It’s very important that we have a clear measure of how our investments are doing! At the end of the day, we spend time and resources to investing because we know we’re getting something from it. So we better make sure that we actually do.
This one is very simple and straightforward using our email platforms.
You see, my online stockbroker COL Financial sends various email to their clients as part of their services. So from what I received, I filter them into three email folders:
(1) COL Trades (2) COL Cashflow (3) COL Miscellaneous.
The division is self-explanatory.
COL Trades folder collects all emails about each of my trade or buy and sell order that gets matched.
COL Cashflow folder collects all emails about, well, flows affecting my cash. That includes deposit confirmation, notice of withdrawals and notice of cash/stock dividends. Most of the times, I actually get surprised when I receive dividends I don’t expect.
Lastly, the third folder COL Miscellaneous collects all email not falling on the two folders above.
They’re mostly clients-invitations to market outlook events they regularly organize and holiday messages from the management.
With this tip, you can trace back all the transactions and summarize and consolidate it in one sitting.
Being in the stock market going three years, I felt this tip is more practical and time-saving than recording each of your transactions every time you make one.
Well, I actually did it that way when I was starting, and it wasn’t just sustainable for me.
Once you have set-up your email filters (so that each email from COL will go automatically to its designated folder), you can set aside a regular schedule to check these folders and go through the emails.
You can do it every year, every six months, or every quarter. If you’re more active and do lots of transactions, you can do this every week or month. Simply check your emails and put all your transaction amounts in your excel monitoring file.
Aside from this, you can also print a monthly statement of account you can download online.
The tip is really to make your email an easy-access database of your transactions (and a financial journal too). This can also give us peace knowing we have something in our hands to present to Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in case COL Financial broker shuts down (which I don’t see in the near term).
You can also read and add to this discussion thread on how other investors monitor their COL funding transactions.