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How to Automate Your Portfolio

April 17, 2014 | About:
Ross Givens

Ross Givens

38 followers

Advances in technology have no doubt made our day-to-day lives easier. Cell phone calendar alerts replace sticky notes, email scans flight information and alerts users when schedules change… there’s even a programmable coffee maker that lets you wake up to the smell of Folgers.

So why not put this available automation to good use in our investment portfolio?

GuruFocus recently launched a feature that will do just that. Inside the My Portfolios section of the site is a fully customizable alert system that allows users to be automatically notified of any pre-defined price or fundamental metric target. This allows investors to not only be notified when it is time to sell, but also to be alerted when your wish list stocks fall into value parameters.

Let me give you an example…

Let’s say that you have set up a User Portfolio for your current holdings so that you can more easily track what you have across multiple retirement accounts. Back in February, you went long Kroger at $35 a share and made a note of your $45 intrinsic value estimation (notes is another feature of the User Portfolio). Instead of entering a sell limit order with your broker, you instead prefer to re-evaluate the stock once your initial target is hit.

The far right heading at the top of your portfolio is "Email Alerts." Clicking this brings you to a user-friendly alert page where you can set parameters you want to be made aware of. In the case of Kroger, you set up a Price Target for when the price rises above $45. When triggered, you will be notified via email so that you can revisit your investment and revalue the stock to decide whether or not you wish to sell.

Another valuable use for Email Alerts is keeping track of your “wishlist.” I maintain a Wishlist portfolio of stocks that I would like to own. The email notifications alert me if any of these stocks fall to the prices I am willing to pay.

There are also Customized Alerts with which you can be notified of stocks reaching any number of fundamental, valuation, growth or quality metrics.

Maybe you want to add a whole basket of stocks and be alerted when any of them fall below book value. You might be watching a turnaround opportunity and wish to know when revenue growth begins to increase. Or maybe you like penny stocks and want to be alerted when shares rise or fall more than 10% in a single week. The possibilities are endless.

And best of all, they don’t expire.

How many times have you researched a company but decided to pass on it, only to see it quadruple in value a few years later? Setting up specific alerts will keep you in the loop and prevent your homework from being wasted. Now you will be reminded when a previously researched stock falls in line with your investment approach — no more trying to remember what that small cap was you were looking into last Christmas.

If you have not yet experimented with the User Portfolios and Email Alert features I encourage you to give them a try. While it won’t place the orders for you (what’s the fun in that?) it will keep you in the know on both current and potential holdings. The more stocks you own or watch, the more value you will get from this easy-to-use tool.

And if you are researching a new investment approach, the "My Portfolios" section will allow you to build and track an unlimited number of virtual portfolios. You can test your skills on paper before putting live money to your new strategy.

These valuable tools will serve as a memory bank for your due diligence. We hope they help you in your quest to beating the market.

The complete User Portfolio / Email Alert tutorial can be found here: http://www.gurufocus.com/tutorials.php#&id=255704

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes)

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Comments

batbeer2
Batbeer2 premium member - 3 months ago

>> These valuable tools will serve as a memory bank for your due diligence. We hope they help you in your quest to beating the market.

Thanks, your article is both helpful and IMHO well written. One thing that could be better for the virtual portfolios is the ability to track stocks even when the ticker changes.

For a ticker like WPO (now GHC), a virtual portfolio loses track of the stock when the ticker changes. You can see this happening in my own, public, portfolios (like conservative investmants IX).

Maybe it's better to use the cusip number or something as the underlying index. Then if the ticker changes, the portfolio keeps tracking the stock. It's going to happen soon with Nam Tai. The ticker is now "NTE" but it will soon be "NTP".

fekafiemd
Fekafiemd premium member - 3 months ago

What an incredible addition to Gurufocus. I have been using alerts for many years (successfully), but they where all related to price and not value. Once again Gurufocus levels the playing field for the small investor! Thank you.

Mobilex1
Mobilex1 - 2 months ago

I wanted to know of "Intrinsic Value" is one of the alert indicators?

rossgivens
Rossgivens premium member - 2 months ago

Mobilex1, "intrinsic value" means different things to different investors. The virtual portfolio was designed so that users can establish their own estimate of intrinsic value and then set up an alert when that price is hit.

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