

Discovering where your salary places you compared to the rest of the world is humbling. Finding out your precise take-home pay is useful for personal financial planning (and also good to know if you’re going for a new job).

#2 How much do you need when you retire?

This is crucial. What type of life do you want to live when you retire and how much money will you need to fund it?

Spare yourself an extremely laborious task that you’ll never get round to and instead read Which?’s 2017-18 member survey of 6,000 retired and semi-retired couples.

Examine the detail and work out – factoring in the tax you’ll be paying in retirement – the before-tax amount you’ll need to draw down as an income in retirement.

#3 Candid Money’s ‘How Long?’ investment calculator

You simply plug six crucial figures into this calculator as follows:

A: Your target stash2 £

B: Your current stash3 £

C: Annual (expected) investment return %

D: Annual (expected) inflation rate %

E: Combined4 annual investment charge %

F: Monthly savings figure £

When you’ve arrived at those figures, use the calculator to find out what age you’ll be when you become financially independent. Play around with F to see how this (the main variable within your control) affects matters. When do you want to reach financial independence and how much can you save each and every month?

#4 Check your state pension

This one’s dead easy. All you need is a phone and your passport to find out how many more years you’ll need to work to qualify for the full state pension. (Not the same as accessing it, of course.)

As I write, the full state pension is £8,546.20 a year, or £17,092.40 for a couple. Who knows what it’ll be in 15 years’ time but probably not a figure to be sniffed at.

Check your state pension online at gov.uk.

If you’re lucky enough to have a final salary pension, you can also request a transfer value from your scheme administrator once a year. (It’s the law and it’s free.)

Anything over £30,000 and you’ll need an IFA5 if you do want to transfer (think carefully before you do!) and also be sure to check if the administrator is applying a percentage reduction to the CETV6 first. Final salary schemes that are in deficit are allowed to do this (again, it’s the law).

#5 MSE’s Budget Planner and Money Dashboard

These two tools work in tandem and are key to budgeting – an important and often time-consuming aspect of achieving financial independence.

MSE’s Budget Planner is a flexible spreadsheet, which breaks your outgoings down into intuitive categories. It helps you to see the effect that planned changes in spending will have, and thus to protect your all-important monthly saving figure.

Money Dashboard is a secure cloud-based open banking website that enables you to replicate and then track all the spending categories you set up in MSE’s Budget Planner. It syncs all members of your family’s current, business and savings accounts in one place. It even lets you set up ‘offline accounts’ to track things like VAT, pocket money, corporation tax – whatever you like. It gives you a real-time one-figure overview of your everyday money.

If I had to track spending manually or by logging in to umpteen accounts, I wouldn’t do it. Money Dashboard is free and I believe it’s a game-changer for UK FIREers.

#6 The LAHs

For the biggest impact visit all three: Lidl, Aldi and Home Bargains. This one’s a no-brainer, albeit you may not want to take it to the extreme of using them all.

Changing your weekly shopping habits from Tesco, Sainsbo’s, and Asda to the delights of the discount food stores could save you 30% – or in my family’s case £300 – on your monthly groceries bill.

#7 Index cards

Financial independence is a philosophy of life. A different way of looking at the world. You’ve always got to be learning, reading, discovering – but you need to do this with intent, to challenge and enhance your worldview.

To achieve this objective, you need to record what you think. Some people use emails, some Evernote, some Google Keep. I use index cards. You know, those little bits of white card with ruled lines on. I carry them everywhere and file them in boxes. They came in really useful when I was writing my book.

Sound a bit old school? Perhaps. However, I’m in good company. Ryan Holiday, Anne Lamott, Robert Greene, Oliver Burkeman, Ronald Reagan, Valdimir Nabokov and Ludwig Wittgenstein (admittedly, he probably is a bit old school) all use(d) the humble index card to catalogue and organise their thoughts.

#8 WordPress and MailChimp

Increased broadband speeds have transformed our lives. None of us would be familiar with people like Mr Money Mustache or movements like FIRE if it weren’t for the Internet. It also means that communication has become democratised. Anyone anywhere can set-up a WordPress blog and sign-up for a free MailChimp account to broadcast their thoughts into the ether.

Why would you want to do that? Well, if you’re into financial independence you’re probably into personal development, and you should definitely be into maximising your career earning potential. Blogging and setting up an email list sparks professional rejuvenation, helps you organise your thoughts, and future-proofs your career.

