DOUG MORRIS | From Sharesight

· Podcast Episodes
Getting your investments on Track: A Beginner's guide to portfolio tracking. Doug Morris CEO of Sharesight Portfolio Tracking

Doug Morris is the CEO of Sharesight, a portfolio tracking tool that began as a father-son project in New Zealand. It has grown into a global enterprise with a team of 50. Doug shares the origins of Sharesight and provides insights into the most popular US trades, highlighting the tech companies' dominance. He also shares a fascinating statistic: the top 10 companies make up a third of the S&P 500's market cap, but account for 96% of the return.

We explore the importance of benchmarking and how it can help you understand how your money is working for you. Doug explains how Sharesight shows annualized returns net of fees, offering an apples-to-apples comparison to your chosed benchmark. Users can monitor and customize the asset class breakdown of their investments, while automatically tracking dividends and portfolio performance.

We also talk about the power of Sharesight in studying the past performance of companies that we're considering for our portfolios.

You can go back in time 20 odd years, depending on the stock market that you're talking about. It does give you the opportunity to create a portfolio.
That's almost a model portfolio or a "what if" portfolio. Yeah, you can indeed go back in time and see how you would have done as an investor had you chosen that path. But, more importantly too, you can go back and recreate your own performance as an investor through time as well.


00:00:20 - Understanding Annual Reports for Investment Decision (41 Seconds)
00:08:25 - Understanding ETFs and Portfolio Overlaps (82 Seconds)
00:13:33 - Understanding Sharesight's Investment Reporting (76 Seconds)
00:22:22 - Investing Tips for Disney Plus Focus (32 Seconds)
00:25:23 - Analyzing Historical Performance With Sharesight (40 Seconds)


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Sharesight automatically track price, performance and dividends from 240,000+ global stocks, crypto, ETFs and funds. Add cash accounts and property to get the full picture of your portfolio – all in one place.Chloe (1s):

Stocks for Beginners, Phil Muscatello and Fin Pods are authorized reps of Money Sherpa The Information in this podcast is general in nature and doesn't take into account your personal situation.

Doug (12s):

But the other one would be investing in something that You know. The first best step is probably to have a look at their annual reports. It sounds really boring, but some of those reports make for a really good read. So if you pick an industry You, know the company you work at even, or a company you have worked at or in an adjacent You know kind of field, that report should make a lot of sense to you because they have to disclose their financials. There's a lot of boring You know accounting speak in there. And there's You know, obviously there's the revenue numbers and the cash flow numbers, the balance sheet, but they're also marketing documents and the CEO or the chairman or whomever will write a whole bunch of stuff about the company and what they're up to. And the best companies tend to be very transparent in terms of what they're doing and they tell really good stories. And you can learn a heck of a lot from reading the annual reports of listed companies to help You know inform your investment decision.

Doug (59s):

And it'll make more sense to you if You know what you're kind of reading basically.

Phil (1m 2s):

Hi, and welcome back to Stocks for Beginners. I'm m Phil. Muscatello. How can tracking your portfolio make you a better investor? What is benchmarking and how does it help you keep score? Although it's not a game, is it Doug?

Doug (1m 14s):

No, no, certainly

Phil (1m 15s):

Not. I'm joined today by Doug Morris, CEO of Sharesight portfolio tracking tool. Hi Doug.

Doug (1m 21s):

Hi Phil. Thanks for having me.

Phil (1m 22s):

So how is Sharesight traveling? But I just realized when I wrote this question, wish it to get a little bit of a history of Sharesight as well. Sure, yeah,

Doug (1m 29s):

Yeah, absolutely. So we've been around, we're I, I still consider us a startup, but we're an old startup. We've been around for about 10 years. We were originally founded by a father and son over in New Zealand of all places. So we came from a very small place to a somewhat larger place in Australia, and now we're kind of available to the world. But essentially that the, the origin story is that the father worked in financial services, was an active share market investor himself, and the son had a software background and so the father was struggling to track his portfolio. It, it sounds like such an obvious thing, but there really is a lack of solutions out there to do proper portfolio tracking for the self-directed investor. And the dad was You know doing all this stuff at a spreadsheet. He had all these plugins for share prices and, and currency movements and things like that.

