sweep accounts and DivReinvest: best practices?

van_looveren's Avatar


12 Jan, 2021 02:46 AM

Second post and I'm already really impressed by the responsiveness of the community. I tried my best to research the forum and not waste others' time, but not finding a satisfactory answer, I'm posting here.

My main question is What is the best method of handling cash sweep accounts for those who like seeing the "Cash Balance" of the Register reflect investable cash? It would be great if there was a way to designate a security or account as the cash equivalent for the investment account. Does that (or something equivalent) exist in MD?

My second question, within the context of the above, is how to handle a downloaded transaction that is effectively a DivReinvest, but is a set of three transactions (Div, BuyXfr, and Xfr) that almost accomplish the same thing? I feel like there's a tension between what I like to see (and would enter manually) versus what comes from a broker download (Merrill Edge in this case, where "BofA RASP II" is my Primary Money Account). I say it's almost the same thing because the downloaded transactions don't capture the cost basis of the reinvestment of the security.

Attached is an illustration of a dividend reinvestment that contrasts the compactness of my manually entered (highlighted) transaction with the verbose-yet-incomplete set of downloaded transactions. Is this typical of downloaded transaction format ( MS Money vs Quicken)? And is there a technique for consolidating/merging these transaction sets to get to the more compact and complete form?

  1. 1 Posted by van_looveren on 12 Jan, 2021 02:47 AM

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    I guess the failed captcha removed my attachment. Attached for real this time.

  2. 2 Posted by dwg on 12 Jan, 2021 05:19 AM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    Investment houses have some interesting ways of doing things.

    I would assume the goal is to keep the three downloaded transactions to prevent any being downloaded again, if so it becomes how can we modify what is there to be fundamentally correct. I do not understand what they are doing in some respects, they seem to have done a buy at a zero price yet they are showing money has been received and put into another account.

    Here is a way I can think of doing this

    1. Change the Div transaction to a DivXfr with the transfer being Bank of America

    2. Change the BuyXfr to a Buy and put in the correct per share price and total.

    3. Change the Xfr to a positive amount

    What this should do it show a div transaction with funds going to another account, perform a buy transaction and then doing a transfer to pull the money from the account it was transferred to.

    If I was not trying to maintain all the old transactions I would cut ti down to just a div then a buy.

  3. 3 Posted by van_looveren on 12 Jan, 2021 06:12 AM

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    Thanks again, @dwg.

    I would assume the goal is to keep the three downloaded transactions to prevent any being downloaded again

    This is a great point. I hate to have my work defeated by clutter from or reversion by a future download. With the suggestion of changing the transaction type, is there some recordkeeping that will still match up a re-downloaded transaction with the modified one?

    I can't determine if you are implicitly suggesting that a separate account (BofA in my case) is the "right" way to track cash or if that's a concession in order to avoid "fighting" the screwiness of ML transaction accounting (I attached the corresponding statement lines).

  4. 4 Posted by dtd on 12 Jan, 2021 06:22 AM

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    just a user. I have to change Schwab downloads all the time.

    Still - the comment - "keep the downloads, just make them fit you" is the way I go.

    If I continue to download items, I don't want to be secondguessed.

    That said, if I keep the transactions, it's mostly just a verification type code of we downloaded it. I sometimes just zero out items and keep them so it doesn't get redownloaded.

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 12 Jan, 2021 06:49 AM

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    Bank of America exists in the transfer field therefore I have to assume that it is an existing account, the data that is shown in the transactions is all I had to work with.

    With OFX there is a transaction ID, so long as there is a transaction in the account with that ID it should not be downloaded again.

  6. 6 Posted by van_looveren on 12 Jan, 2021 07:54 AM

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    @dtd, @dwg, thanks for the advice and details on inner workings. I see now that I can 1) keep my manual entries clean and neat OR adapt to each brokers' accounting and download format, and 2) am savvy that if I do dabble in downloading, I will save myself headache by not broadly deleting transactions that don't fit what I want to see.

    I'm just getting one account in so far so that I can look at a complete "corner" of our financial picture and see what insights it can give me. Ultimately, if I can produce an accurate picture of my diversification and return on specific investments for given time periods, I'll be happy. Looking forward to trying out the Reports!

  7. System closed this discussion on 13 Apr, 2021 08:00 AM.

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