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I have been investing towards multiple goals, like Retirement, House, Car, Vacation etc. So I make monthly deposits against each of these goals. But I have a single fidelity account for investing, so each of these deposits end up mixed together in a single account. The problem is I can't manage how each individual goal is doing and it gets bit messy to implement different investing strategies for different goals, using the same brokerage account.

I was wondering what approaches people follow to bucket-ize their investments against different goals, especially with brokerage accounts like Fidelity etc. Having a separate brokerage account for each goal is probably too extreme, but a single account doesn't seem manageable.

Thanks.

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I have been investing towards multiple goals, like Retirement, House, Car, Vacation etc

What if the stock market drops 10% or even 20% just before you are ready to buy a car or go on vacation?

You're up a very malodorous, very toxic creek and lack a paddle, that's what.

Thus, short term goals like "Car" and "Vacation" should be saved for in on or more of:

  1. a high yield savings, and
  2. high yield CDs.

My rule of thumb is that any goal less than 5 years away goes in Savings.

But I have a single fidelity account for investing, so each of these deposits end up mixed together in a single account.

I was wondering what approaches people follow to bucket-ize their investments against different goals, especially with brokerage accounts like Fidelity etc.

Spreadsheet programs are perfect for this.

One column per goal, two rows per month.

  • In one row, apportion the contributions per goal.

  • In the second row, record the account's gains or losses apportioned per goal.

Add another column that is the Sum of all your goals. At the end of every month, the Sum column should equal the account balance.

Having a separate brokerage account for each goal is probably too extreme,

That depends on how much you have invested.

  • "account's gains or losses apportioned per goal" -- I think the question is how you apportion those – Ben Voigt Mar 11 at 1:45
  • @BenVoigt OP gets to decide that. If he transfers $500 in March, then he chooses how much of that $500 goes into the March row of the Car column, the Vacation column, the Retirement column and the House column. – RonJohn Mar 11 at 1:47
  • Right, apportioning contributions is not a problem. Gains and losses are less straightforward, especially as OP says different strategies are in use for each goal (consistent with different time horizons) – Ben Voigt Mar 11 at 1:50
  • @BenVoigt "different strategies are in use for each goal". OP knows how much he's contributed to the account, what funds are in that account, and how much he's contributed. He's just got to do the math apportioning it out, which we can't do for him. – RonJohn Mar 11 at 1:55
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    @BenVoigt the main problem is that He's Doing It All Wrong, and the only way we can fix that is to tell him to Do It The Right Way (which is what got BobBaerker voted down. – RonJohn Mar 11 at 1:57
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A brokerage account is for investing.

If you're just saving for different goals, open multiple money market accounts, either with Fidelity if they pay a decent rate of interest or elsewhere. Then link them, where possible.

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    Looks like you are answering a different question (should I invest or just save in an interest-bearing account for short-, medium-, and long-term goals?) and have not even partly addressed the question: how to invest for multiple goals at once. – Ben Voigt Mar 11 at 1:38
  • @BenVoigt he's answering the meta-question, "Is investing the right way to accumulate money for short to medium term goals?" – RonJohn Mar 11 at 1:40
  • @RonJohn: But "How do I track investments toward multiple goals at once?" is a perfectly reasonable question (someone can easily have multiple long-term goals) so there is no excuse for avoiding it. – Ben Voigt Mar 11 at 1:41
  • @BenVoigt "But "How do I track investments toward multiple goals at once?" is a perfectly reasonable question" which is why I answered both questions in my answer... :) – RonJohn Mar 11 at 1:42
  • The only edit I'd suggest is to focus on the brokerage account "investing" being for the long term, i.e. retirement. (Do 20 year olds say "I am renting but wish to buy at 40?) All else are shorter term goals which go into MM, as you said. The unspoken implication is that the OP is making this far more complex than it needs to be. And the sister question Downside of having multiple brokerage accounts? asks about the downside to doing something that should be avoided in the first place. – JoeTaxpayer Mar 22 at 12:40

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