WordPress powers 30% of all websites and is free. MailChimp is free until you get 2,000 people on your list and it’s easy to use.

#9 Why oh why oh why? (Over to You!)

Why oh why oh why is there not a free Personal Capital-type tool on our side of the Atlantic?

You know, one place where you can synchronise all your bank accounts, where all your investment accounts also sync to – where you can do all your financial planning and have a handle on all your money and your money-based financial independence plans in one place.

I like a good tool, but I don’t know a macro from my elbow. I have tried scores of FIRE-blogger spreadsheets and other systems that purport to make it easy for me, but they only seem to work in the US or in their creators’ heads.

The everyday money thing I have sorted – Money Dashboard and Martin Lewis’s Budget Planner spreadsheet. Easy.

But what about my portfolio?

When Google sounded the death-knell to the full functionality of Google Finance Portfolio last year I was aghast. With that I had been able to manually input all my fund purchases and sales and get a lovely real-time-updated coloured chart saying how well (or badly) my investments were doing and what the rate of return was on each fund. (Useful when you’re making multiple fund purchases every month).

I’ve tried replacing it with Yahoo Finance and the Morningstar portfolio manager, and I’ve even attempted to get to grips with the Financial Times Portfolio tool. None is perfect and I find myself increasingly falling back on a combination of my fund providers, Vanguard and Fidelity – a sub-optimal solution.

So I’m wondering, how do you guys do it? What with the open banking reforms, why isn’t there a Personal Capital equivalent this side of the pond? How do you track your investment returns with the least hassle and in the shortest time?

With that said, every cloud has a silver lining… and a consequence of the absence of one tool to rule them all is my finger isn’t drawn to checking my investments on a daily basis.

That’s surely a good thing!

David Sawyer (46) is a United Nations award-winning PR man and author. He lives in Glasgow with his wife, Rachel, young kids (Zak and Jude) and pet – Hamsterdam. His first book  – RESET: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money – is priced at just £0.99 for the Kindle version until midnight 3rd January. In addition, David has cut the price of the paperback to just £9.99 and Amazon has knocked a further 18% off today, bringing the price down to £8.23. Get it while you’re in the mood for making resolutions!

  1. Financial Independence Retire Early []
  2. The before-tax annual income figure you discovered above multiplied by 100 divided your safe withdrawal rate (e.g. 3.5 for 3.5% SWR.) []
  3. Your net worth minus house equity and final salary pension CETV (cash equivalent transfer value). []
  4. Ongoing charges figure (OCF), portfolio transaction costs and admin charge []
  5. Independent Financial Advisor []
  6. Cash equivalent transfer value []

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{ 34 comments… add one }
  • 1 allthegoodnamesaretaken December 31, 2018, 10:43 am

    This is an interesting view on budgeting (despite the clickbait URL): https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/26/39-year-old-retired-millionaire-budgets-dont-work-do-this-instead.html

  • 2 JimJim December 31, 2018, 12:33 pm

    Having bought and read Reset, I find the most challenging chapter, and therefore the one I probably need to act upon with most urgency, the one on de-cluttering! Arghh! . I have ordered a skip for February and my better half seems positive about the task. Personally it fills me with dread. It is a new life experience and looking at the task, one nine yard skip may not be enough. To highlight the problem, the first thing my partner did was to “invest” in a shredder, it has yet to break into a sweat and is now cluttering the dining room floor… Ah well, any tips gratefully received.

  • 3 Factor December 31, 2018, 2:16 pm

    @JJ

    Also buy a pack of shredder lubrication sheets (Office Outlet and doubtless other vendors) and run one through your machine at least once a month, to avoid having to dig out, with added expletives, the otherwise inevitable solid log-jam of “shreddies”.

    When emptying the reservoir, put the whole shredder complete and entire into a black bin bag or similar, and only then open up the machine and empty out the contents slowly and carefully – there are better things to do with your time than otherwise picking up the individual bits of spillage, one by one from the carpet, because you can’t be a*sed to get the vacuum cleaner out from the depths of the cupboard under the stairs!

    Bonne année tout le monde : )

  • 4 xxd09 December 31, 2018, 2:35 pm

    Hi
    Became a Boglehead -follower of John Bogle many years ago
    Now retired-72
    3 index funds only throughout 2ISAS and 2SIPPs ( wife and I)
    FTSE All Share,World Index minus U.K. and World Bond Index-split 4/26/70- made enough!
    One Platform
    One Shared Bank Account
    One “high interest “ bank account
    Still use Quicken 2004 to track Expenses and Portfolio
    Still looks complicated to beginner
    xxd09

  • 5 anon December 31, 2018, 2:57 pm

    ‘… discount food stores could save you 30% – or in my family’s case £300 – on your monthly groceries bill …’

    I’m not sure anyone should be following the advice of someone who was spending £1,000 per month, and still spends £700 per month, on groceries for a family of four ….

