On 2018-02-21 12:00, Keith Bellairs wrote:

> In the end I do not see that I get anything from using trading accounts. I
> can see that they would be useful for currency if I had to track the
> exchange rate on every foreign currency transaction. But the IRS lets me
> use an average rate for my CDN income(expense).
> Am I using trading accounts wrong?

I'm kind of wondering what they could do for me, and you've fueled my

I have three Vanguard accounts (taxable, Roth IRA, and traditional IRA)
and a company 401(k) to which I'm currently contributing.

The 401(k) has "fake funds" -- they're not traded on any exchange, or if
they are then the customer service rep couldn't give me valid ticket
symbols. So I have to keep track of that myself and post realized gains
or losses in dollars, not shares.

The Vanguard funds are all invested in subsets of the same about eight
mutual funds -- for instance, all three have VTI and VXUS, and two have
BND -- so GnuCash could look up values there. But I'm not clear on what
that would buy me, with my "set it and forget it" portfolio.

For the two IRAs I don't need to do any tax accounting: the Roth is tax
free and any withdrawal from the traditional will be ordinary income.

The taxable account has just two Vanguard funds in it, and that's not
going to change. But since dividends are reinvested automatically, every
month there are purchases of fractional shares, which I'd have to tell
GnuCash about. Is that worth it, or am I better off to stick with the
spreadsheet I've already developed, and just make one-off entries in
GnuCash, in dollars not shares, when I buy or sell (which will be rarely)?

Stan Brown
Tompkins County, New York, USA
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