Is anyone using Tiller on Investment accounts

Hi,
Is anyone using Tiller to connect to Brokerage accounts like Etrade and Schwab ?
I have connected the accounts but cant think of what I would do with this data.
I was thinking it could be interesting if one could track all Dividends received every month/year. Is any one doing this and if yes then how?

I created an investment only workbook to track IRA’s and 401k’s. My intent was just to be able to track balances at various points in time.

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I do track income and costs from two investment accounts - Ameriprise and Stoffel. Actually, track may be too strong a word :slight_smile: I poll each account daily and once in a while use Transaction Tracker to check on the income and costs.

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I have my eTrade account connected but I don’t have much transactional activity coming into Tiller from it due to the nature of what’s in it.

However, to track Dividends from that account you could use the Tag functionality and then create a report to find specific tags using a simple VLOOKUP and build something out from there. That’s the more manual, easy button way but there are certainly more complex ways to do it.

Example:
Create a tag called ETDIVAMZN
Create a new sheet with a VLOOKUP on that tag to pull all of your Amazon Dividends
Go from there

You could search on text that comes through in the Description but that can vary and might break.

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The Tiller feeds don’t have enough detail for investment accounts to be useful for me. I have accounts at Schwab and Vanguard in 12 different funds (target retirement, cash, etc) but Tiller’s feeds show only transactions and balances aggregated by institution. It is possible for a third party to get details per fund because I see it at https://home.personalcapital.com/ .

The Foundation and community spreadsheets have been very valuable and the automatic copy of spending works pretty well but I manually copy fund balances to keep tabs on how I’m doing for cash vs different kinds of savings within Schwab and Vanguard.

I connected our investment accounts for a while, but it created too much noise in my transaction list, so I disconnected them. However, since I want our investment accounts included in our net worth report, I added them as manual accounts and update their balances once a month. This way I can see the trend of our net worth and see our assets breakdown, including Retirement and Non-Retiremet Investments.

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Just a correction: Tiller feeds show transactions by institution and “account.” That account breakout is important because you can see for the same institution whether it is your or your spouse’s account, retirement vs non-retirement account. etc…

You are correct and we arrived at the same conclusion for different reasons. Tiller’s feeds don’t work well for investment accounts. They are noisy and for me Schwab Brokerage represents cash and different classes of retirement assets as different funds within a single investment account so they are aggregated within Tiller feeds. I do a manual update to a spreadsheet when I want something more bespoke than what personalcapital.com does automatically. Why I’m holding cash at Schwab Brokerage is a valid tangential question :stuck_out_tongue:

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I track investment accounts at Schwab, both taxable and tax sheltered, like IRAs. I categorize the dividends as an income category called Interest and Dividends, and if the dividends are reinvested, resulting in a second transaction, that transaction is categorized as a Transfer. I set up a rule in AutoCat for each security, using Polarity to distinguish between dividends received and their corresponding reinvestments.

If I buy or sell a security, I categorize it as a Trade, which is a type of Transfer, and the matching transaction representing the proceeds of the sale or the cost of the purchase is categorized as a transfer as well. As a result, Trades do not change my net worth.

Consequently I can track and budget dividend income. I use the Tag column in AutoCat to automatically tag dividends as Taxable or Non-taxable. This allows me to retrieve all these transactions for tax purposes, regardless of security name.

To make this work, you must make sure the Description that identifies each security is consistent throughout. To streamline this process, I keep a Sandbox tab which has a column displaying every unique Description on the Transactions tab {contains the formula =SORT(UNIQUE(Transactions!$C$4:$C))}. Periodically I copy this column and paste-as-values into another column. I use this second column of values as a data validation lookup for the Transactions tab, and any other location where I wish to choose the description of any existing transaction. This causes any new Description that does not match one of my prior, corrected transactions to get flagged by the data validation rule. I can then just pull up the data validation drop-down list, and choose the correct, harmonized security name. Sounds complicated, but in practice it requires very little effort and captures virtually all relevant transactions.

BTW, I apply this AutoCat renaming/data validation process to all common transactions, not just securities. The result is that instead of, for example, a different payee Description for each Whole Foods location, all Whole Foods transactions are described as Whole Foods. Searches and reports become much more concise. If I ever need the overwritten information (almost never, I find), it is still available in the Full Description column of the Transactions sheet.

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Thanks for sharing. My frustration is that the descriptions are not at all consistent. Some have the word ‘Dividend’, Some have Div while other descrption dont have either but the transaction is still a dividend.
I decided to not use TIller for tracking dividends and instead go to Schwab or to Etrade and get the dividend info from those sites.
I am Using Tiller only for budgeting and pulling in only those account which I use for spending money and nothing else. Networth tracking is much better in Personal Capital.

If all goes well, I am hoping to replicate my standalone Google sheets that read in Fidelity statement descriptions for my option trades and provides me with metrics around how many winning trades I had, net P/L, commissions involved etc.

The Fidelity trade descriptions have position information, dates etc. So, at that point GOOGLEFINANCE can be used as well. The tricky part will be commissions involved but that can be a manual user input since it should not change between transactions.