  • 6 ermine December 31, 2018, 3:33 pm

    > personal capital

    And all other sorts of smart-integrated fintech SSO interfaces to all your financial products. Moneydashboard is a UK one, f’rinstance.

    Colour me a curmudgeonly old git, but a SSO interface to my entire net worth is something that fills me with horror. You need diversification, and SSO is the inverse of that. It would piss me off no end to have one bank account rifled. Every one of them, after some moped pillock thieved my £1000 smartphone* as well as my pension getting invested in bitcoin by the scrotes? WTAF?

    Convenience is nice. But it’s got a dark flipside with some pretty serious tail risks.

    > How to you track returns

    Once a year, typically in January, I look at my ISA providers and transfer the current valuation into a new columns in my spreadsheet. And I manually transfer dividend income amounts into the same spreadsheet, which also has yearly columns for sales and purchases. So I can tot up how much this share is worth, what ti cost me, how much I have put into the ISA over time, what the annual yield is, how to unitize the whole thing year on year.

    Simple, low-tech, I remain engaged with the topic but it doesn’t take over my life, a discouragement to value the day to day noise more than the signal, and above all no evil megacorp datamining my finances/risk of exposing every single login to some punk.

    Lets me track things OK, and even makes me think about it. I’m sure MMM had a post on luxury along the lines of you can have things too easy, and fintech SSO is well past that stage IMO. But hey, whatever floats your boat, and here’s to a fortunate/not too devastating 2019 to all Monevator readers!

    * no, I don’t have an i-smartphone either, but each to their own vices.

  • 7 Mark Senior December 31, 2018, 4:10 pm

    “Why oh why oh why is there not a free Personal Capital-type tool on our side of the Atlantic?”
    It must be Brexit!!!!

  • 8 Dave December 31, 2018, 7:03 pm

    Hi all, happy new year when it comes. In turn:

    @allthegoodnamesaretaken: cheers for that link.

    @JimJim: you will hate it and love it if you do it properly, and by properly I mean Marie Kondo with a twist (buy her book). Loads of different ways you can do it but I think a piecemeal approach ain’t the answer. Sounds a bit OTT, but you have to immerse yourself in it. Good luck, Dave

    @JJ: that is some excellent knowledge.

    @xxdo9: the key thing is it works for you. I have my own system; I just wish it was a little easier.

    @anon, “just testing”, as my primary schoolteacher said when we pointed out that his spelling of skeleton (skellington) was incorrect. My bad, as they say, will see if I can change that, as reading it again it’s easy to come to the conclusion you did. What I should have said is that anyone swapping from the normal supermarkets to The LAHs (Lidl, Aldi and Home bargains) should be able to save 30%. My family’s saving was actually in excess of that. Prior to our “reset”, we spent £666 a month (I know, spooky), not including Christmas, on “food and household shopping”. We now spend £360-ish, which is where the £300pcm saving came from. I should have been more exact/clear, so thanks for pointing this out.

    @Ermine: :O), I feel like I’m in one of your blog posts (I’m a recent subscriber and enjoy reading them). I trust Money Dashboard and Personal Capital so I wouldn’t share your view. Like the idea that coming up with your own system keeps you grounded, doesn’t make things too easy and is a virtue in itself. Perhaps my slightly Heath Robinson approach is the way forward. God yes re: non-devastating 2019, one can but hope.

    @Mark Senior: eeurgh, Brexit. I’d forgotten about it for a minute:O).

    Have a great evening everyone. I’m off to have a Baileys, or whatever the Lidl equivalent is called.

  • 9 Cathy December 31, 2018, 7:22 pm

    Agreed 100% on Money Dashboard – the single most useful financial tool I’ve ever come across, one that has helped me immensely.

  • 10 eddieosh December 31, 2018, 11:13 pm

    Super helpful article, perfect timing for me too as I was planning to work out my budget for the new year. And just bought the Kindle book at 99p, thanks!

