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I have the following (simplistic) structure set up in GnuCash, but this should apply to other software too:

Assets
  Bank account
  Pension
Income
  Salary
  Interest

Every month, my salary is split between my bank account and my pension. Both assets go up in value over time, but the pension can also obviously go down, as it's represented as various shares.

It is simple to record the changing value of my bank account; every time I receive an interest payment (of a few pennies!), I add it to the total. But how should I represent the changing value of my pension? Should I add "interest" every year, or periodically at another time? Or should I not bother and just allow the account to become more and more out of line with the actual value of the fund, and adjust when I withdraw from it?

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You'll have a certain number of shares of each fund in your pension. You purchase a certain number of shares with the "pension" portion of your paycheck. This will be different each time because the share price fluctuates.

To see the changing value of your pension, you update the price(s) of your fund(s). How often you do this is up to you, though if it's a publicly traded asset then you may be able to pull quotes automatically and update the price that way.

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GnuCash allows you to keep accounts in various currencies (and as I recall there is even built-in support for securities). The easiest option is probably to make subaccounts for each company that you hold shares in, with each share being defined as a "currency" of sorts. Then, just update the rates regularly. The "pension" account will then show the total, just like the "assets" account shows the total pension + bank account today.

So, you'll have one account for NYSE:AAPL, one for NYSE:FB, and so on, all grouped under the "pension" account.

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