Where can I learn how to add investments/retirement?

Seems YNAB instruction is geared towards the beginner budgeter, those that are in debt and those looking to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. I would like to learn about adding our investments and retirement accounts to YNAB. Where do I start? Thanks in advance. 

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  • I have those types of accounts as Tracking Accounts (you can pick Investment, Mortgage, Other Asset, or Other Liability). Because managing the day-to-day fluctuations of those accounts presents no value to me, at the end of the month I allow YNAB to create a reconciliation adjustment to get the balance to equal the account value on the last day of the month. I am under the impression that Tracking Accounts don't work with direct connect other than to create the initial balance but can not guarantee that I've just made a factual statement as I do not link any of my accounts in YNAB to financial institutions.

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      • Whereforart
      • Mostly traveled.
      • whereforart
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Some of them do connect - some don't.  I think it depends on the brokerage firm.  However, it won't show everything - the connection will usually just give an updated balance with interest. 

      Reply Like 1
    • jenmas I've found that every account is different, but having something be 'budgeted' vs. 'tracked' isn't relevant. If you have an account as either type, the imported transactions will remain the same! Some of my accounts have imports on deposits, some have imports on investments. Some will give me monthly advisory fees or dividends. Nothing is ever super consistent for me like a normal bank account though. It just depends on the institution! 

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  • I do the same thing as jenmas - I keep my investment and retirement accounts as Tracking Accounts.  Some of them are updated  by direct connect (for example, my TIAA 401(b) account, which is retirement) but others are not.  I think it depends on where the funds are held.  Regardless, at the end of every month (although you could do it quarterly), just go in and make a manual adjustment (or reconcile and adjust).

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  • Thanks guys!

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  • I keep my investment accounts as tracking accounts and I do a reconciliation adjustment for any gains or losses once a month or so.  I enjoy tracking our net worth within YNAB.  :)

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  • I too enjoy watching my Net Worth graph improve.

    I track 7 retirement and investment accounts -- 1 taxable, 1 LIRA, 2 RRSP,  2 TFSA, 1 Pension (all Canadian) -- and I record any new money I contribute on the date it goes in, but I don't bother with dividends, currency fluctuation, or monthly adjustments for market valuation up or down.  If I notice a 5-10% value shift to the entire account as compared to the number in YNAB, I will enter an adjustment. Otherwise, I just enter my contributions/transfers and record an annual valuation on December 31 every year.

    I tried monthly updates and quarterly updates in my first 1.5 years of using YNAB, and found that was a make-work exercise. It was also distressing if the market was going through a correction, and that's when I decided that an annual benchmark comparison was good enough.

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  • I'm on the other end, in that I've got over 20 accounts in the tracking section - basically everything we own, including the value of our home and the "value" of our vehicles (even though they aren't investments - I actually have scheduled transactions to depreciate them annually.)  

    Some financial institutions will import automatically (like our HSA's and 403b's) but some won't.  I do record dividends, transfers, buys and sells, but YNAB won't track cost basis or tax lots of individual investments/securities, such as the individual values of 5 different mutual funds within one E-Trade portfolio.   So, for a couple of securities, I track each of them as their own account.

    But at the portfolio/account level, I do record a "Decrease in Account Value" or "Increase in Account Value" each month of the unrealized gain/loss so that I know where our net worth is.   I will skip this on investments that don't fluctuate much, like our kids' 529 plans, and just update these quarterly or semi-annually. 

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      • akaJules
      • I’d give up chocolate but I’m not a quitter.
      • akaJules
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nathanbean This is incredibly helpful, thanks so much for sharing!

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  • I know it's not YNAB and the Trackingaccounts are usefull for this. But if you like keep an exact track of your investment accounts, special for Stocks, Funds, and ETF, look at a tool called Portfolio Performance.

    The homepage is in german, the tool itself supports english. Also, there are a lot of youtube howtos out there. If they are not helpful or you need further assistance, DM me :)

    Regards

    Orchid Beat

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  • I think YNAB should build upon this, I have a Etrade, Tastyworks, and TD Amertrade accounts that I track. They all connect just fine but I have a just to keep them accurate.

    So YNAB, I love your product and would love to see you enhance the tracking also, so we can keep monitoring everything in one app with little to no effort.

    -Michael 

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    • Hi Micheal !

      Thank you so much for letting us know you'd like to see improvements to how investment accounts are handled in YNAB! Would you mind submitting a Feature Request? That form goes straight to our development team, to be considered for future updates.

      Reply Like 1
  • How do you record monthly contributions for tracking accounts? I.e., I allocate a monthly sum to my child's 529, but that account is listed under tracking. How do I categorize that money once it's "spent" (auto drafted to 529 account) in YNAB? Thanks all!

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Filly Create a transfer. Since it's too a tracking account it will need to be categorized, and it would categorize to the same category you use in the budget to reserve those funds.

      Reply Like 1
    • nolesrule Oh, thanks for your response! Do you generally also create a line item in your budget (i.e., child 529 or child college savings?). Thank you!

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Filly you have to have a budget category in order to categorize the transfer. 

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