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Making spreadsheets great again - an interview with Shares for Beginners and an announcement

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

Shares for Beginners Podcast

The title of this article comes from the title of a recent interview we did with Phil Muscatello who has a variety of podcasts dedicated to trading and investments. He was kind enough to ask me to have a chat about data within the ETF markets for the Australian focused "Shares for Beginners".

And it's also available on major podcasts such as:

He also has the "Stocks for Beginners" podcast which focuses on US markets and his latest episode features my good friend Kenn Polcari regaling great stories from his time working the trading flor of the New York Stock Exchange.

There's so much great information out there that investors can get their hands on such as that which is being shared on the regular by ETF issuers in the news and on their own websites. There's also an abundance of great datasets and apps out there of which we have listed a few in the Resources section of this site (check it out in the menu above).

Here's a couple of additional bits of info to the stuff from the show:

  • NAV and iNav - Investopedia do a great write up on this (here) and we mentioned in the show NAV being an end of day calculation. We should have clarified that there's also indicative NAV (iNAV) which can be viewed on the daily. The share price trading at a premium or discount to NAV/iNAV still stands.

  • Bid/Ask Spread - another great definition from the Investopedia team (here). Whether you're a sophisticated investor or just getting started, it's important to understand market dynamics. Spreads are an important part in the review of an ETF so using this as part of your analysis can be of great benefit too.

An announcement

It's been over a year since ETFtracker came to life in a public format. First, as a small set of data visualisation tests and a mini application in late 2019/early 2020 and then as a more fully featured app in mid 2020. The website launch in December 2020 allowed us to communicate (with charts and data) further ETF insights with our growign audience.

Over that time we've received some great ideas, feedback and encouragement as we continue to share with the ETF and wider investing community. With that said, it's also time to reveal that we are going through an app facelift.

The current version of the ETFtracker was our launch vehicle to make ETF data easier to consume and in a way, "make spreadsheets great again". It serves a variety of purposes and the facelift builds further upon the legacy the original app started.

The next phase will have the following features:

  • Firstly, the app design is getting a redo. In the previous version we threw so many options at users on the same page with menu after sub-menu after sub-sub-menu. This meant screen real-estate was compromised to enable the umpteen different options of viewing the data. We'll still have a lot of features in the new app but menu design is being redone and we're providing more space to show off the best features of the app, the charts!

  • Next, the menu options are being given a proper home. We found that the menu options weren't really categorised in a way that helps investors better understand ETFs. It was fine if you're well versed in the space but for those just getting started, we did ourselves no favours by not having any grouping or sense to the menu options. In the new version there will be group into categories that, we think, make a lot more sense.

  • Adding a new ways to view the data is what is coming out as well. We had always provided a way to view things either via ETF Category or ETF itself and whilst we would talk about different thematics, we never provided an ability for users to access these. In the update, all pages will be viewable by either ETF, ETF Category or Thematic.

If we have time, we'll add some other requested features but the above sums up the majority of the work.

Below are some screenshots of the initial new design. The final product may differ slightly but the essence of the change intentions will be there.

We anticipate a relaunch in June so stay tuned.

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