I'm gathering my assets information (cash, RSP, margin, etc) in an excel to keep track of my saving progress over time.

I'm struggling about which amount to put, for example, I invested 1000$ this year, made 1 trade of 30$ profit (Realized). Made 1 trade of 10$ loss (realized). Then bought some shares which currently has an unrealized gain of 70$ (unrealized).

In my assets cell, Should I put:

The amount I invested in (1000)


The amount invested plus realized gain /loss (1020)


The amount invested plus realized and unrealized gain. (1090)


Asset = Current Market Value

Stocks, as an asset, represent the sum of the current market value of all of your holdings. If your portfolio is showing unrealized gains and losses, then that net amount is inherently reflected in the current market value of your holdings.

That's not to say cost basis is not important. Any closed trades, realized gains or losses, will of course have an impact on your taxable income. So, it couldn't hurt to keep track of your cost basis from a tax standpoint, but understand that the term "asset" refers to the current market values and does not consider base amounts. Taxes do.

Perhaps consider making separate cells for cost basis, but also bear in mind that most if not all of the major online discount brokers will provide transferring of cost basis information electronically to the major online tax service providers.


There's an expression, "stock prices have no memory."

Apple trades at about $115. Why would I carry my shares at anything but $115 even though I paid say $75 a share, while you just bought it at $115?

The only difference, perhaps, is that if I hold them in a non retirement account, I might track the net I'd have, post tax.


Stocks as an Asset, Denominated in Fiat Paper Money can be created from Thin Air by Banks. The Stock Prices are further boosted by ultra low Interest Rates.Thus Stock Prices represent an opinion or sentiment at a given point in time. Any change in sentiment or interest rates can drastically change your asset prices in a short span of time. Thus booking nomimal profits as real in your spreadsheet may boost your chances to further leverage to buying more stocks or spend on things you do not need (from the notion of nominal profits realized).... Caution is needed.

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