Doug (2m 13s):

And, and the son said, look, I think I can build you something and I think we can do this in the browser i e in the cloud. Which at the time was actually pretty rare given the kind of gruntiness behind some of the calculations that

Phil (2m 24s):

When, when was this?

Doug (2m 24s):

This was way back in 2008 when they started the business. So then we kind of grew organically from there and, and eventually came over to Australia and that's kind of when we really ramped up our growth and our team size and things like that.

Phil (2m 35s):

Yep. And Sharesight Now, what's it looking like? How does it look now as compared to that You know I, I guess bodgied up Sure. Spreadsheet. Yeah. Converted to the cloud.

Doug (2m 44s):

It's come a long way. So the first version of Sharesight, we often share that internally. You know we go in the, in the way back machine on and we have a look at the old website and things like that and have a good laugh. But fundamentally we do a very similar thing today that we did back then, which was sort of proper accounting based performance tracking and reporting for, for portfolios. But we're a lot bigger now. I think the product looks a lot better and we operate You know virtually in, in almost every country in the world in terms of where our customers are. We've got a team size now about 50 people as well. So it's a long way from the, from the kitchen table where it was first conceived.

Phil (3m 18s):

So Sharesight obviously has a lot of user data about what they're buying, what they're selling, what's on everyone's watch list at the moment. So I, I've just got here the top 20 US trades that you've just released very recently. Yeah. Tesla's the top of the charts there.

Doug (3m 33s):

I know it's sort of back to the future in terms of what we're seeing in in, in the, the most popular buys and sells I mean All of a sudden. It's sort of looking like kind of the height of the pandemic in terms of what people are buying with the tech companies really leading the way. So yeah, Tesla's at the top. It's always been a popular stock. Often I think experienced investors like to look at these, these figures that we put out and think like, oh that's kind of how You know, how smart is that money and whatnot. But I think, I think they're playing a part in this as well, to be honest with you. So yeah, You know really if you look at where the returns are coming from, it's very hard to avoid some of these tech or tech adjacent companies at the moment.

Phil (4m 5s):

Well I mean you've got the, the top ones that what Tesla then Apple, Microsoft, Invidia, of course, yeah, Amazon, which You know the part of the Big seven as well that have been moving markets at the moment.

Doug (4m 16s):

Absolutely, that's right. I think I saw a stat recently, which is like You know the top 10 companies make up a third or so of the market cap, the s and p 500, but they account for like 96% of the, of the return depending on when you measure it. So it's, it's really, really, really top heavy. So yeah.

Phil (4m 31s):

Yeah. Although then the next one on the list is a Vanguard etf, the s and p 500 etf.

Doug (4m 37s):

Yeah. I mean that to me just says, and if you look at it's, it's heavily bought compared to its its sell side numbers. I think if you're looking at that, that's just people kind of getting back into the market, perhaps dipping a toe in indexing, spreading the risk a little bit. Mm.

Phil (4m 49s):

And it's worth understanding though that if you are investing in the s and p 500 ETF like that, then you are weighted like you previously mentioned, absolutely. Towards those big tech Stocks as well. Yeah, that's right. What was that figure again? You said 95?

Doug (5m 2s):

It's 94. 96% of the returns are basically coming from 10 companies. Yeah. I mean it is a, it is a long tail of, of returns beyond the big tech names. Yeah. You know, it used to be known as the fangs. I'm sure there's some other acronym now we gotta, well

Phil (5m 15s):

We Haven haven't heard of fangs for a while. Oh

Doug (5m 16s):

Yeah. Haven heard of Nvidia now we've gotta get Nvidia in there somehow, so Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Phil (5m 20s):

Yeah. But it's interesting Nvidia because they're much more of a hardware kind of company, Silicon chips and so forth, aren't they? Yeah.

Doug (5m 26s):

And that's obviously powering the AI boom. So that's where that's coming from

Phil (5m 32s):

On this list. The only one I don't know about is Palantir Technologies. Do You know Palantir?

Doug (5m 37s):

They are, they're kind of a, they're kind of a big data software company that has their hands at a bunch of different software firms. I believe Peter Thiel is behind that company if I'm not mistaken.

Phil (5m 46s):

Yeah. Oh, okay.

Doug (5m 47s):

Yeah. Yeah. So actually they, Palantir is also behind a kind of an institutional version of Sharesight as well, a portfolio tracker for hedge fund managers and the like, actually. So yeah, yeah.

Phil (5m 58s):

Sharesight's available also as a professional kind of tool as well for fund managers. It and yeah, advisors as well, isn't

Doug (6m 3s):

It? Yeah. So our Heart and soul's kind of in the, in the retail investor space, but we do offer a version for professionals and the use cases there are either accounting firms or family offices, smaller independent financial advice type firms. Yeah.

Phil (6m 16s):

Yeah. And how's that side of the business tracking?

Doug (6m 18s):

It's good. It's good. It's, it's one that we, we rely on referrals from our, our large retail client base. So if you've got a sort of a higher net worth self-directed investor, they may say to their advisor or their accountant, Hey, You know I'm gonna share my access to my portfolio with you to do the tax and the admin and things like that. And that's typically how we, we generate leads in that space. So it's always been very steady cuz it's, it's more difficult as sort of a B to C digital company to really efficiently scale that, at least from a, from a marketing standpoint. And so that's, that's where we rely on our referrals there, that space.

Phil (6m 51s):

So it's not just tracking Stocks, indivi, individual Stocks or ETFs, it tracks a whole range of other instruments as well. Tell us about those.

Doug (6m 59s):

Yeah, it does. So we want to have basically full asset class coverage at Sharesight. So it's basically every listed stock market in the world, which includes ETFs and anything that trades on a listed exchange, but it's also on mutual funds as well. It's other derivatives. And it's also, we, we offer an ability to enter in custom investments as well. So be they hedge funds or off market things like property. You can track all those on Sharesight as well. So it's, it's truly kind of a Swiss army knife in terms of what it can do for the global investor. We're, we're particularly popular with sort of expat investors. So somebody like myself, right? So I'm from the states originally. I've lived here in Australia for a long time. I've worked in different places around the world. I therefore have a bit of a mess when it comes to my, my admin side of my investment life.

Doug (7m 43s):

You know, especially for Americans because you, you, you can never escape You know the irs. You have to file your tax no matter where you are and where you're driving your income as an American. And so that's where Sharesight's flexibility is quite good because you can run You know us dollar dollar sale portfolios. You can extract the data, you can produce things to help with F Bar and all the other requirements, That that are levy down, Americans living overseas

Phil (8m 9s):

And cryptocurrencies. You cover crypto as well?

Doug (8m 11s):

We do cover crypto. Yeah, we do. It's been a very interesting rollercoaster to, to ride, but it perhaps seems like some of the better known cryptos are here to stay and, and yeah, we have a, an enthusiastic You know population of customers tracking crypto on Sharesight.

Phil (8m 25s):

So ETFs are made up of many companies like we were discussing with the s and p 500 etf. But what's in store for investors in being able to look through these ETFs?

Doug (8m 34s):

Yeah, I mean it's, it's really important. So we've seen ETF usage and Sharesight go from single digit percentages years ago to now it's north of 20% in terms of the population of customers who own an etf. And they're so flexible, right? You can, if you're a newbie investor, you can use ETFs to kind of get introduced to the market and spread out that risk You know. But if you're an experienced investor, you can use them in a more kind of core satellite way as well where you can kind of have building blocks and then you can do some stock picking over and above that. So again, they're super popular. But yeah, the issue for ETF investors is the exposure. You don't necessarily know what you're getting in the ETF unless you do the digging right? And there's resources out there, That that show the underlying holdings of ETFs. But what we're about to do at Sharesight is we're going to basically crack open the ETF like an egg, and then you can see the underlying holdings that are in that portfolio and then it will show you how that overlaps or remains distinct from the individual Stocks that you've purchased as well.

Doug (9m 27s):

Which as you said before, I mean a lot of people own Apple, A lot of people own Microsoft Tesla. You're gonna get the double up exposure if you're owning basically any large cap ETF and certainly an Nasdaq ETF or a tech etf. So people just need to be aware of kind of what those overlaps are. Yeah,

Phil (9m 42s):

Because you can end up with a very, very concentrated portfolio absolutely. Unwittingly if you're doing that

Doug (9m 46s):

Exactly right.