  • 11 AlwaysLearnin January 1, 2019, 9:52 am

    I appreciate it’s only indicative/directional/whatever, but I notice that the values in the Which survey (#2) are the same for all categories that appear in both ‘comfortable’ and’ luxurious’ groups, with the difference between the two groups simply being that ‘luxurious’ has 3 additional categories (long haul travel, new car and leisure membership). The amounts in the ‘comfortable’ categories might therefore be being inflated somewhat by those in the ‘luxurious’ camp perhaps?

    Whilst typing I would just like to say thank you to all at Monevator towers for this excellent site, and wish everyone here a Happy New Year, and many happy returns (pun intended… :))

  • 12 faithless January 1, 2019, 11:21 am

    @Jim and any other declutterers:

    My tip would be to read around online for inspiration on different mindsets and ways to tackle clutter. We weren’t hoarders by any means, but just had a lot of stuff.

    We got rid of *a lot* of things over several months, then a lot more over several more months, a couple of years ago now. I’d tried to ‘declutter’ previously, but never made much headway until I really understood *why* I wanted to declutter, and why I found it hard to let go of things: e.g. “I paid good money for this, I can’t get rid of it/It might be useful some day…”

    For me, it was as much a mental mindset shift needed as the practical work of going through and sorting my stuff. And once I made that shift, I’ve been much better at letting clutter build up. Not perfect, but much better.

    These websites helped me:

    https://www.theminimalists.com/21days/

    https://www.becomingminimalist.com/becoming-minimalist-start-here/

    I also read Marie Kondo’s book, which is a bit ‘woo’ in some places, e.g. thank your items for their usefulness before getting rid of them, but her approach and strategies for tackling everything were really helpful.

    A skip seems like quite an extreme solution, putting pressure on you time wise and goes to landfill. Depending on what the stuff you need gone is, if there’s still some use to it you could try selling/listing stuff for free on Gumtree/local Facebook Buy and Sell groups, or taking stuff to a charity shop.

    Best of luck!

  • 13 liberatedotlife January 1, 2019, 11:35 am

    > Why oh why oh why is there not a free Personal Capital-type tool on our side of the Atlantic?

    Actually, I’m just working on building one – a portfolio tracking/management app for UK private investors to be precise.

    I had a somewhat-related whinge on my blog about a year ago (http://liberate.life/index.php/2018/01/15/the-rebalancing-headache/) as my monthly financial review gradually turned into a wrestle with an awful custom spreadsheet.

    Anyway, it’s taken nearly a year to start it due to the last project sticking on my desk for longer than planned/expected but I should be launching a beta version of the portfolio tracking software (it’s a web application) on February 4th (or at least that’s what it says on the note that I’ve got taped next to my monitor!)

    The thing that get’s launched in February will be pretty basic (unfortunately no robotic rebalancing yet as I set out in my vision on the blog) but what I really want to do is collaborate with the UK PF community to make it as useful as possible to everybody. Soooo… beta testers would be much appreciated.

    If anybody wants to know any more or register their interest to be a beta tester, just shoot an email to the address on my site. I’ll get more information up on my site (+ a brand new site for the app itself) soon.

    Sorry to the Monevator guys for this post being rather promotional (and do please zap it if that’s a problem – no hard feelings!) but I thought it was relevant to the conversation.

    Happy New Year everybody.

    Andy

  • 14 Rob January 1, 2019, 11:56 am

    I use Quicken (US version with Sterling as the default currency). It doesn’t download UK stock prices (I’ve only got 5 I update weekly) and it doesn’t ‘interact’ with UK banks so reconciliation is manual. This is just how I like it – all these apps that collate logins to give an overall net worth are an accident waiting to happen. Some things don’t need to be online.

  • 15 CisforV January 1, 2019, 12:44 pm

    I’ve been working through the Marie Kondo method since the weekend. It’s proving great so far.

    I actually bought the Manga comic version of her book for Christmas which is fantastic and I highly recommend it. I read about it from another blog post (contains a few sample images):

    https://www.getrichslowly.org/konmari-method/

    They also now have the Marie Kondo TV series on Netflix which I’ve been watching this morning.

    All in all, a good start to the new year by decluttering.

    Money Dashboard gets my vote too.

