Tracking private investments in an LLC

Hi all, I’m new here, and so far loving it.

I’ve searched the archives and haven’t found this yet - or not exactly.
I make investments in private LLCs (venture capital if you must know, but some are real estate too). I have a wealth manager, but he only tracks his investments, not the ones I personally make, so I’m trying to have a more holistic view of my finances.

Anyway - I’m trying to figure out the best way to track private investments. For clarity, these investments usually do a capital call (I write a check) between 1-4x per year for a certain number of years, and then pray that they return more than I’ve invested. I’d like to be able to see a report of all transactions in and out of that investment vehicle, so that when I get the annual K1, I can confirm what they say is true AND when the whole thing is said and done, I can see how I’ve done on that particular investment.

I was thinking of doing it this way:

  1. Set up each investment as a manual account, label it as asset/investment.
  2. Any cash investment is coded as a transfer on both sides of the transaction (with a name the same as the manual account - will that mess it up?).
  3. Any cash in would be also coded as a transfer, until I start to get close to 1x, and then spilt the transaction when it hits 1x, then anything over that is recorded as income (let’s hear it for long term cap gains).
  4. Where I’m getting stuck - how can I see all the transactions for that account? Just simply filter the transactions tab by account? It would be cool if there were a tab where I could set the date range, filter by account and see totals for that date range. Does this exist and I just haven’t found it yet?

Am I thinking about this the right way?

Also - I need a class in tiller spreadsheet scripts and formulas. THAT would be awesome, because I don’t mind tinkering around making this stuff on my own but I don’t know where to start. I know my way around basic spreadsheet functions but as soon as we hit vlookups and pivot tables, I am curious but incompetent.

Welcome, @nicoleg! We are happy you’ve found Tiller and are appreciating the community.

I think you’re on the right track. A few thoughts…

  • Manual accounts are the way to go for any accounts that won’t connect through your Tiller subscription. This is almost always the case with investments and real estate.
  • Manual accounts will roll into your Balances sheet and can be included in the Net Worth template if you use that.
  • The manual accounts presumably do not need to be updated THAT often… just when you get a statement… so it shouldn’t create too much extra work.
  • I think a “transfer” is the right type, but not the right category. I’d consider consider creating a new category that is a (custom) transfer type with an appropriate group and category name for this kind of investments. You don’t even need to hide these. This will allow them to be non-cashflow-affecting but will let you easily and discretely pull them in for any reporting.
  • I think I understand what you are trying to do with the split logic, but couldn’t you keep that simpler by just summing the custom equity-transfer-inflows by account and then comparing that to the last available balance when you’re ready to report? I’m not sure you NEED to discretely identify repayment of investment and dividends every time you get a check.
  • Regarding your getting-stuck point, I think the custom transfer category solves this problem and you can create some simple reporting that queries those categories discretely by account.

Hope this helps.

Hey Nicole, I am looking to create the same thing. Did you figure something out that works for you? I am just getting started so I am searching through the community show and tell now. I hate to be that guy who comes in at the 11th hour and asks for all your hard work, but any jump start would be greatly appreciated.

@austint if you don’t hear back from @nicoleg I’d recommend just trying to do it the way she describes with Randy’s thoughts in mind.

Hi Austin,

To be honest, I’m still playing with it. My attention has been focused on a couple of other areas (getting the budget sheet up and running, making the P&L sheet work for me (with tags!), etc.

What I have done as a stop gap FOR NOW is just have an ‘Investment’ category (as an expense, even though it’s not an expense), and an “investment returns” category (as income, even though it’s some weird blend of return of invested capital, dividends, and return on investment) - and deal with it when I get the other items sorted.

I will probably go the manual account route though. Have you tackled it yet? What did you come up with?

I have not. I’m still trying to get my primary bank to connect. I continue to get errors.

If I can’t get my primary bank set up, I probably will not end up using it.

Oh thats a bummer! I’m assuming you’ve gone through tech support on this one?

What I will say is that Tiller has been MUCH harder to set up than your standard accounting/budgeting tools, but some of that is on me (I’m just not super skilled with advanced spreadsheet skills, and damn do I wish I was).

But now that I have a lot of it set up, it has been much easier than I was doing before. I was running 3 versions of QuickBooks (3 different small LLCs), plus my own personal finances. Now it’s all in one place, the data entry and workflow has saved me dozens and dozens of hours (hours that I also reinvested into getting some of the reporting working for me, so it’s a draw, but over the long run it will be significantly easier) - and I don’t have to deal with Intuit, QuickBooks, etc ever again.

In addition to that, Tiller was one of the few tools that actually did pull in some of my accounts - for instance I had a hard time with QB pulling in a schwab brokerage account for a trust. Tiller did it no problem.

So - I hope you stick with it. Best!

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Thanks Nicole. Hopefully we can get it figured out. I hate all of the quickbooks management as well.

I like being able to create my own dashboards but I gotta get the flow going first.

We shall see

For me, the first thing I had to solve was tagging. If you’re tracking multiple entities, alongside your own family expenses, tagging at the transaction level was crucial, so I could run an accurate P&L. Tagging was easy, what was hard was running a P&L filtered by tag. Here’s the thread that solved it for me - if it helps you.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Randy, I have made a loan to a company which they will repay with interest. I have created a manual account for this called “loans receivable” for now and classified it as an “investment” account type and the class as “asset”. When I created the manual account, the first balance I put in was a minus value to reflect the cash that was given out of the account to the business (ie, the loan amount). Then I created a manual entry called a transfer to put money into the loans receivable account using a positive value for the same amount of cash as the loan made (the first balance mentioned above). When the account statement downloaded for the account from which the funds came for all this (a brokerage accunt) I classified the transaction type as a transfer for record keeping, though that transaction did not automatically assign to the loans receivables account. If you’re as confused as me, welcome to my world. Am I doing this right? Looking for just a way to track the loan made, and as interest comes in I’ll add that manually as well. Thanks. Joe