Phil (9m 48s):

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Phil (10m 30s):

Seven, investing long-term thinking without the mental anguish. What about benchmarking and I mean? I'll just rave for a moment about benchmarking. You know I love it. Just being able to say You know this is, and like we said at the start, it's keeping score and if you were just going to put all your money into an index hugging etf, it's like Warren Buffet would say that's what he's gonna get his family to invest in. And you're trying to pick Stocks on your own and to see how they're doing. And having that benchmark for me has been fantastic to be able to see how I've been going.

Doug (11m 2s):

I always laugh at That that Warren Buffett anecdote about, he tells everyone just to buy an etf, an s and p 500 etf. It's like, but he doesn't do that and that's not how he made his money of course, anyway. Always a, always a good salesman and Mr. Buffett. Yeah, so benchmarking is critical because if you think about investing, even if you're not investing, you're making an investment decision, right? If you're not investing, your money's gonna be sitting in cash or in a term deposit or in some You know default balanced mutual fund inside of a 401K or IRA or whatever, right? So that money is going to be put to work whether you like it or not. So therefore, if you do begin to make You know proactive investment decisions, you do need to understand not only how you're tracking against an alternative or how you're tracking against a goal that you might have in mind, but also as an alternative investment strategy.

Doug (11m 48s):

So the way that I think about benchmarking personally and I, I came from a, an asset allocation background in my days, days at Morningstar. I've thought a lot about the interplay between Stocks bonds, cash and other asset classes. The way I think about investing is, okay, how much time, energy and motivation and confidence do I have as an individual managing my own household portfolio? And if I don't necessarily have the brain space or the time or the capacity to really be on top of it, I may look at shifting a portion of my portfolio back into the benchmark. So I look at that almost as like an autopilot kind of plan B. And that's where I think it really becomes important for investors to think about, alright, am I actually gonna be able to do better than the benchmark that I've chosen?

Doug (12m 31s):

and that benchmark should be relevant to your time horizon. An investor You know your financial goals and and the risk appetite of course that you're willing to take on. So benchmarking always gets kind of lumped in with the old, oh, how the, how the s and p 500 do You know how the NASDAQ do. First of all, those are just price indices. They don't actually talk about a return personal to you as an investor. And again, to benchmark properly I think is to really look at something that you could use as an alternative investment strategy. So in my case, benchmark that I have said in in Sharesight, it's actually a Vanguard etf, it's a diversified etf and it, it's kind of more aggressive than a balanced portfolio, but it still represents something that I feel is like an appropriate kind of default autopilot option for myself.

Doug (13m 18s):

In fact, I actually own some of the ETF outright myself and I look at that as saying, okay, would I be happy enough to kind of shift all my assets there if You know I was super busy in my life and had little kids and all the rest and, and the answer is yes for me, I would be. So that's, that's how I think about benchmarking and what we do at Sharesight is we actually do, we assume a common start date, a common investment amount. So essentially your benchmark, your hypothetical return on your benchmark is treated exactly the same as your real return as an investor with the investments you've chosen. So we do annualized money, weighted returns, net of fees and that's, that's really important because it truly is an apples to apples comparison.

Phil (13m 55s):

And one of the other parts of the reporting that I find really interesting apart from being able to give the accountant all the details is the where your money inve is invested, which sectors your portfolio is in. Yeah. And that's really important as well to understand your diversification.

Doug (14m 11s):

It is, yeah. So diversification drives your return. It's ultimately, there's a lot of research done on that about how important asset allocation and asset selection is. It kind of boils down to like half of your return has ultimately come from the, the big buckets you choose to invest in with the other half being the actual selection underneath those. So yeah, understanding kind of how your assets are allocated at top level. You know, be they equities, what kind of equities, Are they large cap Are, they small cap be they sectors, be they regions. You can even do things like you can classify your investments on Sharesight at least in, in a customizable way. So you can actually set your own custom groups and then build your own asset class breakdown. So what I do, for example, I'm horribly overweight to tech, which I suppose given I'm the CEO of a tech company is arguably a good thing cuz I know what I'm doing in air quotes or it's a bad thing cuz I'm, I'm overexposed, but that's a choice that I've made for better or for worse.

