Resolved: Long-standing XIRR bug in freefincal MF and Stock Portfolio Tracker

Published: July 11, 2023 at 6:00 am

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 at 11:50 am

We are happy to announce a long-standing bug in the Freefincal Google Sheets Mutual Fund, and Stock Tracker has been resolved. This bug is not a formula or coding error on the sheet but due to an inherent deficiency in Google Sheets.

The latest versions of the trackers have been updated with this resolution. Existing tracker users (more than 1000) have been intimated with detailed steps to update their sheets. Anyone who has missed the intimation can use this sheet and follow the steps mentioned.

The problem: The tool can accommodate nearly 3000 transactions for XIRR calculation. The XIRR is computed for the overall portfolio, asset class, and mutual fund or stock.

So if a single mutual fund has 100 entries, then the XIRR calculation for that fund will have thousands of cells with zeros. This is, in principle, not a problem, as the XIRR subroutine can handle it.


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For some reason, it fails to compute when the number of transactions becomes just a handful. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not. This is not an error from our side. This is how the XIRR subroutine works.

This was a problem for many users for just one mutual fund they purchased recently. We finally managed to sort this out.

The solution:

The usual XIRR formula is like this

=xirr(AL41:AL1042,AM41:AM1042,-0.1)

Column AL represents values and AM dates. There are 1000 entries in each column. The -0.1 is a guess value useful if the return is negative. We modified this to

=XIRR(FILTER(AL41:AL1042,AL41:AL1042<>0),FILTER(AM41:AM1042,AL41:AL1042<>0),-0.1)

The Filter function retrieves only non-zero values in both columns to compute XIRR. This is not a guarantee the XIRR would compute, but it at least eliminates the empty cell error. Also, users must realise that XIRR makes sense only when the investment is at least one year old or if most systematic investments are over a year old.

Key features of the freefincal mutual fund and stock tracker:

  1. A private, all-in-one-place tracker that is independent of our computers.
  2. Fast and functionally superior to our previous Excel-based trackers.
  3. Completely open-source with no hidden formulae. It can be customized at will.
  4. Easy to share with our life partners as part of our continuity kits. See: How to help our life partner manage money in our absence.
  5. Updated with current NAV on opening the sheet.
  6. New SIP transactions will be automatically available (see screenshots and instructions below). If you have multiple SIPs, this sheet can be duplicated to maintain separate records.
  7. Total equity and debt fund value can be plotted automatically on a daily/weekly/monthly basis (no need to keep the sheet browser tab open!)
  8. Overall portfolio annualized return (equity + debt), overall equity and debt annualized returns available.
  9. A basic goal-analysis sheet for ballpark estimation of financial goal progress. The current investment value is auto-updated for revised estimates.
  10. Quickly find the NAV for any fund since 3rd April 2005 to enter lump sum transactions.
  11. The sheet comes with two financial goal dashboards: one for retirement and one for children’s future. It can be duplicated or customised for other goals.
  12. Those with a unified portfolio (same investments for multiple goals) can use the sheet.
  13. Two variants are available: One for mutual funds and another for mutual funds and stocks. The previously published stock tracker is integrated with this sheet. It gives the annualised return of individual stocks and of the overall portfolio after taking into account all corporate actions like dividends, splits etc., accurately as per SEBI norms avoiding the mistakes made by many stock portfolio trackers.
  14. All future bug updates and version updates will be made available to users. To ensure you receive these updates, add this email address to your contact list: pattu {AT} freefincal {DOT} com.
  15. Affordable! The MF tracker costs only Rs. 500. The Mutual fund and Stock Tracker Costs only Rs. 800. This is a one-time purchase.
  16. NEW! An add-on module for plotting and comparing your mutual fund portfolio with a benchmark since inception is now available! This module only costs Rs. 200 extra! This is also a one-time purchase.
  17. We are open to feature suggestions if they would help many users.
  18. 100% skin in the game: we will use this sheet to track all our mutual fund and stock investments. For examples, see: Portfolio Audit 2022: The annual review of my goal-based investments and My Stock Portfolio Analysis: May 2023
  19. For support and feedback contact: freefincal {AT} Gmail {Dot} Com
  20. Get this sheet for free! => A new tool to compare five MF portfolios & find overlapping stocks

