Last Wednesday I finally released the automated mutual fund and financial goal tracker. It took close to 4 months, 17 version changes, and 3 rounds of beta testing to bring it to a reasonably respectable shape.
This is the first time I sought help from readers to test a calculator before posting it. What a difference it made! Several readers took the trouble of not only extensively testing it with their own mutual fund holdings, they tested the file under different limits to check for errors and if suitable error messages were in place.
They sent me detailed descriptions of the issues involved with screenshots for me to understand. They feedback was so incisive that I nearly scuttled the project! But for them, I would have lost face and reputation if I had released the tracker on my own.
The least I can do to acknowledge their efforts and thank them is to list their contributions. So here goes. I have compiled this from memory and from my email records. Apologies if I have left out any name, it is inadvertent.
- Bharat Shah tested the tracker with several of his own holdings and pointed out errors in listing of returns when trying to create fund records. He probably spent the most time playing with the tracker!
- Syamanatak Pati spotted Excel VBA bugs, corrected them himself and found new ways to use the sheet. He also suggested several crucial improvements to the user interface. I had to restructure the entire summary page thanks to him! He was instrumental in insisting that the facility to add transactions to SIP holdings is a MUST. He is also behind the ‘consolidate’ sheet in the file.
- A Krishna Kishore tested the tracker for suitable error messages. A step as important as checking for correctness in fund value and units.
- Mohammad Idris Khilji tested the lump sum entry sheet and a ‘manual entry’ sheet (now removed). Implementing his feedback made a big difference to the way lump sum entries are currently structured.
- Pushkar Sapre tested the sheet with his dividend reinvestment holdings and pointed out other issues in the interface. He was kind enough to share with me details of his holdings so that I could check them later. His feedback also made a telling difference in the way the sheet handles dividends.
- Raghav Nagarajan a CFP, and founder Rupeevest noted errors in the SIP entry sheet. Thanks to him I was able to include a host of error messages.
- Vandhana Rajendran was quite forthright in her analysis calling the tool ‘cumbersome’ :(. I agree … to an extent! She also made useful observations about the summary page.
- Gururaj Rudagi, perhaps the first to start using the final version. He located a bug after I posted the final version (now corrected). Earlier he had sent detailed notes on his findings that gave me confidence about the tracker.
- Anand Gadiyar, suggested I include closed-ended funds and ability to handle NFOs in the SIP and lump sum entry sheets
- Dr.G.M.Ajit was instrumental in getting the capital gains calculator in shape insisting that I include LTCG with indexation.
- Raj Singh gave me confidence that things were in order.
- Sundaram Anathankrishanan could not test the file as he did not have the requisite Excel version (2007). However, I must acknowledge his eagerness and kind words of motivation.
- Thanks to the many others who took the file from me. Testing such a file requires time. I entirely understand if you could not find it for providing your feedback. It is never too late to let me know how you feel about the sheet!
Thank you very much.