Doug (15m 4s):

So what I do is I, I look at things like blue chip tech, You, know those are your Apples the world, your Microsoft, things like that. Look, they're tech companies but at this point they're giant industrial companies, right? And then I look at things like emerging tech, those might be small caps. I look at things like SaaS as well. So I've set these up as custom groups and Sharesight and then I can track performance and asset class breakdown across these co custom groups. SaaS is something I know really well. So I wanna identify those and put those in a discrete bucket. And the other ones I have are like Chinese tech, which has been quite volatile Alibaba's on that list for example. Keeping a close eye on my, on my holdings and that. So yeah, there's a lot of optionality in terms of how you can track these things. You know with respect to kind of how the industry views them, but how you want to view them as well.

Phil (15m 45s):

And of course as investors we love dividends as well because that's the, the fruits that the, these companies that we're investing in are producing for us. But these again, can be hard to track. How does Sharesight deal with that?

Doug (15m 57s):

Yeah, so we provide full dividend visibility and dividend tracking on Sharesight. So if you add in your portfolio as those companies announce and pay out dividends, those will then be reflected inside your portfolio as well. Any kind of components that happen in terms of You know tax free components or special dividends or spec You know special little parts, bits and pieces, we'll track all of that for you and boil that all down into your return as an investor. You can run dividend reinvesting programs on Sharesight as well. So if you do take advantage of DRPs, you can switch those on in Sharesight and see how that reinvestment impacts your bottom line as well.

Phil (16m 31s):

Yeah, and it's also important to check and update yourself manually as well. That's

Doug (16m 35s):


Phil (16m 35s):

Exactly right. Yeah, because sometimes they're out little You know tiny differences in between. Yeah,

Doug (16m 39s):

That's right. So one of the things about using a broker especially is if you have a brokerage account open through a 401K in the US which You know millions of Americans do, it's often a black box You know you can do a lot of stuff in there in terms of what you can buy and sell, but the return information is quite opaque. And so what we do is, again, we kind of have that accounting based background, we make it simple, but it, there's a lot of depth underneath our calculations that you can go and and review if you're, if you're keen to do so.

Phil (17m 5s):

And ultimately you wanna give something to your accountant at the end of the tax year. That's,

Doug (17m 8s):

That's also true as well. Yeah. Yeah. They'll appreciate it.

Phil (17m 10s):

Yeah. How, how much do they appreciate it?

Doug (17m 13s):

They should appreciate it more and they should charge you less, but yeah, that's, that's always a

Phil (17m 17s):

Hard discussion to have, I'm sure. Yeah. So are there any new features that have come out this year? Yeah,

Doug (17m 23s):

We, we've, we've done a lot of work actually. So our focus this year has been always on expanding those asset classes. So we've added new stock exchanges around the world. We've added and are adding still some offshore fund universes. So those are popular again with that expat kind of international investor. Often if you've invested in a fund structure and you've lived in Europe, like the uk your money will wind up in what's known as an offshore fund. Those are domiciled in places like Dublin and the Channel Islands and things like that. So asset class coverage has been expanded. We've done a heck of a lot of work on the interface itself. So we're really rolling through all those reports. We've redone our branding, we're improving our ux, which at the end of the day is, is our product. We want people to engage with the product and, and we wanna make it intuitive for people as well.

Doug (18m 6s):

A lot of that will come out in the form of making it easier to add in new asset classes and new asset types into the product. And so that onboarding is, is is a very important part of how we can You know, acquire new customers and, and keep the ones we have happy and engaged. In addition to that, I mentioned our work that we're doing in our ETF underlying holdings, so that's forthcoming as well. And another big one that we're working on is some risk reporting as well. So it's early days there, but we've always done performance and tax quite effectively and we're moving off into a risk frontier as well for investors to kind of show them in intuitive ways how much risk they're taking on with their investment decisions.

Phil (18m 45s):

I'm really fascinated by the term risk and I've a I've been covering, I've been covering it and it's also the, sorry if you've heard this before cuz I keep on saying it is the idea of for ordinary people of risk is completely different to what the financial services industry describes as risk, isn't it? Yeah, it is

Doug (18m 60s):

Actually. Yeah. When you talk about risk in the financial services world, yeah, there's risk as insurance, there's risk in terms of interest rate risk. There's risk in terms of that's a startup company that's risky. So it can mean a whole bunch of things and it does get a bit word salary for investors especially. So we're gonna try to use some of the core financial concepts with those risk definitions, the Greeks, the Greek risks as they're known as. So

Phil (19m 21s):

That's basically volatility though, isn't it?