Screenshots

(1) Retirement dashboard  (click to view zoom-out images)

Retirement dashboard screenshot of Freefincal MF and Stock Portfolio Tracker
Retirement dashboard screenshot of Freefincal MF and Stock Portfolio Tracker
  • Each investment in a fund needs to be identified by a unique nickname
  • Two folios held in the same fund must be given different nicknames.
  • Each fund’s AMFI Code (black arrow above) must be entered. See the video on how to do this. Instructions are also available in the sheet.
  • The blue arrow shows the equity portfolio’s overall XIRR (annualised return).

SIP Transactions

The screenshot below shows the SIP transactions page. All transitions will be auto-generated once you enter the SIP details, along with the fund nickname and AMFI code.

SIP Transactions page in the Freefincal MF and Stock Portfolio Tracker

SIP Transactions page in the Freefincal MF and Stock Portfolio TrackerThese transactions should be copied to the particular goal sheet: Retirement or Child etc.

The SIP transaction will be auto-updated in this sheet from the next month. There will be a message in “red” (see screenshot) on the SIP and the retirement page. Only the new transaction needs to be copied into the retirement page.

In the case of multiple SIPs, you can duplicate the SIP page to track each simultaneously and link each SIP with the corresponding goal.

Find NAV Sheet

You can use this sheet to find the NAV for any dates on or after 3rd April 2006 for lump sum investments or redemptions.

Screenshot of Find NAV Page in the Freefincal MF and Stock Portfolio Tracker
Screenshot of Find NAV Page in the Freefincal MF and Stock Portfolio Tracker

Goal Analysis Sheet

A basic goal progress analysis sheet is included. It has many simplistic assumptions, and the results should only be treated as a ballpark estimate. We recommend using our robo-advisory tool for accurate analysis. See: How to use the freefincal robo advisory tool to track the progress of our financial goals.

Goal Analysis Sheet
Goal Analysis Sheet

Portfolio Chart Update

MF portfolio Value Chart
MF portfolio Value Chart

MF portfolio Value Chart in the Freefincal MF and Stock Portfolio Tracker. A simple trigger can be set up to update the overall equity and debt portfolio values daily, weekly, or monthly.

The user needs to set up this trigger. It will only take a few seconds. See screenshots in the trigger section below and also see the video. Please follow these simple instructions to set up the trigger within 30 seconds!

Video guides

Mutual Fund Portfolio Tracking

How to benchmark your mutual fund portfolio

Stock Portfolio Tracking

Portfolio Visualisation (add-on module)

This shows the evolution of my son’s future portfolio compared with Nifty 50 TRI. For fund details, see: Lessons from investing for my son’s future for the last 12+ years

Since inception mutual fund portfolio for my son's future compared with Nifty 50 TRI
Since its inception, the mutual fund portfolio for my son’s future compared with Nifty 50 TRI.

Please follow the video on how to set up the portfolio visualization module.

NOTE: You can buy sheets with this module already set up and ready for use (options A and C below). Then You only need to see how to set up the triggers in this video.

Get the freefincal mutual fund and stock tracker!

After purchase, you will be directed to make a copy of the Google Sheet. Please make a copy and then proceed entering transactions.

(A) Mutual Fund tracking + Stock tracking + Portfolio visualisation for mutual funds: Click to pay Rs. 1000 and get the freefincal mutual fund and stock tracker with portfolio visualization for MFs

(B) Mutual Fund tracking + Stock tracking:  Click to pay Rs. 800 and get the freefincal mutual fund and stock tracker

(C) Mutual Fund tracking + Portfolio visualisation: Click to pay Rs. 700 and get the freefincal mutual fund tracker

(D) Mutual Fund tracking: Click to pay Rs. 500 and get the freefincal mutual fund tracker

(E) Already have the MF tracker or MF+ stock tracker? Get the Mutual fund portfolio visualization module (add on for Google sheets tracker) for Rs. 200 only (one-time purchase)

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Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over ten years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter(X), Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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