TFSA - Share Balance

ownvolition
ownvolition Member
edited April 14 in All Things Canadian (Mac)
I assumed that when I added the Share Balance column to my TFSA display, I would see a running total of shares in the account, incremented by Buys and decremented by Sells. Sorta what a *balance* has always meant in finance. But there's only a figure in the column when a transaction is Buy or Sell, and in each case it's just a positive number for a Buy and a negative for the Sell - the number of shares in the *transaction*. Why why why? Or is there a different way to get a running "balance" of shares in the account?

Best Answer

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    Hi, again, ownvolition. I am glad you figured it out.

    From your last "now we're getting close", I thought you had figured this out. So, I apologize for the silence.

    Yes, the share balance is for that individual security. Your redacted screenshots made it a bit harder to track what you were doing. (The "My name" was confusing, and I think you figured out why.) 

    But, most all of these retirement plans act in a similar fashion: you transfer cash in, and it is converted (a Buy transaction) to a security. If you sell or there are fees, then they sell off shares. Then you have dividends and reinvests, but those are pretty self explanatory. 

Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    The "share balance" column in my investment accounts works as expected: it displays the current total for that security as would be seen in the portfolio view after the resulting transaction (i.e., Buy, Sell, etc.)

    Now, I have all transactional history for my investment accounts, and I suspect you have (auto-generated) placeholders transactions at the beginning of the register "adding in" shares for older history. These are added to make the final balance correct. 

    After making a backup, you could try manually entering a transaction identical to the initial placeholder (i.e., Add Shares of XYZ) for that date. This will make it permanent and static. Then, get rid of the placeholder that varies based on what is downloaded. I suspect you will now see the share balance update accordingly. 
  • ownvolition
    ownvolition Member
    Hi John, I appreciate the quick response, but would like to clear up some of the assumptions made.

    I have no auto-generated transactions, nor do I download from a financial institution - all transactions were entered manually, sequentially. To try to make the situation clearer, here's a anonymised version of the account with amounts changed, to help you visualise (wish I could post an image, this fake spreadsheet will have to do - "<>" means empty entry in column):

    Date .. Type .. Security/Payee .. Description/Category .. Memo/Notes .. Cash In .. Cash Out .. Balance .. Shares In .. Shares Out .. Share Balance
    2022-02-13 .. Payment/Deposit .. Opening balance .. Miscellaneous .. <> .. <> .. <> .. 0.00 .. <> .. <> .. <>
    2022-02-14 .. Sell .. <myName> .. 0 shares .. Transfer:Current .. 5,000.00 .. <> .. 5,000.00 .. <> .. <> .. <>
    2022-02-14 .. Buy .. <investmentType> .. [email protected] .. Unit book cost: 25.00 .. <> .. 5,000.00 .. 0.00 .. 200 .. <> .. 200
    2022-02-28 .. Sell .. <myName> .. 2 shares @ 25.00 .. Convert for fee .. 50.00 .. <> .. 50.00 .. <> .. 2 .. -2
    2022-02-28 .. Payment/Deposit .. <bankName> .. Bank exp:Other fee .. <> .. <> .. 50.00 .. 0.00 .. <> .. <> .. <>

    So you can see that the last column (Share Balance) is always empty, from the start, except the Buy and Sell.

    Does that help at all to explain?
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Howdy, again, ownvolition.

    Yes, we regulars have to make assumptions or otherwise we would be playing 20 questions all the time :-) So, you added info clarifies things.

    I tried reproducing your register in both Excel and Quicken, and it doesn't add up as listed: Is this close?



    Some of this doesn't quite make sense. (And i might have interpreted you pseudo "<>sv" format incorrectly) But, you need a transfer of cash into the account (from another cash account) before you can do anything. Then you buy the securities you want. 

    You indicate sell transactions for (what I would expect to be) transfers which doesn't quite make sense

    A little clarification here might help. 

    Thanks! (and I always enjoyed my visits to Canada!) 

  • ownvolition
    ownvolition Member
    Now we're getting close :-) .

    The first Sell transaction actually is a transfer from a cash account as shown in Memo, I changed it now to a Payment/Deposit (which makes more sense than a 0-share Sell), but it makes no difference to the display.

    The second Sell is a transaction by the bank, a forced sell of shares to pay an account fee - so I document it as a true Sell. (I will shortly be adding cash to the account to pay fees in future, rather than triggering securities Sells).

    Glad you enjoyed visits here, some day cross-border travel will be normalised...
  • ownvolition
    ownvolition Member
    I have figured it out, by chance.

    The Share Balance is the balance for the Security named in the transaction. In my example above, since there is a dual-purpose column Security/Payee, for the forced Sell, I put my own name, as the Payee was effectively myself. However, if I put the Security name in that column, the Share Balance column correctly shows the share balance for *that* particular security. I suppose this makes some sense if you have multiple securities in an account, as each security will have a different balance, and a Sell implicitly credits the account, rather than a named Payee. I was "blinded" by the fact that there is a single investment in my TFSA account at the moment, hence I expected that the Share Balance would always reflect the balance of that security, as the Balance column reflects the cash balance in the account.

    Whew!
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    Hi, again, ownvolition. I am glad you figured it out.

    From your last "now we're getting close", I thought you had figured this out. So, I apologize for the silence.

    Yes, the share balance is for that individual security. Your redacted screenshots made it a bit harder to track what you were doing. (The "My name" was confusing, and I think you figured out why.) 

    But, most all of these retirement plans act in a similar fashion: you transfer cash in, and it is converted (a Buy transaction) to a security. If you sell or there are fees, then they sell off shares. Then you have dividends and reinvests, but those are pretty self explanatory. 
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