Google Spreadsheet for tracking progress to financial freedom

Published: April 2, 2016 at 9:03 am

Last Updated on

Guhan Ramanan has developed a Google Spreadsheet to track our progress to financial freedom (retirement and four other financial goals). He has generously agreed to share it with us. Do ignore the opening sentence, though 🙂

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I always knew Pattu was super-smart – I recently learnt he is also very brave – he invited me to write again for his blog! 🙂

After my last post about my journey to financial freedom: A Force Awakens!, I began to think about how I could track where really was I was w.r.t to my financial goals. I mean, once you’ve gotten your investment plan in place, and promised yourself not to check markets as often as your email (yeah, right!) – how do you really know where you are?

So I decided to build a dashboard that links my financial freedom goals to my assets in a simple way and lets me keep track of it online. Yawn, one more financial dashboard? Spare me, you say? Oh well, let me show you what it looks like.

financial-freedom-dashboard-1

Interested?

As you can see, it’s very simple and direct– it tells you where you are % wise on your journey; also shows you each of your goals are doing on your path to financial freedom.

Here are 3 more reasons why I like it:

  1. Allows me to measure progress toward financial freedom as a visual function of goal achievement rather than just numbers.
  2. A market crash/bull run that changes asset value, can now be seen in correct perspective – translated into how it affects goals, rather than as an event by itself.
  3. Helps me see “big” picture clearly as that is what one needs to be focusing on to get to financial freedom

But wait, there is more! You can allocate every financial asset you own to goals in simple line by line format! Now, read that again – yes, you can do % asset allocation to each goal. For ex. You can say all the stock I own in Asian Paints, will contribute to Goal 1.

I hope I have your attention now! J

There are 4 main tabs:

financial-freedom-dashboard-2

#1 Dashboard:

  1. Fill in the current values of your goals, inflation %, and how years away. This will calculate the target corpus for the goal.

For retirement, use the Low Stress Retirement Calculator

financial-freedom-dashboard-3

The Investment Mapping Tab, is where the actual asset allocation happens. You can tie each Financial asset to a particular goal in any % allocation you choose.

In the example below: I’ve allocated 50% of Asian Paints to Retirement, 20% to Goal 1, 20% to Goal 2 and 10% to Goal 4 (nothing to Goal 3). Colgate-Palmolive is allocated 20% evenly across all goals.

financial-freedom-dashboard-4

Likewise for Mutual Funds + any other assets I own.

So, how do I enter what all I own?

Varies by asset class – I’ve explained for Equity and MF – which is where you should be putting your money if you are reading this blog! J For others, I’m sure you can extrapolate!

Equity:

This is easy. You just have to get the Stock code from Google Finance for the stock you are interested in and enter the quantity you own.

financial-freedom-dashboard-6

How to find your stock’s code in Google?

  1. Go to google.com/finance.
  2. Enter the stock name – wait for the drop down (see below)

financial-freedom-dashboard-73. Copy the stock code (in yellow) for BSE and if you want NSE prices, copy the first value (ASIANPAINT)

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4. Paste/Type value in Symbol column of the Investment data\

5. The Instrument column will auto-populate and should show you the name of the stock (sanity check to make sure your stock code is right)

Mutual Funds

Finding your MF’s Scheme Code

1, 2: Go into the Current_NAV tab, press Ctrl+F and find your Fund – Look closely and pick the exact one – Direct, Dividend, Growth etc.

financial-freedom-dashboard-8

3: And when you get the scheme code, copy it into Column C in the Investment Mapping Tab.

financial-freedom-dashboard-9

Getting your NAV:

All you have to do is click on MF Tools > Update NAV to get latest NAV values. It will auto update the last NAV known (from AMFI)

financial-freedom-dashboard-10

Other Assets

Real Estate: Things like Real Estate, Gold etc don’t really have an online place to get value reliably. So you can fill in investment value and the current value by yourself.

FDs: Most FDs will show you maturity value, so pick that up from the bank and put that in Current Value. If you want to get really fancy, you can write up a compound interest formula based on start, end dates, interest % and compounding frequency. It would have meant 3 more columns in my investment sheet – so didn’t do it!

Putting it all together in a chart to create the graph we are looking for!

financial-freedom-dashboard-1

While this dashboard tells you where you are, it does not tell you 2 things:

  1. It is not a returns calculator – when you want to see where you are, what % returns you got doesn’t really matter. When you see the car odometer to see distance travelled, avg. speed doesn’t really matter! Physics example, since its Pattu’s blog! J
  2. It does not factor the “time-to-goal” angle to goals in its visual representation. Frankly, it was getting too complicated to build! J

In simple terms, this dashboard helps you understand if your favourite MF falls 10%, and it is allocated 25% to a goal, then it has only a 2.5% impact on that goal. And if you have 5 goals in life, it basically means 0.5% (half-a-percent!) of your path to financial freedom is impacted.

Is 0.5% drop in your path to goal, worth getting worried and losing sleep over? Instead, if you can focus on how you get that 0.5 % back by investing more, or elsewhere, it will put you in a much better place!

Easier still, re-allocate to your goals as you need them, so it need not really affect a goal you care more for! It is a spreadsheet after all! And your spreadsheet at that How is that for perspective?

 

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Do thank me in thanking Guhan for sharing this spreadsheet with us. If you are comfortable with Google sheets, feel free to add features to this. I shall be happy to publish your work for the benefit of the DIY community. Sharing is learning!

Pranav Date has added as asset allocation graph to the above spreadsheet.

Get a copy of the Google spreadsheet portfolio tracker V 4 (Dec 25 2017)

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About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
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