Update. As of 21st November 2015 this seems to have stopped working. I don’t know whether it is a change to IFTTT or FE Trustnet. I am still investigating.
It’s obviously important to keep track of how your investments are doing, unless this leads you to over react and then trade too much, in which case just ignore them! If you invest online each of the platforms provides their own dashboard which tracks the value of your holdings. If you use a number of providers or have more than one account (e.g. ISA and non-ISA) it becomes tedious to monitor them all. There are some great free website which allow you to add all your holdings and then monitor the value. My favourite (I’m in the UK) is Trustnet. It does all the things you would expect it to do. My only real criticism is that it can be slow to update prices (particularly for investment trusts) so the data is only correct by about 8:30 in the evening. The other minor gripe is that they keep changing the day that they send an (optional) weekly summary by e-mail. I use this data to update my master spreadsheet.
One of the things I really like about Trustnet is the ability to download the portfolio in .csv format which is read by all spreadsheet programs. The problem caused by the moving weekly e-mail led me to a solution based on automatically downloading the csv file.
IFTTT is a great service for linking together different apps and websites. For example every time I favorite a tweet, IFTTT automatically sends it to Evernote. I’ve now created a recipe which downloads my investments csv file to Dropbox every Saturday morning. Here are the steps to set it up. You need to register for IFTTT. The “channels” you will need are “Date and Time” and Dropbox. I assume you already have a Dropbox account, but if you don’t, it is easy to set up.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That. In our case “if this” is a day and time and “then that” is download a file to Dropbox. The process for creating a new recipe is fairly intuitive so I won’t give a lot of detail here, but here are the key steps.
- Choose “My Recipes” from the top of the page and then “Create a Recipe”
- Then click on the blue “This” and then choose “Date and time”
- You then choose a trigger based on how often you want to download the file. I use “Every day of the week at”. Then complete the trigger feeds according to your needs and click “Create Trigger”.
- Now for the clever bit. Click the blue “that” and then choose the familiar Dropbox icon. Click “add file from url”.
- So to summarise, you will add
http://www.trustnet.com/Tools/Portfolio/ExportPortfolio.aspx?PortfolioId=1234567890 to the File URL box.
- Click in the file name box and click the conical flask icon. Choose “CheckTime” so each download is named including the date and time. Stick with the default folder path or create your own. (Mine is just Portfolio). Click create recipe and you are done.
- Unfortunately you will need to manually change the file extension from .aspx to .csv for each download.
So that’s it. Every week (or whatever frequency you have chosen) a file will appear in your Dropbox documenting the current state of your investments.