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Friday, January 13, 2017

More Consolidation

Last year I decided to consolidate several portfolios into DivGro, my portfolio of dividend growth stocks. My goal was to manage all holdings as if they were part of a single portfolio. I did not actually transfer stocks between accounts and brokerages. Instead, I just added a column to my portfolio tracking spreadsheet to identify the host account.

If you visit my Portfolio page, you'll see a composite view of several accounts (though its is not apparent!). In fact, some stocks are even split across different brokerages. For example, I own shares of Target Corporation (TGT) in a so-called JTWROS account at FolioInvesting and in a trust account at Scottrade.

Having a single view of my DivGro portfolio regardless of the account or brokerage that hosts the individual stocks, simplifies things for me. I don't have to update (or manage) multiple portfolios.

For those who are curious how I do this, I track my DivGro portfolio using a Google Sheets spreadsheet. I have one sheet for data entry and a second sheet that is automatically generated from the first. It is the automatically generated sheet that you see on my portfolio page:

data sheet
portfolio (auto-generated)

The ability to auto-generate a composite view of my portfolio has another advantage. I can easily add new accounts, combine accounts, or otherwise shift things around.

As mentioned in my latest monthly review, I'm busy transferring my Scottrade account to Interactive Brokers where commission rates are more favorable for options trading. I'm also planning to transfer stocks from FolioInvesting to Interactive Brokers so I can sell covered calls on those stocks. Currently, FolioInvesting does not offer an options trading platform.

Additionally, I'm taking the following steps to consolidate IRA's that my wife and I own:
  1. Combine two of my IRA's at FolioInvesting into a single IRA (DivGro-IRA-Ft)
  2. Transfer my IRA from Wells Fargo and combine it with DivGro-IRA-Ft
  3. Manage my wife's IRA at FolioInvesting as part of DivGro (DivGro-IRA-Rt)
  4. Transfer my wife's traditional IRA from Wells Fargo and combine it with DivGro-IRA-Rt
  5. Transfer my wife's Roth IRA from Wells Fargo and manage it as part of DivGro (DivGro-IRA-Rr)
When completed, DivGro will be distributed over five different accounts, one trust account at Interactive Brokers and four IRA's (a traditional and a Roth IRA for me, and a traditional and Roth IRA for my wife) at FolioInvesting.

As I take these consolidation steps, I'll be "transferring" stocks and cash into DivGro and recognize past dividend income, just like I did at the beginning of last year when I brought my Scottrade holdings into the DivGro fold. 

These accounts contain some stocks and funds that I don't think belong in DivGro. I'll be selling those positions and transfer the cash instead. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Very nice portfolio there. Dividend growth shares are a fantastic way to increase income without really having to do anything. All the best for 2017

    1. All the best to you, too, for 2017! Thanks for visiting and commenting. I hope you have a great year of investing in dividend growth stocks and building up your portfolio!

  2. That's a heck of a lot of work. But it's the best type of work. It's work that shows you how much you've put into it up to this point. Not bad at all, DivGro :). Long time follower.

    1. Yes, there is much work yet to be done! Transferring accounts between brokerages seem to be somewhat less painful than I thought. I got word yesterday that I can start trading at Interactive Brokers, which is great news! Take care!

  3. I would love to create a spreadsheet like yours for my own portfolio. Can you share the spreadsheet?

    Thanks for your hard work!

    1. Several people have asked in the past few months, so I'm planning on writing a "how to" article and sharing a version of my spreadsheet soon.

      Take care!

  4. I look forward to the how to post on your spreadsheet. I currently use the one Scott created over at Two Investing. I like having all of my accounts in one spreadsheet. It makes it easy to quickly see how things are doing.

    Nice job switching to Interactive Brokers. I just moved all of my stocks over there last week. I did this mostly for their low options fees, but a nice plus is that their stock trading fees are low too.

    1. Scott's spreadsheet is great! Mine is less automated than Scott's, but it works fine for my purpose. I'm still thinking about exactly how to present what I have. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to present a "complete" solution with reports, charts and the like automatically generated.

      IB's trading platform takes a bit getting used to, but I really appreciate the lower trading fees!

  5. Hi FerdiS,

    Congrats on consolidating your accounts, it'll definitely help with managing your investments.
    I like your transaction spreadsheet format. I rely on Quicken for keeping track of the buy / sell transactions, although I reconcile everything at the end of the month to my finance spreadsheet.

    Best wishes,

    1. Thanks, Dividend Life -- the process is still in progress, but I'm looking forward to getting through this "admin" work. Quicken is a good solution to track things, but, as you point out, there's some work involved in reconciling things regularly. I like the immediacy of having my blog display specific sheets from Google Sheets, with googlefinance() functions showing e.g. the current price of a stock.

      Take care

  6. Seems like everyone is transferring over to IB. And I can see why...very highly reviewed and great pricing. I'm opening a tastyworks account for much the same reason. $1/contract and no closing fees. Reducing fees seems to be the motto for 2017 so far! Hope 2017 goes well for you and your family.


    1. Thanks for sharing, Scott. I just checked out tastyworks -- looks great and I really like the idea of no closing fees! For now, they won't work for me. I need a trust account and they're not offering that, yet.

      All the best to you and yours for 2017, too!


  7. Interactive Brokers is hands down the best broker for options trading. (optionshouse is second). Curious why you are leaving Wells Fargo? I have an account there still because I get 100 free equity trades a year. I populate that with closed end funds and things with no options as the options rate is punitive. But for straight equity, I can't beat *Free.

    * Free is actually 2 to 3 cents a trade (flat) as Wells passes on regulatory fees.

    Also, I am not a robot.

    1. The main reason is to keep a closer eye on my IRA investments... at Wells Fargo they atrophied a bit. But I'm also unwinding my involvement with Wells Fargo (16 year customer) because I want to move to another bank due to their handling of the accounting scandal.

      No, you're a velociraptor :-)


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