How to best track Vanguard Investment account

As part of my path to building wealth, I recently set up a Vanguard investment account.  How should I track this account?  I set it up as "tracking" and when I did the first download it showed a transfer from my bank into the account and a purchase of a fund as a debit on the account and shows no balance.   Just wondering how others do it.

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    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 3 yrs ago
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    I wouldn't bother with the automatic imports. YNAB doesn't really know how to deal with the data from brokerage accounts.

    Transfers from your budget will be categorized.

    Once a month, just reconcile the account and let a reconciliation adjustment transaction update to the new value. I usually do it based on the value of the account on the last day of the month (after any dividends have posted from bond funds), because the Net Worth report in YNAB is based on calendar month.

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  • Like nolesrule , I only update my investment account (as well as my various IRAs and my 401(k)) once at the end of the month. I do 100%  manual entry for all on budget and tracking accounts, so I just look up the value and do a reconciliation adjustment transaction.

    Like 2
  • makes sense.  I handle my 401k accounts like jenmas does and was wondering if this had to be different.



  • YNAB is not good at tracking investments that can fluctuate in value.  If you want to have your entire net worth in YNAB, just update the tracking account manually however often you find presents the best balance between labor and current information.

    For actually knowing what's in the account, the Vanguard web site would be best.

    Disclaimer:  I don't track investments or net worth in YNAB; I do that in Quicken.  This is largely a holdover from having Quicken before YNAB existed and being comfortable with what it does.  I woudln't recommend rushing out and buying Quicken just to track net worth or investments.

    Like 2
  • I put my Vanguard and other investment accounts as tracking accounts.  I manually reconcile them to account for changes in investment value.  We do withdraw from these accounts from time to time (for example, from the IRA) and I record the withdrawals.  I find it is better to just withdraw from the tracking account and then to separately show a To Be Budgeted entry to my checking account (that is, don't do a transfer).  I just track the values in YNAB since as others mentioned this is not the place to really track how the investments are doing.  I do like having the value listed in YNAB though so I can track net worth.

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  • I agree with most here. Add those types as tracking accounts and then I don't even bother with reconciling. I just edit the amount in the tracking account column. I started using YNAB tracking after I had already set up a Personal Capital account. Not to take away from YNAB but I love Personal Capital for tracking net worth. Based on how the information was presented there, I updated the tracking accounts on YNAB. Now I have the remaining principal on the mortgage, house value, retirement accounts, college savings, CDs, and even land and vehicles that I own. I usually once a month or every two months open Personal Capital and once it aggregates and updates balances I update YNAB. I don't use Personal Capital for budgeting or tracking spending, so YNAB reports gives me a pretty good read on my finances as a whole. Food for thought!

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