Doug (19m 23s):

Volatility, yeah.

Phil (19m 24s):

How much up and down. That's

Doug (19m 25s):

Right. Yeah. The price is gonna go, yeah, in many ways that's volatility. Volatility in relation to a peer group or a benchmark. And it's also around kind of peak and trough measurement as well. So sort of value at risk, You know, maximum drawdown, things like that. So we're working through that now and we're, we're trying to kind of as we do, and I think we do a good job of using some pretty complex You know investment approaches, but making them simple enough for, for a new investor as well.

Phil (19m 49s):

And that's important for new investors to understand that is the market is gonna go up and down. Absolutely. And You know so many investors just sell at the bottom, don't they? They do.

Doug (19m 57s):

Yeah, they do. That's right. And I think, yeah, the market certainly has been going up and down if you zoom out a little bit on where we are now, but oddly the market's been very quiet in terms of its, of, its volatility I guess in the first half of this year. So it's important for people not to get too kind of desensitized into You know kind of, this markets just going sideways, it'll be fine. Sort of trapped You know you gotta keep your eye on the ball.

Phil (20m 20s):

So Vienna, that's the latest exchange you've brought on. Yeah,

Doug (20m 22s):

That's what I've been told actually. No, I I did see that. Yeah. So look, again, we're always looking to activate new pockets of the investment world and if there are asset classes or Stocks that we don't cover that our customers ask us to do, so we'll work hard to to turn those on.

Phil (20m 38s):

And the father and son team that you talked about at the beginning, they're very techy, aren't they? Yeah,

Doug (20m 43s):

They were. I would say they're, they're account,

Phil (20m 44s):

I just remember we had a conversation once where you, you wanna try and talk to 'em about marketing, but they're, they're just interested in adding new features. Yeah,

Doug (20m 52s):

Absolutely. I mean, they, they came from an accounting and a software background and so they were absolutely the right people at the right time to start a product that didn't cut any corners on the methodology. And I think that was really important to get the buy-in from really high caliber self-directed investors in the early days. And you can rip that product apart and be like, wow, these guys know what they're doing. The methodology is sound. I can trust the financial information coming outta this product.

Phil (21m 21s):

Investing in shares can be fun, but the paperwork isn't My investing's been transformed since using Sharesight, the best portfolio tracking tool for investing. My portfolios are on Sharesight and whenever I buy or sell, the trades are automatically recorded. I can see the dividends I'm receiving and it helps me to work out. My asset allocation. Sharesight are extending a special offer to listeners of this podcast, four months free on an annual premium plan. There's a seven day free trial where you can experience the full power of Sharesight portfolio management. Go to and sign up now for a free trial before taking advantage of four free months. That's Okay, so let's talk about some advice for new investors.

Phil (22m 10s):

And I always remember your story about finding a company that You know and love and I think you've used Disney as an example. I

Doug (22m 17s):

Have, I

Phil (22m 18s):

Know that hasn't done so well.

Doug (22m 20s):

Disney's on this list as well. Yeah, Disney's morphed from a well

Phil (22m 24s):

Still. Oh are they're selling, are people selling Disney? No, no, they're buying

Doug (22m 28s):

Disney. They're buying it. Yeah.

Phil (22m 30s):

Yeah. Okay.

Doug (22m 31s):

Yeah. I mean Disney I mean, I think all eyes really are Disney Plus as opposed to the You know the Mickey Mouse side of Disney, but they're subscription service. But for new investors, I do think it's very important to dabble with or consider dabbling with something You know, You know. So I think there's actually, I, I should back up a little bit and say there probably are two more preferred approaches that I would say, what is the ETF Avenue? You're gonna get diversification straight off the shelf. It will be safer arguably as a result. Now that depends on what ETF you choose. A broad market ETF is what I'm inferring here. Yeah. If you choose some very specific, very illiquid You know solar technology etf, that's a different beast still together. Yeah.

Phil (23m 11s):

Yeah. We're referring to index hugging, but it That's right.

