Double-entry bookkeeping is new to me but is something I'm trying to apply to our personal finances. The area I am struggling with is how to deal with our investments. We have a mix of Canadian RRSP accounts (are these similar to US 401k?), self-managed stock/bond/ETF accounts, and separately-managed accounts.
Although I hope that the answers to my question will not specifically depend on which software I am using, I will say that I am using GnuCash with the trading accounts feature enabled.
I know that software like GnuCash provides some means to handle individual stocks with all associated transaction possibilities (buy, sell, dividends, interest, etc), but the separately-managed accounts are not amenable to this. Such accounts can have a great deal of activity in them that we are not consulted on and really don't want to bother with. Moreover, the institution handling those accounts does not provide full details on some aspects of these accounts. For example, for non-RRSP separately-managed accounts we get a total annual capital gains number at the end of the year for tax purposes, but no breakdown of those gains relative to the individual holdings. Because there are no capital gains taxes for RRSPs, there are no capital gains numbers provided at all for RRSP separately-managed accounts. Tracking the individual holdings inside investment accounts like these isn't really possible or desirable, but it isn't obvious to me how I can model such an account as some kind of virtual mutual fund without accounting for gains and losses somehow. I assume there are other ways to handle such accounts, possibly even without trying to force them into a mutual fund or stock model at all.
What are the various proper double-entry bookkeeping methodologies available to me to include each of our investment accounts on our books?