Archive - Moneydance 2017 - Investment Accounts

This is an archived document. Please refer to the more recent knowledge base articles on this page

How Investment accounts work -

Investment accounts in Moneydance are used to aggregate and track the value of a set of securities, as well as calculate the balance that is created by all transactions in that account.

You can display and modify your investment holdings using three different options: Portfolio View, Register and Securities Detail, and easily enter standard bank-type transactions in the Bank Register View. You can read more about each of these options below -


What are Securities? -

Securities are units of value that can be aggregated and tracked in investment accounts. Examples of securities include stocks, mutual funds and bonds.

The value of most securities relative to some currency can change over time. In Moneydance, all securities are recorded relative to your base currency but can be displayed relative to any other currency.

All of the securities in your data file are accessible via the Tools → Securities menu or by clicking on the Stock Prices link on the Summary Page. You may add, remove or modify individual securities using this window.

Once created, double-click on the name of a security to view and modify the Currency/Security History, including price and split history, current price, and currency in which the price is displayed. Click the “Edit” button to make changes to the ticker symbol, suffix, prefix and security name, as well as to display the security’s price on the Summary Page.


The Portfolio View -

This view provides an overview of a single investment account. All securities in the selected investment account that have nonzero values are listed along with their current price, number of shares and the current value. The total value of the securities as well as the cash balance of the investment account are also displayed.

If the investment account contains multiple types of securities (stocks, bonds, CDs, etc) then a graph is created showing the distribution of value across the different types of securities.

The Investment Register View -

The Register view shows all transactions in your investment account, including bank-type transactions. Clicking on a column header in the Investment Transaction Register will sort the transactions by that field, if possible. Additional functions are available by right-clicking (or control-clicking on a Mac) on the register or by clicking the pop-up icon in the top right corner of the register.

Transaction Fields in the Investment Register -

You can find information about transaction fields in a bank account register here.

When editing transactions in the investment register, different fields may be enabled or disabled based on the type of transaction. The different fields are described below:


  1. Date The date that the transaction was posted to the account.

  2. Tax Date The date of the transaction for tax purposes.

  3. Action field signifies the type of transaction. This can be one of the following:

    • Buy Purchase shares of a security from funds in the account.
    • BuyXfr Purchase shares of a security using funds from another account.
    • Sell Sell shares of a security and deposit funds into the account.
    • SellXfr Sell shares of a security, placing the funds into another account.
    • Div Dividends earned for a specific security and deposit funds into the account.
    • DivReinvest Dividends earned for a specific security and used to purchase more shares of that security.
    • DivXfr Dividends earned for a specific security and transferred to another account.
    • Short Sell shares of a security that you do not own, in the hope that those shares will go down in value and can be purchased for less.
    • Cover Purchase shares that were previously shorted.
    • MiscInc Miscellaneous income associated with a specific security.
    • MiscExp Miscellaneous expense associated with a specific security.
    • Xfr Transfer funds to or from this investment account, including income or expenses not associated with a specific security.
  4. Check# If this account allows checks to be written from it, this field can be used to record the check number or other Check # field options.

  5. Description General description of this transaction, or payee if this is a check or transfer.

  6. Memo General notes on this transaction.

  7. C Cleared status: blank means the transaction is uncleared, a diamond indicates the transaction is in the process of being reconciled, a check mark indicates that the transaction has been confirmed cleared.

  8. Security The security that is associated with this transaction, if applicable.

  9. Category The category to or from which expenses or income for this transaction are assigned, if applicable.

  10. Transfer The account or category to or from which the funds for this transaction are transferred, if applicable.

  11. Fee Category The category to which the fee for this transaction is assigned, if the fee is non-zero.

  12. Shares The number of shares being purchased or sold, if applicable.

  13. Price The price of the shares being purchased or sold, if applicable.

  14. Amount The total amount of the transaction. If shares are being purchased or sold then this will be equal to the number of shares multiplied by the price, plus (or minus) any fees.

  15. Fee The fee charged by your financial institution for this transaction.

  16. Cash Balance Non-editable field which displays the cash balance of the account after this transaction is applied, in the order specified by the register sorting.

The Bank Register View -

Moneydance offers integrated support for linked investment and checking accounts. The bank register view makes it easy to enter standard bank-type transactions, and include these transactions in the balance of your investment account.

The Securities Detail View -

The Securities Detail view shows specific information about individual securities within the account. Information is displayed for the selected security in the pop-up list. You can customize the graph by Ctrl+Click or right-clicking anywhere in the image field to bring up a number of options, including the ability to copy, print, and save the graph.

Transaction List A list of all transactions associated with the selected security within the current investment account.

Security Information Details such as the number of shares owned, current price, current value, cost basis and the percentage change of value.

Security Functions Buttons for recording a stock split, adding or editing a new security, editing the lot assignment, editing the price/volume history, and removing the security.

Performance/Volume Graph This graph displays the price of the security over time (adjusted for splits) as well as the trading volume.

Adding New Securities to an Investment Account -

Setting up securities in your investment account happens in three stages: creating the security, associating it with an investment account(s), and entering your holdings.

You can add a new security by either navigating to Tools → Securities, or from the "Securities Detail" portion of your investment account, choose Add Security → New Security.


There are a number of fields you will need to enter:

Security ID A unique identifier of a security within Moneydance, it's not something that has any existence outside of Moneydance.

