Keeping track of your shares

Managing your shares

If you own shares, it's important to keep up with how they're performing compared to similar companies and the market as a whole. A company's share price changes with each new piece of information released to the market. Staying up to date means you can act quickly to take advantage of opportunities or get out of a potentially bad situation.

Here are some things you should do regularly to manage your shares.

Track the performance of your shares

Check the price of your shares regularly to help you stay in control. Read the business section in the paper. Keep an eye on the company website and set up watchlists to monitor the performance of shares you hold or are interested in. Set up a free Company Alert with ASIC and we'll email you every time a company lodges information with ASIC, including takeovers, buybacks, floats etc. The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) also offers a free watchlist feature.

Your results from shares will depend on selling decisions as much as buying decisions. If you 'set and forget', you may not get the best results.

Listed companies (i.e. those available on a market like the ASX) must send any price-sensitive announcements to the market on which they are listed.

Tracking your shares closely can also help you avoid online stockbroking scams and company director fraud.

Case study: Lee keeps on top of his shares

Man keeping track of companies he has shares in by reading the paperLee, 50, reads the newspapers every day to keep up with the latest business and financial news. One day, he sees an article about research results from a company in which he has shares. In the article, the managing director says their key medical research has not achieved what they were hoping for. After doing more background reading and tracking the company on his watchlist, Lee decides the company's prospects have dipped. He decides to sell the shares.

Read everything the company sends you

Read annual reports and any statements sent to you by the companies in which you are invested. Takeovers are particularly important. Read more on takeovers.

Keep your holding statements

When you buy or sell shares in a company, you will receive a holding statement. You should keep hold of these statements as proof of ownership and for tax purposes. You also need paperwork to be able to work out capital gains tax.

Identify red flags

If you are concerned about your investment, try these company safety checks:

Find out as much as you can about the companies you have invested in and stay up to date with what's happening in the market. It can mean the difference between a healthy return and a painful loss. 

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Last updated: 11 Dec 2018