Every once in a while, we will receive emails from our readers often asking questions around the same theme, and we thought it will be good to address them here in an article for easier future reference.
The most common question asked is – how do we purchase US stocks and how do we track our portfolios. So here are the apps and websites that we use to manage our personal finances.
For Singapore stock, the platform that we use to purchase stocks is still DBS Vickers.
Although we shared our negative experiences with regards to DBS Vickers where we had a ridiculous sell limit, we are still using them as we have yet to sign up with another broker.
Purchasing a stock via DBS Vickers will incur a cost of S$25 + 0.0325% clearing fee + 0.0075% SGX trading fee.
We previously did an article on the ideal stock amount to buy for the brokerage fees to make sense, which guides our stock purchase amount.
For non Singapore stocks such as Hong Kong stocks and US stocks, we are currently using Saxo as we have been using them for years now.
Purchasing a stock via Saxo will cost u from USD4 per trade, and they have a monthly custodian fee of 0.12%. However, increasingly we have heard that Saxo charges high forex rate, which we never really bothered to dig deeper into.
Hence we are currently looking at other trading alternatives such as TD Ameritrade as they currently provide zero fee trading. Our account with TD Ameritrade is still being set up as we speak.
Every month, Mr and Mrs Budget will share our monthly expenditure here on our website. We are able to do that because we are tracking our expenses daily, and then reconcile them at the end of the month.
To track our daily expenditure, we are using Spendee, a free expense tracking app that we have been using for more than 2 years already.
Spendee is a great app – its easy to use and has a clean interface. Most importantly too, the free version is sufficient and comes with most of the tools you need to track your expensese.
The user journey is simple, first click to launch the app, second click to add expenses, third click to input amount and details, and you are done.
At the end of the month, we will then take a look at what we spent and then tabulate those into our spreadsheet. We don’t really set a budget on what we can or can’t spend daily, and we will only know if we have “underspent” or “overspent” at the end of the month.
The good thing with both Mrs Budget and myself is that both of us don’t have a lot of wants and we don’t usually spend on things. Our expenditure are mostly basic needs and daily necessities.
Stocks and Portfolio Monitoring
For our portfolio monitoring, we are currently using Yahoo Finance – its also very easy to use and has a clean interface. Once you key in your portfolios, you will be able to see your total % gain and your individual stocks gain through the app.
On top of Yahoo Finance, we are also using Stockscafe for a deeper analysis of our stock portfolio. Stockscafe is built locally in Singapore by an investor, and thus the product has a deep understanding of what retail investors are looking for.
Stockscafe shows you your performance in relative to the index, your portfolio’s beta, projected dividend yields, and a tonne of other useful features!
You can also follow other investor’s portfolio and see what they are buying when they update their portfolio. We think this is a great product and we subscribed for a premium membership just to keep the product running.
To be honest, Stockscafe is a luxury product, and will probably only be useful if you are actively checking to optimise your portfolio, and have more than 15 stocks.
If you are interested to sign up, you can use my referral code “mrbudget“.
To follow news related to US stocks, we read articles and analysts reports on Seeking Alpha, which you can use for your stock tracking too. However, it doesn’t show you your P&L on your stock positions.
Seeking Alpha is a great source of analysis where you can read what other analysts have to say about the different US stocks
Of course, almost everyone serious in tracking their financials will have their own version of a spreadsheet. We too have our own spreadsheet, which we tweaked over the past few years.
In our spreadsheet, we have the following tabs:
- Summary sheet on all our assets along with their account numbers and values
- Balance sheet where we list our assets and their monthly values (cash, CPF, stocks, liabilities)
- Investment sheet where we track our stocks share prices
- Cash flow sheet where we track our monthly expenditures
- Credit card sheet where we track our monthly cash backs and our miles accumulated
We also have other sheets over the years on housing renovation, portfolio projection, wedding expenditure tracking which are all one off event based finance tracking.
There are also a lot of free financial spreadsheet templates shared by other writers and you can google it up too.
So yes there you have it! These are the various tools we use to manage our finances. And all of them are free (other than the stock brokers which charges you a trading fee)!
SG Stocks: DBS Vickers (switching soon)
US Stocks: Saxo (switching soon)
Stock monitoring: Yahoo Finance
Indepth stock monitoring: Stocks Cafe
US stock news: Seeking Alpha
Expenses Tracking: Spendee
Overall Personal Finance: Personalized Google Spreadsheet
Which are the apps you are using? Happy to check them out too!
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