So you’ve just bought your very first shares in CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) or one of the thousands of other ASX-listed companies on offer.

Congratulations! Here are four things to do immediately to maximise your chances of success.

1. Start your portfolio

The very first thing to do is to record the transaction.

This is essential to tracking your performance over time, especially as you add to your portfolio, and can be as simple as recording the details on an Excel spreadsheet.

There a range of free Excel portfolio templates available online with differing levels of complexity. I use a free tool called Portfolio Slicer (no affiliation to The Motley Fool). The tool takes some time to set up, but offers comprehensive analysis.

Most brokers also offer basic portfolio tracking tools as part of their service.

2. Diary results days

Next, add the dates of the company’s half and full year results to your calendar. These can usually be found on the company’s website or corporate calendar. Telstra for example has a page of key dates on its investor website.

Share prices can move sharply around these dates if investors get surprised by unexpected information, so set up alert reminders for the day before.

3. Diary dividend days!

Payday! Diarise the dates of future dividends, which will be announced with the results.

It’s also a good idea to consider any Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP) offered by the company in the month before payment is due. These can often be a clever way to boost your returns at an attractive rate, as was the case for SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited-Ord (ASX: SKC) last year.

4. Sign-up with the company’s share registrar

This will give you quick access to your official holding balance (number of shares), as well as let you sign up for email correspondence for company reports and important documents.

Two of the main registrars are Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) and Link Market Services.

5. Write down why you bought it

Finally, take 60 seconds to write down why you bought the company. Why this company over the thousands of others?

This will help to set your expectations and give you a benchmark to measure future performance against, preventing your expectations being stretched if the company fails to deliver.

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Motley Fool contributor Regan Pearson owns shares of Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.