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Investment Addon

Chris and all

We have touched briefly in some development discussion or other, about being able to handle investments at some point in LSMB.

I am not at the stage of suggesting any direct sponsored work yet, but mainly in figuring out what level of interest there is for this, and what factors should be considered if it is undertaken.

In this case, I am specifically talking about stock market related stuff.

Is there any current thinking on how to go about this?

The only way I know how to do it now, is with an asset account, and a lot of manual figuring. To-wit:


(N.B. I can not over estimate the value of that site in providing detailed accounting knowledge on all manner of subjects [1] [2].)

I can only speak to my specific needs, and the needs of my customers. As such, I am only more than remotely informed on the cost method, as it is what we use.

Some method of directly entering positions acquired, costs for acquisition, adjustments for cost basis and such, would be useful. The ability to display a list of instruments held currently, and historically, would also be useful, along with the ability to mark to market for any of them at any time, with a recording of the date such is done.

There would be a lot of room for increasing the abilities of this, but the base idea is to be able to track this stuff to an asset account, without having to do all of the manual calculating which that currently involves.

It could also be useful to be able to enter simple dividends or interest through such an interface, although for things like REIT or MLP dividends, there is usually a level of complexity which would require a journal entry, or at least some other input method. I.E. such are probably beyond the scope of the initial version of something like this.

I envision this to be able to track bonds, stocks, and similar instruments right now. For the purposes of U.S. taxes, options that are transacted without ever holding the underlying security would be treated like stocks, so would be enterable as normal items, except that we would have to consider what fields to make available. Options used that result in transactions involving the underlying security, usually just effect the cost basis or sell price of that security, so could be accounted for with manual adjustments to the security, although we could provide some facility to add notes about such manual adjustments for tracking purposes.

In general, I just want something to make the lives of people who have to track this sort of thing easier. It will never be "easy", exactly, and we can never account for all possibilities, but I am interested in making it less difficult.


[1] http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/Accounting-Principles-I.topicArticleId-21081.html
[2] http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/Accounting-Principles-II.topicArticleId-21248.html