A lot of folks on r/IndiaInvestments were impressed with how I track my net worth, passwords, MFs, stock portfolio and other assets. Hence, this inspired me to make this thread. Buckle up your seat belts, we are going to make your life easier :)
There is so much happening around in our lives which is not just important but critical as well. Tracking all of it is a pain these days where you have install multiple apps and yet risk your data with third party, hackers and intruders.
A solution I found was to use Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. So let me explain you what I do and how I do it. This post has three sections and I will add these sample files at the end of this post.
Setup a Protected Microsoft Excel synced with Cloud
I have this Microsoft excel created on my local machine where I track following content:
My original thoughts and ideas to success. Well, technically I am a thinker and I love philosophy so I often track my thoughts here.
Passwords. Let's agree to the fact that there are countless passwords we have to memorise where we are becoming intellectually lazy each days. This helps me track all of them in one place.
Official and Financial Ids. Passport, Aadhar, PAN, Bank accounts, PPF, Insurance, et cetera.
Net worth. Self explanatory? A summary of Investments and Portfolio (we will see this in detail further below).
Finance algorithms for trading and stuff (optional)
Bucket list and plans on achieving them. (optional)
Anything else you'd want to track.
Now let's see how to keep it secure.
Microsoft Office provides an inbuilt password protection feature for Office 2007–2013 employed 128-bit key AES and Office 2016 employed 256-bit key AES. (Source: Wikipedia).
That said, only attempt can be brute force. Which on a very powerful computer (10 Petaflops) could tale 3.4X10^38 years to test the possibilities.
Now we in this age of cloud, having a spreadsheet on local machine and being unable to access it anywhere, anytime would be dumb. So we, now, will setup the file for cross platform access over internet.
All you have to do is upload the file on Google Drive at a convenient location (for easy and quick access in the time of need basically). This way, all you have to do is login to Google via Phone or any other device, open the file and access your content WITHOUT having to download it on a random machine and risking to lose your critical data. Web based access, use on the go style.
Fun part is, Google opens the password protected file without having it to download and as the file is protected, even if your Google account is compromised, the intruder could not access the file. Double security.
Only hiccup is, you have to manually update your file every time on any single device (primarily to avoid multiple versions and confuse yourself). As the format is MS Excel, you cannot edit on Google Sheets (unless you create a Sheet version, which then you could not edit or even without with a browser or offline).
So solution for this is, install Google Drive client and whatever changes you make on Local will auto sync on Google Drive keeping your file and yourself always updated.
Through this approach we achieved, cross platform, highly secure and updated approach to keep a track of your entire life without giving away your data to third party and risking it. Never forget any password or worry about what your Aadhar card or Bank account number is. And even that 3 AM million dollar startup idea :)
Track your Portfolio with Google Sheet in Real Time
Now moving on to the next part of this post, we will track Stocks and Mutual Funds via Google Sheets.
Google provides a formula =GOOGLEFINANCE which has bunch of parameters which could help you track stocks and mutual funds in real time. And with some basic math functions, you can set up an entire dashboard to track all your investments.
You can find the list of supporting parameters here. Fascinating stuff, I must admit.
You can even track currencies and other international markets. Setup calculating algos and other formulas to help you predict and estimate when to buy and sell your investments.
Due to offline access of Tracker and online nature of GOOGLEFINANCE, sadly, we cannot merge them into one and have to settle with two different files. Yet, I think the manual effort of updating them once a month or every two weeks is absolutely worth it, given the trade off.
Now most importantly, update your nominee in all of your accounts and use this fantastic feature to hand over this important content to your family member(s) in case you collapse.
For your loved ones
Google provides yet another interesting feature of Inactive Account Manager where if there is no activity on your account for certain selected duration, Google will trigger emails and initiate text message to provided number with a message.
For example, in case there is no activity on my account for 2 months, I have setup a trigger which will notify my mother, sister and brother via text message and email. This email will inform them that they get access to my data (You can configure differently for each user).
And in the message, I have mentioned path, password and instruction to my tracker file and how to open it. So post my death, they can navigate and access my protected tracker without any hassle. This will help them gain access to my banks, investments, funds, etc. Help them with insurance details to claim the cash and everything else I decided to leave them with.
They will not have to struggle after I am gone. Just thinking practical can help a lot. Moreover, you can just mention password and path in the Inactive Account Manager and all other instructions encrypted safely in tracker.
Can be used offline.
You will have to upload this file to your Google Drive and open via Google Sheets to work because as I am uploading the downloaded version, which wouldn't support =GOOGLEFIANCE formula.
P.S.: I have used a lot of formulas so do check each cell for that before experimenting around so as not to lose any data.
If your Google account is compromised and the intruder is aware about this setup, then they can get access to your Personal Tracker file via Google's Inactive account manger (where you have stored your password for others after you are gone).