Technology has swept across the domain of finance since its inception. You could even argue that the whole concept of finance has been built upon technology since the inception of the ledger. The ledger was a list of transactions on papyrus, used in the times of the Egyptians to track tax payments. Over time, this has been replaced by other technologies resulting in the use of current-day databases. Leveraging these technologies, you are able to have an investment tracker that spans your assets and gives you a real-time overview.
The key difference between ‘traditional’ and crypto assets
Technology can support the tracking of your portfolio, both in the traditional (e.g., stocks and bonds) as well as the crypto domain. However, the way they are tracked is fundamentally different.
Tracking crypto assets
To understand this, we look at the example of the Egyptian ledgers of tax transactions. When a person has paid a certain amount, it is noted on the ledger. Combined, the ledger contains all transactions that have been made. To see the value of the transactions belonging to a single person, you simply need to sum them up across the entire ledger. This is exactly how modern-day blockchain technology is used. It simply sums up all the transactions belonging to an address, known as the Public Key. To do so, no personal (e.g., e-mail address) or private information (e.g., password) is needed.
Tracking traditional assets
The approach to traditional assets is different from crypto. Assets such as stocks and bonds are typically purchased through brokers. These brokers have a database that lists the holdings of customers. This is a central repository that indicates the value of holdings and can be connected to.
How to use a stock market tracker
To use the functionality of a stock market tracker, you do need to integrate with the brokers that manage your holdings. This is done through the use of an API. Note that, not every broker has developed an API as of yet, but many are developing them. The API is simply an interface that allows the stock market tracker to send a request (based on predefined parameters) to the broker to retrieve information. To do so, the broker does need a key that confirms that you are the owner of the holdings before sending the information to the tracker. This can be provided within the stock market tracker application. Note that this key cannot be used to conduct any transactions, and your holdings will remain safe with your broker.
Holistic view with real-time market information
If you hold crypto and traditional assets, a tracker can significantly improve your portfolio management. Not only does it provide insights in real-time, but it also allows you to view relevant analysis and read upon news related to the holdings. Additionally, push notifications can be activated on specific % gains and losses or market news, enabling you to stay on top of your game without the need to continue tracking your holdings yourself.