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Sharesight review: Australia

My Sharesight Review: Track your own shares the easy way

Table of Contents

No more spreadsheets, no more remembering passwords to 7 different platforms and no more guessing at tax time. 

As an Australian investor I've enjoyed using Sharesight for years now. At first it was a great way to see all my investments in the one combined dashboard. Beyond that though there are so many features that make investing so much more easier, obvious and even more fun.

Here is how I use the tool and the features I love in my own Sharesight review.

What is Sharesight?

Sharesight is a portfolio tracker tool and platform. Built to replace you needing to use and update spreadsheet with numbers like when you buy, sell and the returns you get from stocks.

If you spend over 15 minutes a week reviewing or managing your portfolio of shares and managed funds, then you need to know about this tool. 

Sharesight Australia provides a website as a service that can easily show you a combined view of all your investments, stock holdings to provide you a summary of your portfolio's activity. All you need to do is put in your buy and sell transactions as they happen (which can even be automated), and you can get a complete picture of all your investments on one page.

It's just a cool way to look at your investments

While that seems simple enough, there is an incredible depth of significant features that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else (and definitely not using a spreadsheet).

QUICK FYI – the best possible DEAL on sharesight right now

I've done the work and found that you can currently save 4 months on any new annual premium plan (I wish I got this but its for new users only).
You can start for free, upgrade later and still get the deal. 

Sharesight may also be tax deductible, depending on your situation. This is an affiliate link.

This Sharesight Review gives you a glimpse into why I love the product, but there is still a lot more to find (so give a free trial a go).

Aggregate all of your investment accounts in the one place

Sharesight is not an investing tool. It is a tool to manage your investments. It gives you ability to give you an overview of everything you invest in and own, irrespective of what platform you trade through.

I invest through the following products that all need their own separate login :

The difficulty with using investment platforms like these is that they all have different interfaces and display different data so it can be hard to know the exact performance of your entire portfolio.

  • Vanguard for example only displays the number of units held and the total value of the investment at the current date.
  • SelfWealth (my online broker) will highlight the performance of my portfolio within the day and the performance in dollars since purchase (as does Stake).

This means it's hard to get a total view of my portfolio’s performance. Nothing is consistent enough to give me a big picture.

With Sharesight I have a list of every single investment I own on the one page, all showing the same data in the same format. That is something that gives me total clarity on my positions. 

Sharesight review - Combined holdings
While they are all listed in a similar format – these investments were all bought via different brokers

The focus in this table is quantity, value, capital gains and total returns. With funds focusing on units held and stock brokers focusing on intraday performance, a table like this is a welcome feature when understanding total performance. 

Note: If you are using a tool that invests fractionally, such as Raiz or Stake, you can also add these to your portfolio in Sharesight. The difficulty I've found is that you can't cater for the fact that investment fees for Raiz are taken from your portfolio, so you need to make adjustments if using this to track that kind of product.

It’s easy to understand your overall return

It’s simple enough to get a sign of what your portfolio is worth at the current point of time, like today, but not always how it performed up to that date. 

Like I mentioned, Vanguard only displays units/value at today's date and SelfWealth shows daily movements. If I wanted to see what happened in the last 3, 6 or 12 months I would have to do a manual calculation (and also know what the prices were of my investments each day between now and then). 

This is where a tool like Sharesight opens up your portfolio data to give you a look at those types of returns. Two things I like to do are:

  1. Set timeframes to view past performance

With Sharesight you can set the time frame for your entire portfolio with one click to see the performance of each investment over the same time, together. A great way to easily get a long term view of YOUR results, rather than referring to reports or results from the investments you own.

total return in sharesight

This really removes the guesswork from thinking you know what has happened in that period to actually knowing. 

  1. See your performance split by capital growth and dividends

With Australian stocks commonly providing dividends, it’s easy to get influenced by the yield shown as a good sign of returns. What Sharesight does is break a return by showing capital growth next to dividends received, then combining the two.

Take this of popular diversified ETF VDHG – Vanguard's High Growth Diversified ETF.

Sharesight review - Dividend and capital gains equal total returns

You can easily see that while the overall return is a solid 11.88% per year over the last 5 years, it was about a 50/50 split of growth and dividends. You can even see the exact dollar amounts you would have received via each type or return.

This is very helpful, especially when you review your own stocks. You'll be able to see what is actually growing and what might be hiding behind strong dividends.

Speaking of dividends, these will automatically appear as the system learns a new dividend is announced for your company's held. You can then set your investments to reinvest these to your holdings or not depending on your options. 

Categorise your positions

A handy aspect of the tool, is the ability to build a snapshot of how diverse your portfolio is.

By default there are ways to display this in a pie chart via things like market, country, industry or neither.

What is helpful is the ability to build a custom group. You see I have a certain number of ETFs, so when I group my portfolio by industry or market it puts these in the “other” or miscellaneous category.

