When dealing with thousands upon thousands of dollars in different mediums, it’s vital to have the right kind of computer software to keep records, create reports, track finances and project future trends. Computer software is rarely, if ever, a one-size-fits-all, which is why investors must meticulously do their homework before settling on a portfolio management system.
Choose The Right Fit
Being of a highly specific and specialized nature, most portfolio management software overlaps, but there are differences of which investors need to be keenly aware. Naturally, you get what you pay for, but you must be careful not to spend top dollar on a software that is best suited for one form of investing, but mostly inapplicable for yours. Some, for example, do not handle annuities. Others do not report on tax adjusted returns, even if the software is the most expensive one on the market. An investor needs to know this before making a purchase.
Investors and financial advisors are given the option of demoing trial versions of the portfolio management software they want to try for a limited time, allowing them to see if a particular program is best suited for their needs (such as IT governance, for example) and abilities.
Securities are critical in portfolio management and investment planning, and any system worth its salt will not only handle current investments, but also track and project future investments. Investors must choose a program that allows for a wide specification of asset types. The more data the program has, the better it can predict future gains, trends and losses. To be able to do that, the program must be able to handle all the data it is fed, and this makes the difference between an acceptable portfolio management system, and an unacceptable one. Different investors and industries have different requirements, so some management solutions might be too small. Others might be unnecessarily all-encompassing, and difficult & frustrating to navigate. Bigger is not always better.
Reporting is probably the most key element of many portfolio management system. How else can an investor analyze his investments, draw conclusions and make presentations to clients and customers? Investors must ensure that the software they choose offers the precise kinds of reports they want, as well as offering additional reporting options that may not be the investor’s first choice (but are good, useful and informative to have as supplementary appendices). A good portfolio report will present everything the investor needs to see at a glance, without overwhelming him or her (or clients & customers) with endless reams of figures and data. Necessary information would be securities, costs, units and present market value. Asset allocation and gains & loss data should also be given importance. A portfolio management system that includes these as basics in its reporting (with customization available, of course) is doing its job right.