Doug (23m 13s):

Index etf. Yeah. So ETFs are something That that I think I, I encourage new investors to look at and just to You know, put a bit of money there, see how it goes, get used to it. But the other one would be investing in something that You know. The first best step is probably to have a look at their annual reports. It sounds really boring, but it, some of those reports make for a really good read. So if you pick an industry You, know the company you work at even or a company you have worked at or in an adjacent You know kind of field, that report should make a lot of sense to you because they have to disclose their financials. There's a lot of boring You know accounting speak in there there. And there's You know, obviously there's the revenue numbers and the cash flow numbers and the balance sheet, but they're also marketing documents and the CEO or the chairman or whomever will write a whole bunch of stuff about the company and what they're up to.

Doug (23m 57s):

And the best companies tend to be very transparent in terms of what they're doing and they tell really good stories. And you can learn a heck of a lot from reading the annual reports of listed companies to help You know inform your investment decision and it'll make more sense to you if You know what you're kind of reading basically.

Phil (24m 13s):

Yeah, and it's also, there's always plenty of surprises in how companies make their money as well because you don't realize where the, the revenue is coming from.

Doug (24m 21s):

Absolutely. Right. I mean, an obvious example would be something like Amazon You know if you talk to sort of the person off the street who knows Amazon for, for what Amazon is to all of us as consumers, that's one part of the business. But you may not know about AW s, the hosting service, which is the gigantic You know profit engine behind Amazon, essentially. Mm.

Phil (24m 40s):

Yeah. That's amazing how much of that space that they own.

Doug (24m 44s):

Absolutely. Well e even like Google as well, I mean we all know Google for what they are, right? We think about their services like You know Gmail, Android, whatever, and Google still makes the majority of their money from advertising that they display on search. But YouTube is a huge revenue driver for Google as well. In fact, I heard yesterday that YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world behind Google itself. So Yeah,

Phil (25m 6s):

You know. Yeah, that's right. I know I do all my plumbing based on YouTube videos.

Doug (25m 10s):

Exactly, exactly.

Phil (25m 11s):

There's amazing how many drain clearing videos there are on YouTube. That's right. And I'm sure that covers so many. Yeah,

Doug (25m 17s):

My latest one was I, I had to, to tie an an old fashioned bow tie, so I turned to YouTube for that,

Phil (25m 23s):

So Oh wow. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. In in Sharesight, and this is another tool that I found useful is being able to look at the performance of a company so you can, can get historical performance of companies and see, how, you would've done if you'd been invested in over a certain period of time.

Doug (25m 38s):

Yeah, that's right. I mean, so Sharesight's very flexible. You can go back in time, 20 odd years depending on the stock market that you're talking about. And so it does give you the opportunity to create a portfolio that's almost a model portfolio or a what if portfolio. And you can, yeah, you can indeed go back in time and, and see how you would have done as an investor had you chosen that path. But more importantly too, you can go back and recreate your own performance as an investor through time as well.

Phil (26m 3s):

Oh, tell me about that. Sorry, I don, I didn't realize you could do

Doug (26m 6s):

That. Well, so if you, so a lot of investors come on and, and they'll, they'll create a portfolio and they'll only go back a little bit back in time and they'll kind of track things going forward and that's totally fine as well. Or they'll use what we call an opening balance where you can kind of kind of short circuit the product to kind of get your holdings in and then we'll take it from there going forward.

Phil (26m 22s):

Right. Which is the way I've you been using it. Yeah.

Doug (26m 24s):

We have actually 20 years of data behind that. So if you wanted to, you could go back if you have the information available or we have a connection in with your broker, you can go back and, and go back to your first buys and sells and then track all that through time up until today and then we'll track it for you going forward as well. So it's quite interesting to see kind of how you would've gone based on our methodology. Yeah. So we offer that option if you choose to kind of go back and and recreate the past as well.

Phil (26m 49s):

Yeah. Oh, I think it's great value for money and if listeners are interested, of course they can go to, although case one word, and get four months free on an annual premium plan. Doug Morris, thank you very much for joining me today.

Doug (27m 3s):

Thanks so much Phil.

Chloe (27m 4s):

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Stocks for Beginners is for information and educational purposes only. It isn’t financial advice, and you shouldn’t buy or sell any investments based on what you’ve heard here. Any opinion or commentary is the view of the speaker only not Stocks for Beginners. This podcast doesn’t replace professional advice regarding your personal financial needs, circumstances or current situation.