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Dividends Investing

My Dividend Tracker vs. Digrin

There are a few tools out there that allow you to manage and track your investment portfolio as well as earned dividends. My dividend tracker spreadsheet is but one example, using Google Sheets. But not everyone wants a spreadsheet to keep tabs on their investments, which is where a service like Digrin comes into play. I’m going to compare my tracker to Digrin.

My dividend tracker

Using Google Sheets, my dividend tracker is basic in the sense you don’t need to rely on a third-party service, but it’s powerful enough to manage and track all your stock transactions. You can also use it offline.

  • Free
  • Track all transactions
  • Diversification charts
  • Offline access
  • No stock screening
  • Manual dividend entry
  • No dividend calendar

Digrin

Digrin is perfect if you plan on using a website to track your investment portfolio. There is a free tier available, but you will need to pay for extended access, and there’s no offline support.

  • Free tier
  • Track all transactions
  • Stock screening
  • Dividend calendar
  • Diversification charts
  • Pay wall
  • No offline access

Website vs. spreadsheet

Looking at the pros and cons above, it’s clear to see that the highlight comparison between my dividend tracker and a service like Digrin is a website versus a spreadsheet. There’s only so much a Google Sheets (or Excel document) can achieve before needing external assistance.

There are Google Sheets out there that can pull in a dividend calendar, information on stocks, and some more advanced scripting that can emulate what Digrin and other services offer. I chose not to go down this path to keep everything simple. Entering data manually into the spreadsheet is a painless experience that takes but a few moments.

All the formulas utilize Google’s financial API, which is both free and capable, allowing the Google Sheet to automatically update stock data. But even this has its limits. Dividend estimations are based on manual entry of the most recent dividend payment, and you will need to keep track of payment dates externally.

Dividend Tracker
The transactions history tab from my dividend tracker.

Digrin takes the basics offered by a spreadsheet and turns it all up to 11. You won’t need to manually enter as much data, nor will you need to keep track of payment dates as Digrin will do everything for you. Like my dividend tracker, the website will show you historical values to see how your portfolio is performing.

If you don’t fancy paying for anything, the spreadsheet is the better option.

Where the website is able to really go that extra mile is with the per-stock screening, which is locked behind a paywall. This allows one to quickly glance at data for each stock in a way that simply cannot be replicated in a spreadsheet format.

But, this is where the spreadsheet comes out on top. Price. If you don’t fancy paying for anything, the spreadsheet is the better option. It’s also the same case for offline access. You can have the Google Sheets app on your phone have the spreadsheet ready for offline use, while websites will be a hit or miss in weak signal areas.

Digrin
A demo portfolio from the Digrin website.

Then there’s the case that the spreadsheet will be around forever since you make a copy of one of my templates. Digrin could (hopefully not) cease to exist at some point in the future.

Why not use both?

There’s a use case for both my dividend tracker and Digrin, but why just use one? If you have free time on your hands in the evening when looking around the stock market, it’s possible to use both to complement your portfolio.

Regardless of which you choose, you’re going to be able to track the performance of your portfolio.

By Rich Edmonds

Rich creates content for the top Windows-focused publication, but by night he tries to make his money work for him and rambles far too much here.

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