Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

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Tony
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Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by Tony » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:00 pm

I've just noticed that my Vanguard account online shows my short term bond fund has a huge unrealized gain and a very small total cost of shares. Shall I let it go for now and hope that it will be rectified at some point?

I am away from my records and have been for some time. I'm also not very good at checking - at least I haven't been up to now, but I sure will be in the future.

Another wrinkle is that in the past couple of months I have sold half the fund and I imagine the figures for the sale are wrong too.

I'm astounded. I've been too trusting. What to do??

Best wishes and thanks for your perspective.
Tony

Sidney
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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by Sidney » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:03 pm

I'd call them.

I personally don't rely on VG alone to track cost on anything. In other words, I maintain my own separate records. No different than maintaining a separate record of transactions in a checking account. You wouldn't rely solely on the bank for that would you? That is what a bank rec is all about.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

Tony
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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by Tony » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:41 pm

Ok, thanks for that response. It's inconvenient to call from where I am, but I can email my rep. Follow up with a phone call if absolutely necessary.

I did check the confirmations and those are correct and so are the totals in the Accounts and Activity list. But when I click on that link I get a completely wrong unrealized gain/loss and total cost of shares. Way, way off!

I'm going to do as you do and track carefully from now on. I've already been to the Wiki to download a tracking spreadsheet (link didn't work; I reported it).

Thanks!
Tony

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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:04 pm

Hi Tony,

Considering the new IRS reporting requirments, if you believe there is an error on your Vanguard statement or website, I would strongly consider calling them.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:42 pm

Tony wrote:I'm going to do as you do and track carefully from now on. I've already been to the Wiki to download a tracking spreadsheet (link didn't work; I reported it).
I checked the wiki. Was it My Personal Index? You can find it here: My Personal Index - Now a Standalone Application. Be sure to check the most recent posts for an update.

I PM'd the owner for an update.
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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by sscritic » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:01 pm

You have sold shares, so you have both realized and unrealized gains. Look at both.

How did you choose which shares to sell? If you sold the shares with the highest basis so as to minimize the realized gain, you at the same time kept the shares with the lowest basis giving yourself the maximum possible unrealized gain.

Tony
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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by Tony » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:45 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Tony wrote:I'm going to do as you do and track carefully from now on. I've already been to the Wiki to download a tracking spreadsheet (link didn't work; I reported it).
I checked the wiki. Was it My Personal Index? You can find it here: My Personal Index - Now a Standalone Application. Be sure to check the most recent posts for an update.

I PM'd the owner for an update.
It wasn't My Personal Index. It was the link in "most mutual funds". Here's the paragraph where it appears, but "most mutual funds" doesn't show up as a link here...:
Sample spreadsheets
Here are three versions of a spreadsheet for tracking tax lots, and computing the capital gains and losses on each sale. There is a version for stocks or ETFs, most mutual funds, and funds with purchase and redemption fees. In a brokerage account, you would make one sheet in a workbook for each holding. The worksheets adjust for stock splits and share class conversions, but if you sell part of a lot, you have to split the lot into two purchases manually.

I saw that "most mutual funds" had a connection to Grabiner so I PM'd him. He said the website is down, but he is emailing me a copy.
I will also look at the link you suggest to see which works for me.

Thanks for checking the Wiki and following up with me.
Tony

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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by Tony » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:23 am

sscritic wrote:You have sold shares, so you have both realized and unrealized gains. Look at both.
How did you choose which shares to sell? If you sold the shares with the highest basis so as to minimize the realized gain, you at the same time kept the shares with the lowest basis giving yourself the maximum possible unrealized gain.
I've looked at both. They are unbelievable. I have a huge realized capital loss (on a short term bond fund?) and the huge unrealized capital gain.
So, yes, I will email and follow up with a phone call if necessary. I can see what's happened, but I don't see how the computer could have made that kind of error. It's frightening - this couldn't be happening just to me.

As to how I chose which shares to sell? Because I'm planning to liquidate that entire holding over the next couple of months, I sold without paying any attention to which shares have the highest basis, so it's the default, FIFO.. Also, since it is a short term bond index, I wouldn't have thought it would make much difference, if I had thought about it.

Thank you, ss!
Tony

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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by Tony » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:55 pm

Thank you again, everyone.

Best wishes,
Tony

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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:13 pm

Tony wrote:It wasn't My Personal Index. It was the link in "most mutual funds". Here's the paragraph where it appears, but "most mutual funds" doesn't show up as a link here...
I saw that "most mutual funds" had a connection to Grabiner so I PM'd him. He said the website is down, but he is emailing me a copy. I will also look at the link you suggest to see which works for me.

Thanks for checking the Wiki and following up with me.
No problem, I saw that My Personal Index had changed the links - which is what I thought you were looking at - it's probably not related to your question here. I also contacted Grabiner - he'll take care of the spreadsheets. Thanks.
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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by sscritic » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:32 pm

Tony wrote: I've looked at both. They are unbelievable. I have a huge realized capital loss (on a short term bond fund?) and the huge unrealized capital gain.
My mistake; I missed the short term bond fund in your OP. It wouldn't matter how you chose the shares to sell, you shouldn't have big anything, gains or losses. Since January 1, Vanguard requires you to pick a method; if you sold last year, the default would have been average cost.

Tony
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Re: Vanguard mistake in unrealized gain and... what to do?

Post by Tony » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:26 am

sscritic wrote:
Tony wrote: I've looked at both. They are unbelievable. I have a huge realized capital loss (on a short term bond fund?) and the huge unrealized capital gain.
My mistake; I missed the short term bond fund in your OP. It wouldn't matter how you chose the shares to sell, you shouldn't have big anything, gains or losses. Since January 1, Vanguard requires you to pick a method; if you sold last year, the default would have been average cost.
Glad you checked back in, ss! I always rely on your good comments.
Tony

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