Question about advanced-portfolio handling of "expense" splits

Andrew Sackville-West andrew at
Sat Dec 8 20:14:44 EST 2007

Oops, meant to put this on the list.

On Sat, Dec 08, 2007 at 04:40:33PM -0600, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> Andrew,
> Sorry to bother you about this, but I was looking at your changes in 

not at all.

> and I'm trying to understand 
> the changes made to the brokeragecoll handling (which was added when fixing 
> <>).

great. I need feedback!

> If I read your code correctly, when 's' has more than one split you treat 
> the expense as a brokerage fee and otherwise you treat the expense as 
> donated shares, right?  Or am I misreading this code?

that is correct.

> But it seems to me that a brokerage fee would have only two splits as well: 
> the split in the investment account from which shares are sold and the 
> split in the expense account for brokerage fees.  Is the idea that one 
> should simply create an account for "brokerage fee cash" or whatnot and 
> make the transaction have three splits (a sell with the cash going to the 
> "brokerage fee cash" account and then an expense)?

In theory, a transaction with a brokerage fee would involve buying or
selling shares. THis would have a minimum of three splits: 

1) for the actual stocks bought or sold
2) for the actual money involved: ie, the proceeds from the sale or
the funds used for the purchase, moving to or from a checking accoutn,
a brokerage account, or some other place.
3) the brokerage fee

where 1) == 2) + 3)

The difficulty in this report is there are many different ways to
model these transactions, but from the point of view of the report,
they are often indistinguishable, so we have to make a reasonable

PLease let me know what you think. 


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