February is upon us, which generally means two things — it’s cold outside, and final December data has finally arrived. On top of a few extra numbers, however, I’ve been particularly busy the last few weeks and have a flurry of site updates to keep you warm. So pour a cup of coffee and settle in for a comfy day.
- All 2021 numbers are now final including that pesky inflation number. So be sure to check out how your favorite portfolio performed last year.
- The biggest change that you’ll immediately notice is that the charts interface has been updated to make it much simpler and more intuitive. Virtually all of the same data is still there, but I trimmed it down to only present what most people will need without overwhelming you with excess options. Most notably, the new section below the home country will always show the stocks, bonds, and cash for that home country. All of the major markets remain available no matter where you live.
- Individual country bonds (with the exception of the USA) have been renamed from IT to 10Y. The data is still the same, but the name more accurately describes the underlying source material. 10-year bonds generally fall somewhere between intermediate and long in terms of average maturity and can be a decent substitute for either. The recommended funds are not single-maturity, but their weighted average maturities are close to 10 years.
- USA-10Y has been added as an option, while EUR-BIL has been removed. If you live in Europe and want to model cash, use the BIL option for your home country. All EMU countries have the same nominal numbers since 1999.
- I updated a few Fund Finder recommendations and corrected a bug that occasionally displayed incorrect asset notes.
- The Heat Map received a bit of an overhaul. You can now see the return percentages in every cell, and there’s also a new adjustable column on the right to allow you to browse timeframes that are off the chart.
- Many of the chart-level settings include new number formatting that abbreviate any entry to thousands or millions. You still enter the numbers exactly as you did before and your precise entry is used for the calculations, but the new interface is a bit cleaner in terms of presentation. For example, look at the settings in the Savings Rates chart.
- The main interface now accurately shows negative signs. While I generally recommend that you avoid leverage unless you really know what you’re doing, I’m aware that some users like to use negative cash to model the costs of margin in a leveraged portfolio.
- The calculators should now be much more mobile-friendly! So if you’ve ever tried to model a portfolio on a mobile device and grown frustrated with the data entry, give it another try. One remaining irritating quirk is that using pinch-zoom can crash the page on some devices, but if you instead increase the font size by using landscape mode it should work fine. I’m still investigating fixes for that, but didn’t want to let it hold up the other updates.
After collecting a bit of user feedback on all of the changes, I also tweaked a few more items:
- I switched the long-term and intermediate bonds back to their pre-update positions (and updated the above images), as that seems a lot more intuitive in terms of the spectrum of bond maturities.
- Some numbers in the Heat Map have been darkened to improve legibility.
- I fixed a bug that caused a few charts to occasionally not load correctly.
It’s funny how a few small planned improvements can quickly expand into a long list once you get started. Of course, with that many changes there are bound to be a few mistakes. So if you see something strange, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Stay warm, enjoy the new features, and happy portfolio hunting!
Coffee is best enjoyed with friends.