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Accounting for futures gains/losses at Interactive Brokers

Hi - When I download the investment data from Interactive Brokers (IB) for the future contracts I own (which are different than owning an ETF or mutual fund), instead of the value of the security changing, quicken downloads MiscInc (when the value goes up) and MiscExp (when the value goes down).

I need to assign a category to these gains/losses. I have never understood the difference between the _UnRlzdGain and ¥Unrealized Gain categories. I can assign the transactions to the ¥Unrealized Gain category but not the other one. My other gains/losses go to the _UnRlzdGain category. Is my best approach to assign them to the ¥Unrealized Gain category or would anyone have any other suggestion?

At this point I have a few hundred transactions I need to assign to the same category. I searched around and saw some approaches to this but was wondering if anyone could point me to the best advice on how to assign the same category to a lot of transactions at once.

Thanks!

Best Answer

Answers

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    OK.  So you are trading in securities I don't.  My help may be minimal.
    quicken downloads MiscInc (when the value goes up) and MiscExp (when the value goes down).

    Not to be argumentative, but it is not that Quicken downloads those transactions, it is that IB provides those transactions to Quicken.  Why do they do that?  What do they show on their website for your account?  

    What is the real-world meaning to the change?  Is it a change in value (a price change), or some level of actual transactions.  The MiscInc or MiscExp  transaction would suggest a change in value of the cash in your account.  Is that accurate (real world)?

    With exceptions, using hidden categories (_xxxx) should not be a common practice.  IMO, assigning _UnrlzdGain to a 'real world' transaction would be even less likely to be the correct direction.  As I understand it, Quicken only uses _UnrlzdGain when it need to present a change in value based on a change in the price (the markets valuation) of the security.     

  • swensen
    swensen Member ✭✭
    Thanks for trying to help. You raise a good point. The cash balance does go up (or down) as the future contract makes (or losses) money. So unrealized gain isn’t right. It is more like a realized gain.

    Any suggestions on which category to use?

    If possible, I would like the gain/loss to be calculated in the investment performance report. As well, for my income and expense report, I use category groups so I put all the investment categories in one group. I have one report without the investment income/loss and another with it.

    Thanks for the help.
  • swensen
    swensen Member ✭✭
    Thanks very much!

    Now, any idea how to update several hundred uncategorized transactions to the same category without doing it individually?
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You might see if you can do it using a BANKING Transaction Report.  I can’t test that right now. 
  • swensen
    swensen Member ✭✭
    Thanks again for the help. It did work to use a Banking transaction report and recategorize.

    Do you know if there is any way to autocategorize these transactions in the future? That works for my credit card/savings accounts but I don't know how to categorize investments transactions.
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