Seek Advice for Tracking Stocks and Options

I set up a separate Business Entity in Manager for every Stock Account that I have. My reasoning is I am interested in the separate profit and loss from each account. The accounts can be with the same or separate brokerage.

I do stock and standard option transactions. The important question is: Did I profit or lose on a position.
A position could be a stock only position, a call only position, or a buy-write (buy the stock, sell the call). There are also put options.

Over time there will be hundreds of stock inventory items; there will be thousands of option inventory items. Aside from other reason, the biggest reason for so many more option inventory items is that options expire. Say the stock is Caterpillar having stock symbol CAT. Two of the many options for CAT might be

CAT 11/16/2018 130.00 call
CAT 02/15/2019 130.00 call

The only difference between these two calls is the expiration date. The calls can only be an active inventory item until they expire. These inventory items cannot be reused next month or next year or ever. Therefore over time, there will be thousands of option inventory items.

On the other hand, if I buy CAT (the stock) and later sell it, I can reuse CAT inventory item if I buy CAT next month, next year, or whenever.

On a given day, I might buy 5 to 10 stocks and sell 5 to 10 stocks. That’s 10 to 20 entries for the day. Since there is an option buy or sell for each stock transaction, there are double the transactions. That’s 20 to 40 entries for the day. In the worst case, I have never bought or sold any of the stocks or options until today. That’s up to 40 new inventory items. So, I make use of Manager’s bulk inventory batch create.

The point I am trying to make is that there are a lot of transactions to enter. Batching is important to me.

Import Bank Statement could potentially help me to batch enter transactions. However, Import Bank Statement does not work for me because I cannot specify inventory items and quantities. I hope that Manager has some batch capability for me and that the only problem is that I am looking in the wrong place (i.e. bank statement imports is not where Manager gives me the ability to batch enter transactions that involve inventory.

  • I hope you can help me with batch transaction entries involving inventory.

I am thinking that maybe Purchases and Sales of stocks and options can be better expressed as Openings and Closings of positions, which I will explain further. First, here is what I think to set up

I changed the names as shown. When I do a buy write, I am purchasing the Stock and selling the Call. What I was doing before is entering the Stock purchase as a purchase and entering the Call sale as a sale.

The new way about which I am thinking is to record both the Stock purchase and Call sale as an Opening. You can see from my renaming the accounts that internally to Manager I am recording both as a purchase.

I enter the opening using all positive numbers for the Stock and a negative inventory amount for the Call.

A small thing is that the option price is given per share of stock. However, one option is 100 shares. So if I buy or sell an option, the price of one option is 100 times the quoted price of the option. When I record in Manager, I need to either record 100 times the number of options or 100 times the price of the option.

  • I am interested if you like 100 times the quantity or 100 times the price.

I tried a test transaction. I am surprised that I get “suspense”. I’ll show you. Here is the transaction:

Go to Find and Recode:

I see “suspense” in the transaction.

I click Edit to show you the transaction:

  • My question is, what am I doing wrong that I have suspense in my transactions?
    Or is suspense in Find and Recode something I should ignore?

Going back to entering Opening and Closing positions: If I enter opening and closing positions instead of purchases and sales of stocks and options, here is how I hope to benefit:

  1. If I am only opening positions for the day, I enter only one Opening Position transaction (a payment in Manager). I can record negative payments (purchases) instead of receipts (sales) for selling options. The result from entering one opening transaction is I have positive and negative inventory counts.

  2. When I close an entire position (entered as a receipt / sale), the result is inventory counts zeroed for those positions closed. So close (sale in Manager) always means reduction (towards zero) of inventory counts.

So, this is the big change: Using Manager’s Payment transaction to mean I am opening or increasing positions; and using Manager’s Receipt transaction to mean I am reducing or closing positions.

So far looks to me that Manager handles negative quantities and negative prices seamlessly.

  • I am very, very interested what you think. Am I heading for trouble? Or do you have some other ideas how to have Manager reports tell me overall on each securities account how much I am profiting or losing? And on a position how much did I profit or lose?

I think I figured out the answer to this:

I think I record 100 times the price because of something else I would be doing. That something else is summarizing many transactions that I download from the broker so that instead of entering a few thousand transactions in a month, I enter 4 or 5.

When I purchase 1,200 shares of stock X, what I download from the broker is not one transaction with quantity 1,200 shares and a single price. Instead, what I download is oodles of mini-transactions for 23 shares, 300 shares, 100 shares, and on and on. Each has its own price. So already, I need to calculate a single price (because I am making a single entry). When I multiply the price times quantity, I don’t get exactly the same total amount as my broker. That’s because I’m summing all my broker’s individual transaction amounts and dividing by the number of shares. I don’t get an exact price due to the precision limit. And some numbers will never have enough precision such as 33.333333333333…

So, what I think to do is have a rounding account in the chart of accounts. That is something I hope someone can help me with. Because I have a rounding account, I can now take my weighted average price times quantity, add or subtract a rounding error to get my broker’s exact amount.

I think in this forum, there is mention of a rounding account as part of producing desired reports. But the reports look perfect to me without the rounding account almost all the time.

Here is what bothers me. I make an entry to purchase a stock. I enter the quantity and the price. I get close to my broker’s amount. Then I add or subtract the rounding amount to get exactly my broker’s amount. That amount is a debit or credit to some account. Where does that account go? Assets, liabilities, income, COGS (cost of goods sold is renamed in my proposed chart of accounts to cost of securities closed), or an expense account?

I was batch creating some inventory items. In my spreadsheet, the form didn’t look right. Then, I realized that by mistake I was in Receipts and Payments, not Inventory.

I did not realize that you had already implemented batch entry for Receipts and Payments. And looks like I can batch enter my stock transactions, too, because there are Lines.Account, Lines.Item and Lines.Amount columns.

This is wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I went to the Guides. I found I did not find “Receipts” or “Payments” when I did a search. However, I see it says “These batch operations are available whenever you see these buttons in the bottom-right corner…”

Manager Staff really listen to their users.

Thank you.

Seems like the only questions that remain at this point are:

  1. “what am I doing wrong that I have suspense in my transactions?
    Or is suspense in Find and Recode something I should ignore?” (String matches the place in original post.)

  2. Using Opening and Closing instead of Purchases and Sales.

Under Summary > Equity do you have an account listed under Retained Earnings called Suspense, if no, then you can ignore in Find and Recode.

Sounds OK

In the Summary, I have no Suspense accounts anywhere. So, maybe the Suspense I see has something to do with my using Inventory. But doesn’t matter. I am reassured that I can ignore it.

Usually, Suspense would mean I did not enter some account for the other half of a transaction. I like this feature because I can, as an example, start to enter a transaction. Maybe I realize in the middle that I need to create another account. I can save the incomplete transaction, create the account, and then go back to complete the transaction. If I get interrupted in the middle of this, the Suspense in the Summary reminds me I am incomplete somewhere.

Anyway, I appreciate your answers and encouragement. Manager proves flexible and adaptable by allowing thinking in terms of purchase and sale of inventory stock or in open and close of a securities stock position.

The first paragraph of the Guide also says, " They can be used in all functional tabs except :

  • Billable Expenses
  • Folders
  • Emails
  • Reports