  • 16 ermine January 1, 2019, 12:57 pm

    @Rob I also use a steam-driven version of Quicken, 2004 in my case. You don’t have to eschew newfangled stock price updating, and you don’t have to let it log in to your brokerage account. You can get it to import stock prices automatically updated. Create a Google Drive spreadsheet at https://drive.google.com. At the top put

    !Type:Prices

    Then put your stock symbol eg VWRL in cell A2, and in B2 the formula =GOOGLEFINANCE(A2)
    and so on

    At the end on a new line put the symbol
    ^

    This will get automatically refreshed with the latest prices from google finance each time you open it in Drive, the symbols need to tally with your Quicken stocks. Download as csv

    The go into Quicken:portfolio and then file import prices, aim at file you have just downloaded, and job done. Your US version may have a different process and file format from my 14 year old UK program but Quicken don’t seem to change their file formats that often. I use this to save some of the tedium of entering these so Quicken gives a reasonable estimate of my networth, updated every so often.

  • 17 JimJim January 1, 2019, 1:25 pm

    @faithless
    Thanks for the tips, I have much need of the advice. The skip is about time, and we have booked a week off to do the job properly. A lot of the contents of the skip will be useless, broken, beyond repair or un-recyclable. We live quite some distance from the domestic waste site so individual journeys would be less cost effective and time consuming. We will be using the charity shops for anything of minor value and trying to slim down a lifetime of travel memorabilia and art as well, more than we could ever display.
    I have no intent on becoming a minimalist although I aspire to an easily kept house. Happy new year all!
    JimJim

  • 18 Dave January 1, 2019, 5:42 pm

    A proper happy new year this time. Passing comment on today’s comments, in turn:

    @Cathy: isn’t it just. I particularly like the way it one-pots my savings accounts, otherwise they get a bit of a muddle for me.

    @eddiosh: cheers! Let me know what you make of it.

    @AlwaysLearnin: worth taking a look in detail. I have the luxury of print version and online access. It’s an excellent study (two in fact, one in 2017, one in 2018). And the findings are really well presented. Plus, it’s Which? The closest thing we have in the UK to truth and justice:O). HNY to you, too.

    @faithless: spot on re: the why (and the woo:O). It’s understanding the why that spurred me to embark on and eventually finish the “great declutter”, as it was called in our house. There’s a whole “part” in RESET on decluttering, the majority of which focusses on physical decluttering. By the sounds of your excellent comment you’d enjoy it, if only for the shudders:O).

    @liberatedotlife: wow, interested, will drop you an email. Good luck.

    @Rob/@Ermine: great knowledge here, I’m almost tempted to track down a copy of Quicken so I can have a bash.

    @CisforV: I saw that post. I intended to put the illustrated copy on my Crimbo list, but I went for Lonely Planet’s Where to Go When instead. Ref: Marie, I drew the line at rolling my socks/sparking joy/religiously going category-by-category, but the rest was gold dust. She’s a real obsessive, and I’ve always made a beeline for the most obsessed woman/man in the room.

    @JimJim: good luck with it all!

    Best, Dave

  • 19 jim January 1, 2019, 5:56 pm

    LAH not so important when your a singleton spending around £60 p/week. I doubt you’d see the full 30% saving and even if you did time is money. I am quite content to blast round ASDA, pay a slight premium and get everything in 1 go. If I could be assured there’d be no substitutions i’d quite happily pay a little extra and have it all delivered. Time is money

  • 20 Alan January 1, 2019, 9:04 pm

    Hi. What world bond index do you use? Thanks

  • 21 Dave January 2, 2019, 9:18 am

    @Jim: the LAHs hassle factor may put off some people. I get ya. But just visiting L (idl) OR A (ldi) every week will save you a similar amount (30%), especially if you end up paying for Asda delivery. My experience, and that of most Lidl/Aldi converts I speak to, is so positive re: the discount foodstores. My wife is vegetarian and my kids are young (so can be a bit fussy), and still I could manage to get everything in one visit to one of these shops, in less than half a time it would have taken me to navigate the 40,000 product lines and 20 types of baked beans stocked at the likes of Sainsbo’s. At both Lidl and Aldi, efficiency (and quality) is king. Leading to saving time and money.

    @Alan: I don’t use a world bond index fund.

  • 22 xxd09 January 2, 2019, 11:26 am

    Alan
    I have used the Global Bond Index Fund (hedged to the pound) by Vanguard for many years as the Bond part of my Portfolio
    xxd09

  • 23 PC January 2, 2019, 12:37 pm

    on #9 , real time portfolio tracking is only going to tempt you to “do something” .

    I use MoneyDance to track my finances, including investments in my SIPP. Moneydance will fetch prices from Google or Yahoo Finance, sadly it won’t fetch transactions from UK financial institutions (only US ones).