Replying to last part of @GregC post and @khera.sameer post on inconsistent descriptions and using AutoCat. Until TD Ameritrade moved my account to Schwab, I was tracking the Dividend Income in Tiller (just haven’t set up the Schwab account yet.) I was not a frequent trader, so wanted all income, net of ADR fees, to go to Dividends category.

AutoCat had this line to accomplish:

All transactions got categorized as “Dividends” and the full description shows they all had different names coming in:
image

As mentioned above, I did not frequently trade. So an occasional trade would pop out based on size of transaction. My Bond Redemptions and Buy/Sells were classified as “Investments” to separate that activity in Tiller. I think you could use the AutoCat Account Min/Max columns to classify those as “Trades” or “Investments.”

@GregC mentioned using his validation process on all common transactions. To get that consistency on some common transactions, I use AutoCat’s column C “Description” to automatically rename all these clunky imported descriptions like Kroger, Whataburger, and Chick-Fil-A transactions.

When I filter on Col C for just “wh” I see one Whataburger description in column C. (obviously I need to set up a AutoCat line for Whole Foods, too!)
image

In Col P on Transactions, the Whataburger full descriptions are varied:

WHATABURGER MOBILE APP XXX-XXX-6749 TX DGCXXX6345
WHATABURGER 358 Q76 BURLESON TX 01165P
WHATABURGER MOBILE APP XXX-XXX-6749 TX DGCXXX0803
WB GIFT CARD LOAD XXXXXX6749 TX
WHATABURGER ONLINE XXXXXX6749 TX
WHATABURGER MOBILE APP XXXXXX6749 TX

Think I’ll set up my Schwab account now and get it started. Was going to try @brettanicus method of just manually updating Schwab monthly … but thinking that TD Account worked well for me then. Thanks for this discussion.

I connect to my Schwab brokerage account. I use an Interest and Dividends category to track the proceeds from invested assets, and monitor deposits and withdrawals from this account. Automatic reinvestment of dividend payments are categorized as Transfers. I use a Trades category to differentiate dividend payments and reinvestments from sale proceeds and new share purchases. I also track the advisory fees leveed on this account. Since Schwab reports interest and dividends by security, I can review total returns for each position, and their relative performance is easily viewed in many of the graphs included in various Tiller sheets.

I use the AutoCat tool to automatically categorize virtually all of these routine transactions, with only occasional review and intervention required. The AutoCat Positive and Negative columns are useful in this process. AutoCat also allows me to correct any inconsistencies in fund/position names shown in the Description field, which insures accurate reports.

I project the income from the account in my Tiller budget, using the monthly Income projections Schwab calculates on the web portal for my account. This is made much easier by using the excellent Budget Plan tool posted by @jpfieber.

This method allows me to integrate data from the brokerage account into my overall Tiller cashflow and budget strategy with little marginal effort. I’ve found it well worth the time to set up.

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Great tips, @GregC ! Thanks. But I saw your initial posting referencing “…using Polarity to distinguish between dividends received and their corresponding reinvestments.” but that was Greek to me. My AutoCat sheet had no such column. Then just recently, you refered to it as the

So did a deeper search and found @Heather 's Help Topic:

Re-reading the “AutoCat rules” helped clarify the Amount Polarity column that you can simply add to your AutoCat sheet.

I added my Schwab taxable account and it imported transactions from March to current day (June). There is a mix of dividends, reinvested dividends, and interest on fixed income and sweep accounts within the brokerage account.

Before I setup AutoCat for this account, I ran AutoCat to see what would get categorized. Because I pay TD Bank for a credit card, those interest incomes got categorized as CC Payments. Why would Auto & Gas show up? The Help Article answered that … the simple AutoCat descriptions will process from top to bottom, AND will find occurences that “contain” your descriptions. @heather used “air” in the article as an example. In my case, my Auto&Gas category for “QT” convenience store also showed up in an “eqty ETF” description - so the “qt” got coded as Auto. … To reenforce the Help Article point, put your new Investment AutoCats at the top of the sheet.

I created 3 AutoCat rules for this new Investment account.


I chose to separate the Interest Income from the Dividend Income. All my Fixed Income investments were Brokered CDs, so they have “FDIC Ins” as the common description, plus the interest paid on the Sweep account. Next line catches everything else that is positive as Dividends. (I don’t contribute to this monthly or often, but if you did, you could add another positive AutoCat rule to drop those in Trades.

Following @GregC advice on coding dividend reinvestments, I am using the Negative polarity to separate the trades.

After setting up these 3 rules, I ran AutoCat and filtered my Transactions by this account. All of the entries were perfectly coded.

FYI - regarding the Account EQUALS column. I tried out the “Advance” feature under Create New (AutoCat) Rules:
image
I apparently built that rule that Account Equals Schwab… and that created a new column in AutoCat sheet titled: Account Equals.
I had previously used Account Contains with no issues, so moved the “Schwab Taxable Acct” to that previously existing column and deleted the Account Equals column that was shown in snip above.
This further reinforced the flexibility there is in building AutoCat rules (i.e., Contains vs Equals), so feel a little more confident to experiment further! :grin: