Passiv is a portfolio management tool for self-directed investors. Passiv was founded in 2017 by two investors who were frustrated at how difficult it was to easily manage a passive investment portfolio with specified allocations to certain ETFs. Passiv has grown quickly - today, over $350 million is managed using Passivʼs software.
Passiv works by connecting directly to a brokerageʼs API to sync a userʼs portfolio to their Passiv account. Once this connection has been made, users set target allocations for their portfolios and receive email notifications when their portfolios drift from these allocations. Passiv also sends email notifications to users when there is idle cash sitting in their account - whether through contributions, corporate actions, or dividend payments.
Powering an integration layer with IEX Cloud
The Passiv app runs on top of a variety of brokers, including TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, and Questrade. In order to provide a consistent service across different brokers, we had to build an integration layer that collects data from each broker and maps it to an internal representation that we use for our trade calculations and business logic.
Each brokerʼs API has different limitations, which means we needed to be creative in terms of compensating for different feature sets. For example, some brokers make it easy to get a list of all supported securities, while others only expose securities through a keyword search endpoint.
To help solve the inconsistencies between different broker APIs, Passiv uses IEX Cloud as its primary source for financial data. This speaks to the integrity and robustness of IEX Cloudʼs dataset. One of the most important things that IEX Cloud allows us to maintain is a list of all investable securities across all major exchanges. After adding in a ticker translation layer (because each broker seems to have its own preferred ticker symbology), we have a universal symbol representation that allows us to seamlessly manage securities across multiple brokers. Itʼs always up-to-date thanks to IEX Cloud, and it gives us a fallback price feed when broker APIs fail to deliver.
Reconstructing historical investment performance
We also recently launched a reporting tool that reconstructs investment performance based on historical transaction data. The transaction data lets us calculate the open positions in an account at any point in time, and IEX Cloudʼs historical price data lets us determine the exact value. As a result, we can do cross-broker performance analysis and present users with an accurate view of their overall performance.
This article was written by Nick McCullum about Passiv, a software service that allows you to easily manage a low-fee portfolio of passive investments. If youʼre interested in trying our free Community edition, sign up today.
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