  • 24 aml73 January 2, 2019, 3:10 pm

    Re. using googlefinance to return prices. I can get this working for ‘normal’ short codes, e.g. LON:HMWO

    Has anybody got this working on Vanguard funds, including those hosted in Ireland. e.g.

    IE00B50W2R13.IR
    or London, GB00B3TYHH97.L

    thanks

  • 25 Jonathan January 2, 2019, 11:46 pm

    I designed my own budget accounting system 25 years or so ago, which was originally run from a handwritten ledger but which moved to excel about 15 years ago. I have spreadsheets for almost everything, but the core budget one remains the centre-piece. It has allowed me to keep a detailed track of my spending, eliminated 5 week-months, meant that I have never needed to borrow, and allows me to precision-budget for absolutely everything. I’ve looked at other mass-market systems from time to time, but I don’t think you can beat something which is bespoke. I’d recommend spending the time on getting your own system up and running and then fine-tuned.

    I swapped to Lidl and Aldi about 5 years ago. The saving is certainly 30% – in fact, I’d say it is probably more like 40%. I do sometimes miss the breadth of product lines in the big supermarkets, but the cost differential is far too great – the savings will knock years off my working life. I allow myself a treat trip to Sainsbury’s about once a quarter – and I am always sufficiently horrified by their prices to suddenly become happy with the restricted lines at the discounters!

  • 26 Vanguardfan January 3, 2019, 11:55 pm

    @Dave re the Which survey – do you have a link to anything more detailed? I am a subscriber to Which money, is there more detail behind a paywall?

  • 27 Dave January 4, 2019, 9:59 am

    @xxdo9: cheers.
    @PC: hmm looks interesting. Does it (Moneydance) work well in the UK?
    @aml73: sorry, can’t help you there.
    @Jonathan: re: DIY better, you’re probably right, but I’ll never get round to it. Re: Lidl and Aldi, yeah, a game-changer, can’t believe I didn’t make the switch 10 years ago.
    @Vanguardfan: try toreset.me/250 (this is not an affiliate link). I’m not logged in to Which?, and following the link gives you all the information you need.

  • 28 PC January 4, 2019, 10:44 am

    @Dave, yes Moneydance works well in the UK . My main frustration with it is not being able to automatically download transactions but that doesn’t seem to be Moneydance’s fault – UK banks don’t support OFX and Open Banking doesn’t support 3rd party software.

  • 29 ermine January 4, 2019, 1:29 pm

    @aml73 portfolioiser any use to you?

    https://github.com/gpjt/portfolioiser/

    the three years old is a slight worry, but it might give you a basis to work on. A Raspberry Pi would do the python stuff well, I always find Python a load of hurt on a PC for some reason.

  • 30 CitizenD January 5, 2019, 1:42 pm

    Have tried several investment tracker tools, but indeed, once you go beyond the US and certainly if you try to track investments based in mainland Europe, it becomes tricky. At the moment I use Bloomberg’s watchlist (bloomberg app and website) and an app called ‘My stocks Portfolio’.

  • 31 rodcorp January 7, 2019, 11:22 am

    @aml73 since its big update in March, Google Sheets have really struggled to get the prices of UK funds (you’d guess due to a data feed no longer working for Google Finance).

    I found a slightly clunky fix in which you use a Yahoo finance lookup in your Google sheet instead:
    https://community.freetrade.io/t/google-finance-portfolio-tracking/2280/67

  • 32 aml73 January 7, 2019, 4:05 pm

    @rodcorp thanks I will take a look.

    @ermine thanks, I have used Python in the past, a bit rusty now though 🙁

  • 33 MarkR January 9, 2021, 1:45 pm

    I arrived here via the ‘from the archive’ on the weekly Monevator newsletter. In answer to No.9 How do you track your investment returns? I use a portfolio I have set up in Trustnet. It is not 100% accurate, and it has the occasional glitch where an item will disappear and then reappear a few hours or days later (plays hell with the alerts), but it does at least provide a very quick way to monitor what is happening with my investments without the need to log into multiple investment platform websites.

  • 34 David+Sawyer January 11, 2021, 2:56 pm

    Hi Mark, Trustnet sounds good. I’ve still not found the perfect system. There’s a UK guy called Ian Shadrack (YouTube channel) who’s put together a suite of investment-tracking Google Sheets. I’m strangely excited about finding time to try them out. Cheers, Dave

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