How To Keep Records when Buying Stocks Online

There are several ways to keep records of your online stock sales and purchases.  The easiest and most convenient way is simply to use your broker's website.  Every online broker has a method for you to keep track of your account history and most offer ways for you to customize your user records.  Every time you make a transaction, whether it be a purchase, sale, or transfer of funds, it is recorded in your account.  These records are saved and able to be viewed whenever you wish.  If there is a particular format you would like use that is different from the default format used by your broker you can customize the information displayed in your records to better fit your needs.  If you want to keep paper records in addition to the electronic ones you can print out the relevant documents as well.

Another benefit of using your online broker to keep records of your stock purchases is the sophisticated tools that are increasingly becoming available to customers.  Not only have the tools offered become better, but most of them are free. Charts, graphs, and forecasting tools are just a few of the services that are provided online.  Investors can customize these tools and include them in their records to fit their needs.

In addition these services allows investors to customize the way they use their records to make decisions.  For example, if someone wanted to see their account history over a certain period of time versus the S & P 500 they could use a bar graph and observe the relative performance.  Another big advantage is that you can connect your other financial accounts, like a checking or savings account, to your broker.  This way you can have an idea of the status of all your records and not just your stocks.  A more informed and holistic view of your financial circumstances is always helpful.

Alternatively you can create a spreadsheet using a program like Google documents or Microsoft Excel.  First you would decide on the general format you would like to use.  Then you can enter the names of the stocks that you are involved in and all the relevant data that you would like to keep track of.  You would probably include amount of shares purchased, the dates on which transactions occurred, and the current share price of the stock, and any financial information that you want to be informed of.  On your own you could manually update this information as you see fit.  This method obviously involves more work but may offer you greater flexibility in customizing your records, particularly if you are using these records for advanced financial analysis requiring complicated formulas or multiple-step processes.


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