What I've done is setup a custom portfolio view so that I can put say IOO, ETHI and VGS into the Global group. This way I can tell if they make up my target allocation of 50% global ETFs. See below.

Sharesight review - portfolio charting
Diversified view of my portfolio

Share Checker

Until you become a regular user of Sharesight Australia you will not appreciate how handy this feature is. It is probably the most used tool of the site I access.

The Share Checker can give you an instance review of performance of a stock, fund or index over your a certain period of time.

Without having to trawl websites, read annual reports or open PDFs you can get a breakdown of what $10k would have done over 1 day, month, year decade (if its been around that long). 

Also see when dividends were paid, how the price has fared and if any share splits took place. 

Also see how the market has performed against it at that time. 

Here is what Telstra has done in the last 5 years.

Sharesight review - Telstra performance

.

Just looking at a chart like this immediately gives you understanding of its overall return. So even though it might be talked about as a high income option, you'll see it hasn't grown.

A great insight that keeps performance data honest.

The Sharesight share tracker tool was useful when I put together this post on Instagram recently.

Benchmark your portfolio against anything else on the markets

Yet another handy feature in Sharesight is the ability to benchmark your portfolio against another fund, ETF, stock or company.

You do need a premium account to access this, but if you are serious about managing a DIY portfolio it is worth the expense.

Sign up for a free trial first and get your first four months free if you choose to go premium.

For example, here I compare my Invested portfolio (a custom name I gave to a few individual stock picks) in the last year against VDHG to show me comparatively its growth dividends and overall return.

Sharesight review - Benchmarking
My portfolio vs VDHG

This is a great awareness feature as it can give you an indication of what an alternative investment might have looked like.

In this instance all my fiddling with individual shares in Stake (which are tech focused) turned out half as effective as investing into the NASDAQ ETF itself. 

As a premium user, you can change the benchmark. I prefer to set it at a broad market ETF or index so I can see if I’m beating or matching the market. 

This tool has shown me that sometimes I don't know any better and while I might seem like the work in picking stocks is a better move, being passive is just as effective to building wealth.

Make tax time easier with automated reporting for income and CGT

I will not delve into it much in this Sharesight review, but the reporting features are massive time savers come tax time. 

You can literally print of these and give to your accountant for tax time. All you need to worry about is adding in your investments when you buy and sell.

Here is a screen of what is in these reports

Sharesight Australia - reporting

A couple of my favourites are the future income report and CGT reports.

Future income does exactly that – report on income that has been confirmed and you can expect at a future date. Handy if you are focusing on dividends.

Sharesight Australia - upcoming payments

CGT reports will give you a nice clean list of what gains and losses you had throughout the latest financial year, helping me out at tax time. 

It can generate all these reports for your time frame of choice, making it a massive help when needed. 

Is Sharesight tax deductible?

As a premium (paying) member of Sharesight, chances are that you can claim the expense as a tax dedduction. This is because you likely derive oincome from the sharemarket and this tool is associated with you managing that.

I cannot 100% say yes everyone can claim it so make sure you check with a tax pro before you do.

Is there a Sharesight app?

Yes there is a Sharesight app. It's named the Sharesight reader and gives you a basic read only version of the tool.

While it's not the flashiest too to use in comparison to some of the investing platforms out there, it will give you performance numbers of your portfolio.

Sharesight review - sharesight app
The Sharesight App isn't flashy but it's all you need to track your investment portfolio

You can sense they are active in building a better product

Over 200,000 investors are using Sharesight worldwide and it is becoming a leader in DIY portfolio management.

Not every company wants to consistently go above and beyond delivering a first-class experience for its customers, but during my time as a customer I've noticed Sharesight are doing it.

Whether it be new tutorials and guidance on getting the best out of features, adding new brokers and funds to the service for easy management, or things like this…

Is Sharesight worth it?

I also a fan of the new Sharesight community that has been added. A forum and message board that's all about investing and the Sharesight tool, for Sharesight pro or premium members.

It's great to be able to see what like minded investors and Sharesight members are doing with their money.

I keep tabs on the conversation topics, so If you are in the community lookout for me there!

Sharesight review: In Summary

There is plenty more to find with the product, but this is what I use Sharesight for and find most useful.

While it sounds rosy to say, Sharesight is a superb tool for the serious investor. If you own over one stock there is no better way to track your portfolio. I’ve tried spreadsheets, I’ve tried other services but nothing works like this.

If you haven’t yet tried it, or staring at a spreadsheet doing manual entries – this tool is for you. 

It's free if you have 10 holdings or fewer (with some features limited) but even if you get a premium plan, you might be able to deduct the cost.

QUICK FYI – the best possible DEAL on sharesight right now

I've done the work and found that you can currently save 4 months on any new annual premium plan (I wish I got this but its for new users only).
You can start for free, upgrade later and still get the deal. 

Sharesight may also be tax deductible, depending on your situation. This is an affiliate link.

See the other tools I use and would recommend in My investing and personal finance toolbox

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