Stop Using Spreadsheets To Track Your Portfolio

Navarre Trousselot profile picture Navarre Trousselot January 17, 2020

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Welcome to the first Navexa blog post.

We’re going to use our first expedition into the blogosphere to address a serious, widespread and frankly dangerous problem that might be stalking you as you read this.

This is the problem we are on a mission to solve as we develop and grow our investment portfolio analytics project.

Its name?

Spreadsheets.

Yeah, I know, they’re so useful and easy to customize…

Maybe you’ve used them for decades…

Maybe you can’t imagine using anything else to keep track of your investments, or your personal budgeting.

But, perhaps you don’t know this.

Spreadsheets are dangerous.

In fact, you could say that…

Spreadsheets Are
Wealth’s Silent Killers.

If you’re using a spreadsheet to keep track of the stocks in your portfolio, listen up.

Ever heard of Bargain Booze?

It’s a discount alcohol chain in the UK.

In 2018, the company that owned Bargain Booze, Conviviality Plc, imploded in a financial mismanagement fiasco.

Take a look…

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After three years of rising share prices, Conviviality made the shock announcement to its shareholders that it needed to raise £125 million to avoid going into administration.

The cause of this fiasco?

A single spreadsheet error.

Someone on Conviviality’s finance team screwed up.

It was a tiny screw up.

But the consequences of that error were, well, refer to the chart above.

Now, this is just one (severe) example of what can happen when we trust spreadsheets with important and complex tasks.

For a long and damning litany of spreadsheet crimes, head over to eusprig.org.

There, you’ll find horror story after horror story of people and businesses — even governments — committing spreadsheeticide and losing mountains of money.

€100 million here. $8 million there.

A regulatory sanction against a pharmaceutical giant.

Overstated oil reserves.

A lead witness in a fraud case found dead in Orlando (think I’m joking? Scroll down to POB1501 on the website).

The point is, using spreadsheets for tracking crucial information is dangerous — and the results can be disastrous.

Why Would You Track Your
Portfolio In A Format
That Wreaks Such Havoc?

Most self-directed Australian investors have become comfortable using spreadsheets to track their portfolio.

They’ve either created their own, or used a template some else has set up.

It works for them.

At least they believe it does.

Firstly, because they, or a trusted friend, has set up the equations in the spreadsheet.

Meaning the calculations the sheet performs to show returns, income, long-term performance and so on must be correct, right?.

(Hint: Wrong.)

Second, they trust the spreadsheet because they personally enter the information on each trade.

So again, they figure that must be right.

But if spreadsheet misuse has the power to sink a business because of one error…

Cost companies millions…

Trigger damaging legal proceedings…

And even lead to the death of a star witness in one such case…

It’s fair to say there’s a clear and present danger to those who trust spreadsheets to track their investment portfolios.

Danger of what, exactly?

Well, say one of the formulae within your spreadsheet is wrong.

You could have been miscalculating your returns or income since you started using it.

That might have led you to incorrectly report your returns at tax time.

Or, it could have caused you to make a major financial decision like buying a house or borrowing money because your spreadsheet said you had plenty of spare cash in your investment account.

On the other hand, you might have sold out of a profitable position because your spreadsheet showed poor performance.

Or maybe you mis-valued a company’s shares.

You get the idea.

When the formulae and the data entry are in your human hands, they are both naturally vulnerable to human error.

And humans make errors all the time.

(Refer to the long list of spreadsheet disasters on the eusprig website if you’re still not convinced.)

Bottom line: Your investment portfolio is too important to trust to a spreadsheet.

That’s why we at Navexa have created…

A Smarter, Safer, More Sensible Way To Track Your Portfolio
Without Costly Errors

The evidence shows spreadsheets have caused a litany of financial and legal disasters.

And those are just the ones we know about.

So, if you’re a self-directed investor and you want to track your portfolio in a way that not only greatly reduces the risk of human error causing havoc in your financial life…

But also gives you a sense of your invested wealth that goes far beyond numbers in a table…

Then it’s time to trade this:

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Source: oldschoolvalue.com

For this:

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Navexa: Start tracking your stocks smarter.

It’s the second decade of the 21st century.

The spreadsheet was invented last millennium.

So it’s time to start tracking your portfolio in a manner befitting of a modern investor building wealth in the Information Age.

In other words, by using an online portfolio tracker.

Like the one we’ve made — Navexa

In our opinion, it’s the best portfolio tracking software in Australia.

But we would say that, wouldn’t we?

Of course we would.

So don’t take us at our word.

Make up your own mind.

Create your own Navexa account (all you need is a valid email address).

In place of a clunky spreadsheet that demands an unattainable level of manual data-entry perfection and, frankly, just isn’t that interesting to look at (its limitations stop you seeing lots of valuable information)…

You’ll enjoy advanced portfolio management tools that hand you a commanding overview and a deep, detailed understanding of your invested wealth.

For example…

  • Comprehensive Portfolio Performance Reporting: Responsive charts help you track capital gains and income.
  • Focused Single Stock & Crypto Analysis: Easily monitor individual stocks and crypto assets.
  • Real-Time Dividend Performance Monitoring: Map each dividend payment and chart cumulative income returns over time.
  • Comprehensive Tax Reporting: Easily generate reports on capital gains and dividend income when preparing your tax return.
  • Benchmark Your Portfolio Against The ASX & ETFs: Easily compare your portfolio performance with the wider Australian market and exchange traded funds.
  • Monitor Your Cash Account When You Sell Shares: Navexa monitors your whole portfolio — even when you cash out of a position.
  • Calculate A Stock’s Value With Ease: Use your account’s built-in discounted cash flow value calculator to evaluate if a stock is worth buying.

We Want To Help Australian Investors Build Their Wealth
In The Age Of Big Data

We believe the era of tracking your stocks with a spreadsheet is over.

Today, it’s high time you started using an online portfolio tracker to monitor and analyse your investments.

The reasons are obvious (see above).

The Information Age gives you more data than ever before about your investments, the markets and how best to plot your course to a wealthier future.

It’s up to you to make the most of that data.

And it’s up to companies like us to help you do that.

Thanks for tuning into this first Navexa blog.


Navarre Trousselot profile picture

Navarre Trousselot

Navarre is the Founder of Navexa — a portfolio analytics service made for Australian investors. Navarre left a lucrative corporate developer job to combine two of his passions; investing and entrepreneurship. He created Navexa because he couldn’t find a portfolio analytics service that met his own high standards. Now, he’s focused on helping as many Australians as possible get more from their portfolios through the smart and creative use of data. Follow Navarre on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Start tracking your stocks smarter.


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