While the charts available on Portfolio Charts will always be free, it is impossible to account for every unique idea that creative investors may come up with. The downloadable Toolkit will help those looking to take the next step beyond the default asset options collect, convert, and analyze historical investment returns. With lots of built-in capabilities, it’s a professional-level analysis tool designed for DIY investors of all types.
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Table of Contents
- Things You Can Do
- How It Works
- Usage Examples
- Inputs & Outputs
- Using Excel
Things You Can Do
- Model the performance of your own specific country, funds, and portfolios.
- Automatically translate source data to total real returns in your local currency.
- Easily create composite asset histories from multiple sources.
- Generate informative charts for any asset allocation you can imagine.
- Create and save many different portfolios to effortlessly compare options.
Do you want to find the annual return percentages from stock growth data or calculate bond performance from interest rates? Just enter the basic data and the Toolkit will do all the hard work. Even if you’re not a spreadsheet person, it will help you collect data, build asset histories, construct portfolios, and create tons of detailed charts with ease.
How It Works
The Toolkit is an Excel spreadsheet that you can download and use either on your desktop or in the cloud. It displays the exact same charts that you find on the site, but instead of the traditional Portfolio Charts asset allocation interface it includes a full system for entering, translating, and mixing your own data. Basically, it’s the same tools I personally designed to manage Portfolio Charts. They’re just packaged in a convenient form that anyone can use.
Below is an embedded working version of the free sample spreadsheet. You can click on the different tabs at the bottom and tinker with each input to see how they work.
If the spreadsheet doesn’t load after a few seconds, refresh your browser.
▲ To see every sheet, click the < and > icons.
The sample spreadsheet is fully functional, and the difference between the sample and the full Toolkit is all about quantity of inputs and outputs.
If you’d like to explore the Toolkit in detail while saving your own settings, try downloading the free sample. It uses the full store purchasing process to let you see how it all works, but no payment info is required. And if you don’t already have the most recent version of Excel, be sure to also read the Using Excel section for help with getting set up with a free Microsoft account.
After tinkering with the different settings to see how they work together to model a portfolio, a good place to start with your own data is to chart the inflation-adjusted historical returns of your favorite stock or fund.
As an example, find the annual total returns for VWIAX and enter them in the “My Source” column on Sheet 4. VWIAX is a US fund tracking the US market, and the default My Source / Asset / Portfolio settings are all set to use US data and to reference that My Source column. So there’s no need to make any more tweaks. Just go to the Charts sheet and select My Portfolio from the dropdown.
Viola! You’ve just charted the historical returns for a portfolio of 100% VWIAX.
Once you get a hang of the basics, it’s time to explore the more advanced features. Try setting up Canada as a country by filling in the data on sheets 1, 2, and 3 (check the link and notes for tips on where to find that data). Mix a few different sources into a new asset, add that asset to a portfolio, and select Canada as the home country.
When it’s all set up, now you can translate any portfolio idea to Canadian currency and inflation.
Let’s say you’re good with Excel and want to calculate your own returns for a homegrown momentum trading strategy. Create a new sheet in the Toolkit, and run any calculations you like to determine the year-end annual returns of your strategy. Then go to sheet 4, create a new source called “Momentum 1”, and use a formula in the data entry fields to reference the annual returns you calculated on the other sheet.
You can now use your own calculations as a source to build an asset and mix your idea into a larger portfolio. The Toolkit is designed for maximum flexibility, and possibilities are limited only by good data sources and your own imagination.
Inputs & Outputs
The Toolkit contains 7 sheets to help you build all of the information needed to track all kinds of data and model complex portfolios.
Collect the exchange rates of up to 10 different countries. All exchange rates are measured relative to US dollars, and the Toolkit uses this information not only to convert data to a common currency but also to translate the final numbers to any currency.
Supported data formats: Local/USD, USD/Local. You should see this clearly called out by any exchange rate source.
Collect the inflation rates of up to 10 different countries, or even different inflation measures for the same country. These are used to determine the real returns for any portfolio after inflation.
Supported data formats: Percent, Index Value. Percent is the annual inflation rate in percentage form. Index value is a common thing you may find in sources that include a line chart tracking CPI growth over time. For example, 100, 120, 150, etc. The Toolkit is able to translate index values into percent changes.
