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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Does any one have any tips or 'best practices' for keeping on top of your investing performance (and making things easier at tax time)?

In particular, keeping Average Cost Bases up to date (automatically) using software that will accept a data import from Interactive Brokers? It would be great if there was something like GainsKeeper for Canada that took into account Canada's wash rule...

Yes, Excel is an option but with the data already available from IB it seems redundant to manually enter data again.

Thanks in advance for the help -- I am so glad a forum like this exists in Canada now!

trader9
 

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Hi,

Interesting that there are no replies as yet.
I am also looking for simple software to keep track of my stocks.
Not just the present value but performance as well.
It is easy to see how many shares of company "X" I have and its value today.
The problem is I lose track of the total cost of those share purchases after, eg. 10 years of buying them.

Thanks

martin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
software etc

Yes -- and it is interesting that there is almost nothing out there on the web on the topic as well.

Here are some things I have found since I posted:

1. http://www.thefifthanimal.com/index.html
software that tracks trades -- it seems new / in beta but looks promising and is created by a Canadian.

2. http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-567875.html
A thread on ACB and using a spreadsheet and a little about Canadian tax. Here is another nice and simple thread on Average Cost Base: http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/calculating-your-adjusted-cost-base-acb.htm

3. http://www.captools.com/
Has support for Canadian taxes

4. http://members.shaw.ca/retailinvestor/contacts.html
Some good spreadsheets here.

Just to be sure I emailed Gainskeeper as well as "Simply Track" and they both confirmed they do not support Canadian tax at this point.

I am still looking...
 

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I use Quick tax Stock Tracker. It doesn't do performance tracking but it will calculate any capital gains you may have. As well as dividend payouts and taxes/expenses you had for the year. Come tax time you run a few reports and all the information is at your finger tips.

My accountant gave me a discount because it was already all organized and converted to the Canadian dollar.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Trade Log

Thanks joes_k and mfd.

I have found another Canadian program: Trader's Edge (http://www.tradersedge.com). The web site and screenshots of the program are spartan and there is no user support forum, but it IS geared towards Canadians and covers Canadian capital gains / tax rules.I will probably download the demo and check it out.

Another one I found was Trade Log (http://www.armencomp.com/). Software looks good, but again, no support for Canada.

On another note, for performance tracking, another one I found is StockTickr (http://www.stocktickr.com/). IB data can be imported and it is more for performance tracking and back testing. STOPs is another product that looks promising (http://www.numasoft.com). It seems to have a comprehensive way of tracking trades (I also like that it has a Trade Journal associated with each trade so you can take notes on the trade).

If an users of any of the software that is mentioned in this thread want to comment on their experience using any of the products (pros/cons/wishlists etc) that would be really helpful to those of us who are looking for the best product for our situation.

I will continue to update this thread as I find things...

~ trader9
 

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Are you are just looking to track trades for tax purposes, or are concerned with comparing performance between trades as well?

Difficulties to overcome when tracking performance:

1) Making $100 on $1,000 is different than making $100 on $10,000. Size of your initial investment matters, so you should express your gains as %.

2) Include your commissions in your cost base (both to buy and to sell). This amount of money was comitted as soon as you entered the trade, so it should be considered as part of the base for calculating profit.

3) Making $100 over 10 days is different than making $100 over 3 years. You should track the number of days you had invested and turn your absolute % gain into a comparable time basis (monthly, annual). My problem with this method is that it seems to reward you for holding a loss for a long period of time, but really if you don't continue to lose money at the same rate, then it makes sense that the % loss per month/year decreases.

4) Consider taxes and exchange effects as well in your profit on the sale. I have made money on trades that have lost because of exchange. You should report all trade in their CAD values (at the date of the trade or some reasonable alternative rate) even if you maintain the balance in a foreign currency. Taxes should be factored in as well (using the incremental tax rate rather than your effective tax rate).

5) Including dividends in this calculation is difficult. If the return is calculated as a % of the cost basis at the time the dividend was granted, but you do not add the cost basis to the rest of your investments for summary purposes, they can be shown alongside capital gains as additional % return per month/year. Reinvested dividends should have a calculated cost base equal to the cash value of the dividend divided by the number of shares received.

6) For multiple purchases of the same stock, you may also want to track specific trades instead of using an average cost base as required by the CRA in order to better track the performance of your investment decisions. This depends on your needs and investing style.
 
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