Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

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MontanaFarmer
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Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by MontanaFarmer »

Is there an app, software, or something else that can track different buckets of money under one brokerage account? Here is the scenario: In our family we have a Vanguard brokerage account for each of these to keep them separate and easy to track:

- brokerage account for purchasing a vehicle in the future

- brokerage account for emergency fund (before anyone freaks out about having ER money in a brokerage account please know we still have an account with our bank that has one month worth of expenses ready to go if needed)

- brokerage accounts for each of our children to fund their ROTH IRA's once they make income (this makes 2) These are not in their names.

- brokerage account for extra retirement savings cause we have maxed out our other avenues

What I am getting at is it would be nice to have this under one brokerage account and have the magic of compounding interest work with a bigger pile of money, instead of having it broken out into different brokerage accounts with smaller amounts of money. But yet still be able to show how much we have contributed for purchasing a vehicle and the interest that goes along with it. Granted not all the money is invested exactly the same but some does have the same types of index funds.

Thoughts, Ideas, or just keep on keeping on.
Laundry_Service
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by Laundry_Service »

Google Sheets can do this pretty easily. If you don't know how to use a spreadsheet you'll have to do some reading.
PaunchyPirate
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by PaunchyPirate »

I'd also just create a spreadsheet. Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Libre Office, etc.
sailaway
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by sailaway »

If these are all invested in the same things, then the power of compounding is working the same as it would if they were all in one account. That is simple math. The only way to change the compounding is to change the investments themselves.

Will you really fund your kids' Roth if you can't cash flow it at that time?

Money is fungible. Why does it matter whether X is for your next car or a car that you buy in retirement 20 years from now? I would keep track of contributions made on behalf of the next car in the budget spreadsheet, but not be concerned with the associated growth. In reality, when it comes time to tap any of these funds, you should be looking at the most efficient way to do so at that time - cash flow, TLH, etc - rather than the preassigned bucket.

One alternative would be to put each "bucket" into its own investment within one account, even if it is similar things like a Fidelity total market fund for the car and a Vanguard total market fund for the kids' Roth.
tashnewbie
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by tashnewbie »

sailaway wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:24 pm If these are all invested in the same things, then the power of compounding is working the same as it would if they were all in one account. That is simple math. The only way to change the compounding is to change the investments themselves.

Will you really fund your kids' Roth if you can't cash flow it at that time?

Money is fungible. Why does it matter whether X is for your next car or a car that you buy in retirement 20 years from now? I would keep track of contributions made on behalf of the next car in the budget spreadsheet, but not be concerned with the associated growth. In reality, when it comes time to tap any of these funds, you should be looking at the most efficient way to do so at that time - cash flow, TLH, etc - rather than the preassigned bucket.
+1. I would simply lump everything together into one account (personally, I only have 2 funds in my taxable brokerage account - VTSAX and VTIAX).

When it comes time to use the money, you can decide how best to do that.
retire2022
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by retire2022 »

op

You could sign up for free Morningstar.com Portfolio Watch account and consolidate all your assets and shares under one listing

https://www.morningstar.com/portfolio-manager

You can use the morningstar instant x-ray to set up your portfolio in less than 10 minutes as long as you have current share balance and closing prices

https://www.morningstar.com/instant-x-ray

You could also use Yahoo Finance, or StockMaster app for iphone and or any other web app which aggregates your holdings in one place.
beandeveloper
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by beandeveloper »

OP:

We currently have setup exactly what you have now. We have different brokerage accounts for after-tax retirement savings, new car, house improvements, travel, each kid's wedding savings, etc. We like this structure because it takes such little ongoing management and ease of answering a given question for an expenditure ala "Do we have enough?". On occasion we've decided to take $ from one and put in another - if something unusual was taking place. It also helps manage investments based on different time horizons for the funds' target use. (This really only applies to retirement funds - everything else is close enough in possible use timing to warrant keeping it out of stocks.)

We recently sold a car and just deposited into the car account. While I'm sure it could all be done and tracked in one account - keeping them separate makes it really easy IMHO.
Last edited by beandeveloper on Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
123
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by 123 »

For me it just seems that a seperate account for each bucket of money is just way more complicated than it needs to be. It as if someone feel in love with bookkeeping/accounting and decided to apply it to their personal life. A complicating factor with holdings other than cash or MMF in any taxable account is that transactions are likely something that must be identified at tax return time.

But if it makes things easier for you and helps you reach your financial goals I suppose its okay.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
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Eagle33
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by Eagle33 »

Track shares instead of dollar amounts. Capture the number of shares purchased with each new amount saved for each category. Any dividends or capital gains that are reinvested would be split proportionally to the prior share ratios for the saving categories.
Rocket science is not “rocket science” to a rocket scientist, just as personal finance is not “rocket science” to a Boglehead.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Eagle33 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:07 pm Track shares instead of dollar amounts. Capture the number of shares purchased with each new amount saved for each category. Any dividends or capital gains that are reinvested would be split proportionally to the prior share ratios for the saving categories.
What would be the advantage of doing that?
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Eagle33
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by Eagle33 »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:18 pm
Eagle33 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:07 pm Track shares instead of dollar amounts. Capture the number of shares purchased with each new amount saved for each category. Any dividends or capital gains that are reinvested would be split proportionally to the prior share ratios for the saving categories.
What would be the advantage of doing that?
I find no advantage in doing that nor most of the other suggestions. Just giving OP another grocery shelf item to ponder. Myself, I don't buy everything on the grocery store shelf and doubt others do too.
Rocket science is not “rocket science” to a rocket scientist, just as personal finance is not “rocket science” to a Boglehead.
humblecoder
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by humblecoder »

MontanaFarmer wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:07 pm
What I am getting at is it would be nice to have this under one brokerage account and have the magic of compounding interest work with a bigger pile of money, instead of having it broken out into different brokerage accounts with smaller amounts of money. But yet still be able to show how much we have contributed for purchasing a vehicle and the interest that goes along with it. Granted not all the money is invested exactly the same but some does have the same types of index funds.
You imply that somehow compounding works differently if you have $X in 1 account versus $X/Y in Y accounts. It doesn't. You end up with the same amount of money either way. Whether you choose to hold your money in 1 account or Y accounts comes down to personal preference.

For my part, I actually have separate accounts for different items, like you have. I have a separate asset allocation for each account, based upon its purpose. For money that I need within a year, I will invest it in safe assets (HYSA, money market, short term bonds). For money that I need 1-3 years, I will split it maybe 10/90 or 20/80. For money that I need in 3-5 years, I'll invest it 60/40. For money beyond that, I'll invest it 80/20. The philosophy is that that I want to match my assets with my liabilities.

I know you can do that in a single account using an external spreadsheet to keep track of what is allocated to what, but it is easier for me to just have dedicated accounts. My broker doesn't have a limit on the number of accounts, so why not let them handle the tracking for me? Much simpler than having to keep a second set of books on my own off to the side.
aristotelian
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Re: Tracking One Brokrage Account With a Few Buckets of Money

Post by aristotelian »

Doesn't Vanguard tell you the balances and holdings of all the accounts? What exactly are you looking to track that Vanguard is not tracking?
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