The best long term, most cost effective solution for data entry into PortfolioCenter is to move everything you can to a place from which you can download.  But what if you there is no Schwab Performance Technologies interface, the information is not available through DST Fanmail, and you’ve rejected data aggregation solutions like passPort?

You are left with three options for manual entry:

1.Manually entering the data from complete PDF statements. This method is the most accurate, will produce a good return and is the most time consuming.

Method #1 only works if the statement has a complete transaction ledger and a list of month-end holdings that includes share quantities, prices and market value for each individual fund.  If the statement is not complete, you can “create” your own by entering the transaction data into a spreadsheet that contains all the information PortfolioCenter requires.

2.Enter only the total beginning value, ending value and net flows.

Some statements (usually 401ks) do not provide complete transaction data, but they do have the beginning value, the ending value and the total net flows. With this information, PortfolioCenter can produce a reasonably accurate return. It is not precise, but it is reasonable. It also takes much less manual entry time.

However, method #2 does not give any asset allocation as the total value will not be broken down by stocks, bonds, international, domestic, etc.  This method gives a performance return at the portfolio level, not at the position or asset class level.

3.Enter the total value and adjust it.

If you can’t even get access to the beginning value, ending value and net flows, the last-resort is to enter the total value and adjust it each month.  Since this method produces no return, any accounts using this method ought to be excluded from performance so as not to drag down the rest of the portfolio. Also , if your primary reason to include a manual account is billing, the easiest method is to add a fee to your standard bill.

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