Are you trading on the Thai SET or another international stock exchange? Chances are you are leveraging a broker to manage your holdings. This comes with both advantages and disadvantages, which we will elaborate upon in this article. For example, what is the difference between leveraging an investment tracker and a broker? To what extent can an Excel-based approach work to analyze your holdings?
There are several options when it comes to managing holdings. People tend to keep their holdings at a broker, as this allows them to trade fast. Next to that, most processes are automated such as dividend payments and tax deductions. Brokers normally have a distinction between their Profit & Loss (P&L) balance sheet and the holdings they keep from users. When a broker goes bankrupt, this means the holdings remain safe and in possession of the user. This makes it convenient for traders as well as secure.
Traders prefer the use of an Excel sheet to manage their portfolios and track their holdings. There are many advantages when it comes to building your spreadsheet. You are in the driver’s seat and can determine how it looks like. You can create tabs that summarize part of your holdings (e.g., blue-chip, growth stocks) and conduct analyses on them. You can also create a ledger with the dividends received and the tax payments made, allowing you to analyze your behavior. Seasoned investors also export their transaction data from the broker account to see which trades went well.
Excel allows for flexibility but comes with a burden in terms of knowledge needed (e.g., building macros) to limited interoperability on devices such as smartphones. This is where a stock tracker comes in handy. There are many tracker applications out there that offer integration with global brokers, allowing you to consolidate all holdings into a single location.
When you want to group stocks, this is not a problem. You can create groups of stocks where you can perform analyses. Trackers are often equipped with analytical tools that provide you with insights immediately. With integrations through API, they can directly retrieve transactions you have conducted with the broker. Similarly to your holdings, these are analyzed and you get feedback on the quality of your trades. This not only allows you to manage your holdings but also makes you a better trader overall.
Investment tracker applications offer you the flexibility to monitor your holdings wherever you go. With intuitive and mobile-friendly applications, you have access to your portfolio at all times. This is an advantage over Excel-based and has several perks over brokers. For example, the tracker comes with detailed market information and push notifications tailored to your portfolio and the industries you invest in. This allows you to trade based on the latest market news.