Security Name The name of the security.

Ticker Symbol Enter the symbol for the stock. Moneydance can access stock information from Yahoo! Finance USA, Yahoo! Finance UK, and Google Finance.

Price This value can be changed either from the "History" window or by using the extensions that automatically update prices.

Value Prefix and Suffix By default, holdings are measured in shares as in equity holding. If you have some other kind of denomination for your holdings (such as contract for options) you can enter them here either as a prefix or a suffix to the price per unit of the security.

Decimals Be sure to enter the same number of decimal spaces that are used in your broker's share accounting. (In most cases this will be 2, although some use 4 or 6.)

Adding an existing Security to an Investment Account -

If you have already created your security, you can associate it with a particular investment account by opening the Securities Detail view and clicking on the “Add Security” button.

Select the appropriate security and fill out the rest of the security information identifying it as a stock, bond, CD, option contract, etc. and the particular information unique to that type of security.

Most of this information is just used for identification purposes and is not used in calculations of any kind within Moneydance. Creating a security using this method will automatically associate it with the investment account you are currently working in.

Lots vs Average Cost Purchases -

In essence, the cost basis of a set of shares is the amount that was spent acquiring those shares. Moneydance currently supports Average Cost and Lot-based Cost calculations.

Average Cost This is the simplest calculation method, in which shares are assumed to have a cost basis equal to the average price paid for that security times the number of shares. This is the default selection in Moneydance.

Lot-based Cost This calculation method allows you to select which buy transactions (and individual shares within those transactions) were used to purchase the shares for each sale. This is the appropriate method to use the FIFO (First In, First Out) method of tracking your shares.

Entering your current holdings -

From the register you may now enter transactions that reflect your holdings for this security. If you are adding initial holdings, you can enter BuyXfr transactions with the category Initial Holdings as a custom income category to reflect that you already possess these securities at the creation of this account within Moneydance.

If you are entering a transaction that is not an initial holding, be sure to enter as the category in the 2nd line "transaction fee" or "commission" to reflect applicable broker fees

It is important to remember that Moneydance will only download transactions from your account when you import or download from your financial institution. Therefore, unless the initial purchase of the security is in the download, you will not have the complete information for your security. You may need to manually enter transactions for the account to reflect your current holdings.

  • Manual Entry - The most straightforward way to enter your holdings is to manually input all of the account transactions from the date of purchase to the current date into the register. This will allow Moneydance to track capital gains. You'll find information about entering transactions towards the start of this article.

  • Starting with a Current Balance - If you feel you have too many historical transactions to enter manually, or prefer to start from your current balances, you can do so. It is important to remember that if you start from the current balance and don't enter all the historical transactions, Moneydance will not be able to track capital gains.
    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 viewing 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).

Importing Security, Stock, or Mutual Fund Prices

Moneydance can automatically download price information from Yahoo! USA, Yahoo! UK, or Google Finance. First, install the Quotes and Exchange Rates extension. You can find instructions for downloading extensions in this article. Once installed, open the extension from the Extensions menu.

You can customize the Quotes and Exchange Rates settings as follows:

Currency Exchange Rate The default setting, “Yahoo! Currency Exchange Rate”, tells Moneydance to update all currency exchange rates using information from Yahoo! based on your chosen Update Frequency, or when you click “Update Now” in the Extension window.

Historical Security Prices Choose Yahoo! Finance USA, Yahoo! Finance UK, or Google Finance as the source for historical security price updates within Moneydance. Moneydance will apply updates based on your chosen Update Frequency, or when you click “Update Now”.

Current Security Prices Choose Yahoo! Finance USA or Yahoo! Finance UK as the source for current security prices.

Update Frequency Choose the interval at which the extension will update rates and prices.

Next Update Shows the date of the next scheduled update. Edit this field to schedule an update on a different date.

Only Show Securities that I Own Tells the Extension to only list securities that you have associated with an account. (View all the securities you have created in Moneydance by clicking Tools → Securities.)

Clicking the “Advanced” button will allow you to test whether quotes and price histories are available for the securities you select. To run a test, click “Test” in the Advanced window. If Moneydance is able to download the information, check marks will appear in the “Test Results” field, along with a current quote. If the information is not available—the ticker symbol is incorrect, or the data is not accessible from the source you've selected-- “X” marks will be shown.

Current exchange rates, security histories, and current quotes will automatically be integrated into your Investment accounts. To view this information, click on an investment account on the Summary Page or Sidebar, select “Securities Detail”, and then choose the security you'd like to view.

You can also view the price and volume history of each of your securities by selecting “History” from the "Securities Detail” page of an Investment account.

Integrating Manually Entered Security Prices -

Moneydance offers the ability to enter historical stock prices directly from the within Investment accounts. You can do so in the following ways -

Manual entry - Open the Securities Detail view and click History. Click the "New" button to add a new price entry, and repeat to enter as many entries as you like. If you have many entries you may need to scroll down to see the "New" line.

Importing transaction prices from your security's transaction history - Open the Securities Detail view and click History. Click the Import button. Select “Import from Transactions” and click “Import”. The information from your security transactions will be integrated into your security’s history. You’ll need to repeat this process for each security you’d like to import information for.

Importing a file - Open the Securities Detail view and click History. Click the Import button. Select “Import from File” and click “Import”, then navigate to and select the file containing the security price history. You can import Comma or Tab delimited files