how to set up investment account

jesse205's Avatar


24 Dec, 2015 07:57 PM

So I assume that this is a topic thats already been addressed, if so please feel free to point me in that direction.

I'm looking to set up moneydance to an existing investment account. In my case its a sharebuilder account. Sharebuilder limits you to downloading a csv file and it looks to me that the "text file importer" extension won't help with an investment account.

I am able to connect moneydance to the sharebuilder account and download transactions, however it does not go back to the start of the account, so what I need to do is manually set the starting balances. Right now I see only the most recent transactions and my attempts at manually entering the initial balances have failed to produce a meaningful result.

I'd like to see the history back to the beginning of my account (only 2013), but I'd settle for it at least showing the correct holdings and value presently.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!



  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ethan on 25 Dec, 2015 01:52 PM

    Ethan's Avatar

    Hello Jesse,

    You can read more about investment accounts starting on page 45 of the Moneydance user guide ( I believe the answer to your question is on page 53, where starting an investment account with a current balance is discussed. I've pasted the relevant part of the text below:

    If this is the method you choose, you must enter some form of “buy” transaction for all the shares of each security you own in the account. To add your current holdings for a security you can enter a Buy transaction for the total number of shares you currently own using the current market value. For example, if you own 50 shares of XYZ stock, enter a single Buy transaction for 50 shares (even if you purchased them over time), using the current market price. You could also enter the original basis for the stocks and the appropriate number of shares, which permits better tracking of your ROI. Repeat for each of your securities. Once you have entered each of your securities this way your account will show a large negative cash balance. To correct this, go to Account → Edit Account (make sure you're in the account you want to edit) and enter the cash balance number as the starting amount in the Initial Balance field (without the negative sign, of course).

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance,

    Moneydance Support

  2. Ethan closed this discussion on 25 Dec, 2015 01:52 PM.

  3. jesse205 re-opened this discussion on 27 Dec, 2015 01:02 PM

  4. 2 Posted by jesse205 on 27 Dec, 2015 01:02 PM

    jesse205's Avatar


    I guess that wasn't really the answer I wanted but thank you for getting back to me. I'm surprised that there is no tool to aid in setting up your accounts. There is already the extension for importing non-financial, I started looking at the format of the xml files compared to the csv files and was tempted to come up with a converter. But since I did not have too many transactions I simply opened the csv files with excel and used them as an aid in manually entering transactions.

    Setting up an existing sharebuilder investment account wasn't that bad and as I started doing it I realized that I did want to put the extra effort in to get a meaningful basis. The fact that they give you csv files back to the start of your account means you have all the information that you need. One recommendation I'd make to anyone doing this is to make sure that you assign a date format to the date column when you open the csv file with openoffice (or excel). Then you can select your table and sort it by date, you still have to do the entry manually but having in chronological order makes it easier.

    It took a me few hours to set up an investment account that I opened in 2013. If I had to do it again it would take half as long, part of the process was learning how to properly enter the transactions.

    My next problem is how to set up an investment account for a company (Janus) that does not give you more than one year of historical data. Thats not a question I'm asking here though I can ask them for the information or simply work backwards knowing only how much money I've contributed historically and what the shares are worth now.

    Anyway thanks for the reply.

  5. 3 Posted by dwg on 27 Dec, 2015 07:48 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    To have useful historical data you need to at least know your buy and sell transactions so that you can enter these and have the correct cost basis and lot information.

    You can use either the initial balance entry or enter miscinc or miscexp transactions to allow for the cash balance(s).

    I have some shares going back to the early 1980's I did this for as II was not going to try and get my old cheque accounts entered and bother about old dividend payments etc, I just wanted to have the actual share transactions.

    There are Text importer and CSV importer extensions that can be installed to help import CSV files, but these files can be difficult to work with. For a one off initial load they can be useful but I would try to find another file format for ongoing use.

  6. System closed this discussion on 27 Mar, 2016 07:50 PM.

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