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There are a number of free online portfolio trackers that offer various features such as analyzing one's portfolio in terms of risk, making suggestions for individual assets, and so forth. It is common for persons to compare their portfolio to the S&P500.

But are there any portfolio trackers that allow one to compare their performance to other users? So that I could see how my portfolio did, on a percentile basis, to other users' portfolios?

Edit: to provide more clarification based on the responses, risk is important, and could be taken into account to compare portfolios. Also, I recognize that time periods are important, a one-year comparison might not mean much, but comparing 2 well-diversified portfolios over a 3 year or longer period would have more meaning.

There are uses for this beyond curiosity. If one consistently has a higher performance than a large number of others (not friends, using percentiles) over time, then one can have confidence in the portfolio. Similarly, if one is consistently lagging for the same level of risk, then that person is not doing well. Otherwise it is difficult to get any feedback on one's portfolio other than comparing to a benchmark such as the S&P500, but how many people actually have 100% allocation to the S&P500 and are buy and hold investors? How do real life buy and hold investors do compared to market timers? Secondly, being able to view other's real (not theoretical) portfolios is a source of ideas of what to invest in. I am a buy and hold investor and have no problem with posting my portfolio and percentage allocations, but I am not interested in doing this for subjective feedback or there to be any focus on my portfolio, because comparisons need to be done in the context of real data and I would not suggest that my portfolio is better than someone else's, just different, not only due to risk tolerance but also one's beliefs, knowledge, etc.

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    I'm not sure that would be very useful. Different portfolios are chosen to meet different levels of risk-tolerance, different time horizons, etc. You'd need to compare with folks whose needs ate similar to yours to have any validity. Given that all of this is often considered confidential info, your best bet may be to compare strategies you're actually considering and see how they would have done... but even there, the question is how they might do in the future. – keshlam Mar 13 '15 at 13:42
  • Do you mean you want to compare with random other people, or you want to select the comparison portfolios on some basis. I agree with keshlam and Kent that comparing with "the world at large" might not be useful, but I think this is still a reasonable question, because it could be useful, for instance, to compare your returns to the returns of other portfolios with similar risk profiles. – BrenBarn Mar 13 '15 at 18:13
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Short answer: Such tools are hard to find (if they exist at all) because they provide little actual value, other than to satisfy your curiosity.

Using a highway analogy for investing, we may all use the same roadways for a time, but ultimately, everyone is going to his/her own home at the end of the day. There are all kinds of people on the road at the same time: from reckless crazies to slow-driving grandma's, and everyone in between. Some know exactly what they're doing. Some have no clue and are just going along with the flow of traffic. Some are really close to their exit and are slowing down for the off-ramp. Unless you're traveling in a caravan with people who are going to your home with you, comparing your progress to anybody else isn't going to help you much. Of course, we all want to get "home" with as much money as possible. The difference is in what we are willing to do/put up with on the road toward that goal.

"I made 13.5% last year on my investments", "I made 25.7%". Congratulations to them both. Those are fine returns. "I made 4.5%." Congratulations to you, too. This last one may be a person who is so risk averse that any fluctuation in the account causes him/her to lose sleep, or to have anxiety attacks, or whatever. Comparing your returns to theirs doesn't help you gauge your progress toward your own goals.

In the end, the best benchmark for you to compare your portfolio against is the one that tells you whether you're on track to meet your own goals. If you compare yourself to other people who seem to be going in the same direction as you on the highway, you risk accidentally following them to their homes, instead of yours.

But, if you're determined to compare yourself to other people, just ask them.

  • Very nice way of putting it. – JonH Mar 16 '15 at 15:33
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You can compare your performance to a number of institutions' average portfolios, on a percentile basis, via this site.

https://www.suggestus.com

Obtain a free login, then download the quarterly Private Client Indices (PCI) report for your currency of interest (Euro, US Dollar, Sterling or Swiss Franc). On page 4 you'll find the 25th and 75th percentile performance for a range of time spans for contributors listed.

Specific contributor performance is anonymous, but the range illustrated provides a true picture of performance achieved.

The contributors' portfolios are graded into four risk categories based on volatility. For example, these are the Sterling percentile results based on their average graded portfolios:-

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