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Copying an investment

Comments, critical feedback, praise, or suggestions for new features.

Postby Djobydjoba » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:58 am

Hi Mark,

These are some thoughts about the topic of copying an investment.

Currently the "copy an investment" term is quite ambivalent in Fund Manager, because there are two different features:

1) Create a new investment with the same properties and/or data of an existing one, but with a new, separate, investment file on the hard disk.
This can only be done with the "New investment from Existing" command (in the menu File > File Operations)

2) Create an exact copy of an existing investment, that relies on the same investment file on the hard disk. So, when a change (especially a new transaction) is made in one of the copies, it is made for all the copies.
This can be done in the Portfolio Editor, right click on an investment > Copy. Then right click > Paste.

I guess many FM users have used the "right click on an investment > Copy-paste" command to create a new investment in another subportfolio, thinking the two investments would be independent (especially in term of transaction recording)...

I guess too many FM users have discovered only lately the command "New investment from Existing". I've always thought the menu entry File > File Operations is somewhat misplaced and misspelled and that's a pity because there are some great commands in there. (Why not a new "Tools" menu entry, where could be moved too the Import-Export and Backup-Restore commands...)

The "New investment from Existing" command is probably more used / searched by users than the Copy command, but currently less accessible.

A first suggestion would be to try to remove the ambiguousness between the two copy modes. The first copy mode (separate investment file) could be an "independent copy", the second mode could be a "linked copy" for example.

When right clicking an investment > Copy, a dialog similar with the current "New investment from Existing" could be displayed but with the additional choice to make an independent copy or a linked copy.
And the same when an investment is dragged to another sub-portfolio with Ctrl pressed, the same dialog could appear to make the choice.

Sometimes it can be useful to see directly in the Portfolio Manager view if an investment has "linked copies". Why not a slight different investment icon for investments with linked copies. A new available column to display the number of linked copies to a same investment file could be useful too.

Thanks
Djobydjoba
 
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Postby aviator » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:44 am

I, too, would like to weigh in on this.

I echo djobya... comments.

In his example #2 above, I also assumed that creating a copy of an investment allowed me to edit the copied version without affecting the original. I had an example this morning where the security's description was changed in one account but was actually changed in two.

Also agree that all investment operations should be grouped together.
aviator
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:47 am

Postby Mark » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:31 pm

Thanks for the ideas/feedback. Another option would be to make separate "Paste" commands, so maybe we have a "Paste Linked" and a "Paste Independent".
Thanks,
Mark
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Mark
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Postby Djobydjoba » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:38 pm

Yes. No real idea on the implementation, the rough ideas above were to illustrate only!
Djobydjoba
 
Posts: 490
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Postby aviator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:07 am

I like the idea of linked securities. Maybe even giving them a linked icon, similar to sub-portfolios.

Today, I'm forced to have duplicate securities because
- Several accounts have to be grouped by taxable vs non-taxable income.
- To do this, I create separate sub-portfolios for each account, broken down by taxable income and tax exempt income securities.
- The securities in these sub-portfolios (broken down by tax status) are actual duplicates (which, I think in your world, means separate data files). Maybe I'm not doing something right, but doesn't feel very efficient.
- Would be nice to have "linked" securities and not need duplicates.

Not sure if the way I handle taxable vs non-taxable income is best, but I try as much as possible to not create custom reports. I find that if my sub-portfolios are setup correctly, using stock reports included with FM serve all my needs.
aviator
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:47 am

Postby Mark » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:25 pm

Hi aviator,

You can already have "linked securities". They aren't called that in FM jargon, but you can have the same investment file (*.dat) instantiated in multiple sub-portfolios (and you aren't duplicating data). In other words, you can have investment file abc.dat in sub 1, and also in sub 2. It is just 1 file, and no matter where you edit it from, those edits are saved in that one *.dat file. Everywhere that investment is located will see the same data.

There is no super easy way to see how many instances there are of a given investment. To determine if 2 displayed investments are the same investment (same *.dat file), look at the path and filename for that investment. You can display this in a Custom report, in the Portfolio Editor, or you can see it in the "Statistics" tab of the "Investment Properties..." dialog.

You can also look at the properties of a sub-portfolio, and it will show you how many investments are in that sub-portfolio. If you have some investments instantiated more than once it will display both the total number of investments, and the number of "unique" investments on the "Contains" line in the "Statistics" section. For example, if it shows:

11 (10 Unique) Investments

You know you have 10 *.dat files open, and one of them is instantiated twice.
Thanks,
Mark
Fund Manager - Portfolio Management Software
Mark
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Postby aviator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:01 pm

I can see this being super helpful except for not being able to easily distinguish a "linked investment" from a non-linked one. I can see using this immediately if, say, the linked investment had a separate icon (like the portfolios do).
aviator
 
Posts: 364
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Postby Mark » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:08 pm

Hi aviator,

I believe you can just treat them the same, and ignore whether or not you have the same investment in some other location? The only thing a different icon would show is if you have it instantiated in other locations. All investments located in more than 1 sub would have the same different colored icon, as they are all essentially the same. The icon would only represent that this investment is open in more than 1 location.
Thanks,
Mark
Fund Manager - Portfolio Management Software
Mark
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8801
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:24 pm
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Postby aviator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:19 pm

Ok, I think this makes sense. I think you're right -- it doesn't really matter if it's located elsewhere. Not sure why I'm having difficulty with this, probably just need to ponder more.

So right now I have this scenario:
Sub 1
- Investment A
- Investment B

Sub 2
- Investment A (exact duplicate; eg separate data file)
- Investment B (same as above)

To change Sub 2 to point to Sub 1, do I:
- Create a "New Investment From Existing" and copy over the transaction history?
- Just close Investment A and B from Sub 2 (the old duplicates)?

Thanks in advance.
aviator
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:47 am

Postby Mark » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:28 pm

Hi aviator,

Assuming you want this:

Sub 1
- Investment A (a.dat)
- Investment B (b.dat)

Sub 2
- Investment A (a.dat)
- Investment B (b.dat)

and I believe in your Sub 2 now you have like a2.dat and b2.dat. To change Sub 2 to have instances of the same investments as Sub 1, do this:

- Open the Portfolio Editor
- Close the investments in Sub 2
- Select Sub 1 on the left tree, so you see your investments in the list on the right. Select both investments on the right, and drag them over onto Sub 2 while holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard. You should see a little "+" (plus) sign show up on the cursor, indicating you are copying, and not moving these investments. Drop them onto Sub 2.

You do not want to use "New Investment from Existing..." here. That command creates a new/separate investment from an existing one. That isn't what we're talking about. You want a 2nd instance of the same investment. You aren't duplicating data, you're just opening a 2nd instance of the same data. I can see how all this is rather confusing...
Thanks,
Mark
Fund Manager - Portfolio Management Software
Mark
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8801
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:24 pm
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