For the most part, I have discontinued using the spreadsheets except to record purchases and sales, as well as dividends. I am now using Google spreadsheets for my holdings. They are as up-to-date as I can manage, but will lag by a day or so due to delays in the reporting from the brokerages. The prices should update close to real-time, however, with a possible slight delay from Google.
The most up-to-date method is to look under the “Real Results” tab on my blog, and select the Current Holdings item. Then, click the link for the Google docs spreadsheet.
Or, just click here (will open in a new window).
Here’s the sheet I use to track options (mostly covered calls, only updated when I sell or close a position (and also on Google));
Here’s a look at the dates spreadsheet, showing the ex-dividend and pay dates as well as can best be determined the tax status of the dividend. I sometimes use info like this to time purchases or sales after a stock goes ex-dividend, due to the anticipated drop in stock price, or to make sure I own a stock before the ex-dividend date to ensure I am entitled to the dividend. I mainly use it to keep track of the dates and amounts, and the tax status of the dividend. YMMV!
But, as always, “Don’t be hasty” as Treebeard would say. 😉