Create up to 10 country profiles tracking local purchasing power. Both exchange rates and inflation are easily selected from sheets 1 and 2, and multiple currencies can be combined to model currency switches such as the change to the Euro. For example, if you live in Italy you’ll want to backfill data using Lira before the Euro existed.
Document up to 100 different data sources for the annual returns of any stock, bond, real asset, or other investment. If you can find data somewhere, you can use it to model a portfolio. Returns can be converted from any currency (using a country profile you build from exchange rates), and it also credits back the expense ratio for index funds to study the underlying index.
Supported data formats: Percent, Index Value, and Interest Rate. Percent is the annual return measured at the end of the year. Index value helps you convert source growth data to percentages. And interest rate allows you to model the total return of a fixed-maturity bond using the year-end interest rates.
Create up to 30 unique asset histories from multiple sources. Each asset can be easily compiled from up to 4 sources to fill in data gaps, and you can set an alternate replacement asset when no good source data is available. Any replacement asset is run through error-checking calculations and will trigger the “estimated” label on any chart where the error is high. You can also specify an expense ratio for each asset to calculate the weighted ER for any portfolio. The market and asset type controls the portfolio color settings in the Charts.
Create and save up to 30 portfolios from any combination of assets. Selecting the home country translates all numbers to local currency and inflation.
Select any portfolio and instantly create a full set of Portfolio Charts. It’s exactly like you see on the site in the My Portfolio tool or Portfolios pages with every chart (except the fund Funder) on a single sheet. The only difference is that you have full control over the data!
- Requires the most recent Microsoft Excel — The Toolkit is created in Excel, and it may not work properly in other spreadsheet programs. To use it online, just sign up for a completely free Microsoft Office account and upload the spreadsheet to OneDrive. And if you want to use it on a desktop, Microsoft 365 is required. Older standalone versions of Excel may not recognize some of the newer charts and functions. See the Using Excel section for more info.
- Source data NOT included — You can model anything you want, but you’ll have to supply your own data. For a list of free sources for personal use, read the Data Sources page.
The spreadsheets are created in the latest version of Microsoft Excel. The way you open them depends on your current Excel version.
If you have Microsoft 365
You’re all set! Just open the file and start experimenting.
If you have an old version of Excel
While your downloaded spreadsheet may open and look fine at first glance, the calculations use modern charts and functions that may not be available in your Excel version. The result may be limited functionality or strange chart behaviors. You have two choices:
- Sign up for a Microsoft 365 subscription to always have the latest version of Excel.
- Consult the instructions below to use the Toolkit online with a free Microsoft account.
If you don’t have Excel
No worries. There’s a free way to use the spreadsheets online.
- Open your favorite web browser and go to the page for Free Microsoft 365 Online. Microsoft makes it tricky to find, but you can follow the link or enter those search terms into your favorite search engine.
2. Sign up for a free account. The home page will look something like this when you login.
3. Click the OneDrive icon on the left side of the page. While Excel is the app that will open the file, OneDrive is where it will be stored. In this image, I created a folder called OneDrive Example where I’ll be saving our downloaded spreadsheet.
4. Drag the file to the browser window and it will upload to the cloud.
5. Finally, click on the spreadsheet icon to open it. Viola! It’s fully functional in your browser window.
Where can I find free data to model?
Check out the Data Sources for lots of public options for personal use.
Will I need to buy a new spreadsheet every year?
No! They’re designed to be future-proof through 2029, so all charts will continue to be useful year after year. Just add more data as it becomes available.
Do I get access to future spreadsheet updates?
Major revisions with completely new functionality may require an additional purchase, but minor changes and bug fixes are free. So if you receive an email in the future notifying you of a new download, it’s not a mistake! It’s just a new update.
Can I make an exchange or get a refund?
All sales are managed by Fourthwall and are subject to their return policies.
What changed in the latest Toolkit version?
23V1 – Initial release.
23V2 – Corrected formatting issues and a few small bugs.
23V3 – Fixed a bug that affected the portfolio display colors when viewed on Microsoft OneDrive.
Sophisticated data analysis for everyday people
If you’ve ever wanted to study your own portfolio data but are not sure where to start, the Toolkit is just the thing you’ve been looking for. Give it a try!