Sunday, February 12, 2006

How to "watch" your money

Your computer can help you track your investments, monitor spending and control paperwork too. How?

1. Get online reports from banks and brokers. Cut & paste the information from web screens into Excel for further analysis.

2. Download bank and brokerage statments directly into Microsoft Money, Quicken, or QuickBooks.

3. Build an online portfolio at your broker or at to track your investment progress month-to-month. Request they stop the monthly cycle of paper statements, and just switch to receiving them every six months. I don't know if all brokers do this, but Edward Jones is one who does.

4. Start your web browsing sessions with a home page customized to show your stock and mutual funds value. You can do this from just about any home page: Fidelity, Google, Morningstar, SBC, Yahoo, and more.

So, don't just file those paper statements away--- put the information in the computer, receive live web updates, and know where your money is and how it's growing.